In Mass, parents are reporting that their children are refusing to go to class, have dropped out of sports, stopped trying to socialize, refused to go to class and in some cases had to change schools – all because they are being bullied.
Allegedly girls with special needs are being photographed in the bathroom, then pictures posted on FB. Parents report kids are being attacked on the bus or beaten up at elementary school.
Even worse, some bullied children have attempted or threatened suicide. On Jan. 14, Phoebe Prince died of an apparent suicide after incessant bullying by classmates.
Who is investigating? It appears that the school system is investigating itself and… they “apologize for the delay.”
The school says, “There have been in our investigation some kids on their family’s – or family’s lawyer’s – recommendation that have not spoken to us,” Edward Boisselle, chairman of the South Hadley School Committee, told the Herald yesterday … But a determined Boisselle vowed that lawyers won’t keep school officials from completing their investigation by week’s end and meting out ‘severe’ punishment… I apologize for what appears to be delays, sweeping this under the rug. It’s a process. It’s not an easy investigation.”
“Separately, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel is leading a criminal investigation into Prince’s death. Charges have not been brought.”
Last we heard, school officials aren’t law enforcement agents, nor are they trained investigators. Are chairmen of school districts and committees trained investigators?
The school did not protect this girl. The school is on notice about many other kids who are being bullied, yet they did nothing until news of the girl’s suicide broke.
“The state Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester is “calling on every school to ‘be clear’ about the ‘conduct and consequences’ of bullying … “We encourage schools to take this on.”
“To be clear about the conduct and consequences of bullying?” Consequences? There are no consequences when schools don’t protect kids.
“We ENCOURAGE schools to take this on?” If they feel like it? The state Education Commissioner doesn’t ORDER them to change their ways?
Sickening. We hate to think what Phoebe Prince’s parents are going through now, and for the rest of their lives. We don’t have a sense that the Education commission, Chairman, or other administrators understand or care what this does to defenseless kids.
As of September 2009, HRSA reports that Massachusetts is one of ten states that has no laws on bullying. Check to see if your state has laws on bullying here.
Many parents also report that when they informed the school their children were being bullied, the school did nothing. “One struggling mother turned in her own son, a bully, hoping the school would do something. It didn’t.” Read Parents’ Pleas Fall on Deaf Ears from the Boston Herald at http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/2010/02/parents%E2%80%99_pleas_fall_deaf_ears