A special March 13 board meeting with parents who described the bullying and harassment their children endured was a eye opening experience for the school board.
Throughout the 3 hour meeting anguished parents described the torrents of abuse some of their kids had to put up with on a daily basis. This was more than the casual abuse that might be expected from “normal” taunting and teasing. Parents talked about incidents where death threats were given, threats to beat kids by packs of kids, and actual physical beatings off the school grounds. Harassment using online forums like Facebook were common complaints. They talked about meeting with teachers and administrators at the school, and while they were sympathetic, little was done to help. Some parents turned to the police with reports – and as they described it, they were “given the brush off”.
Parents talked about the attitudes of some other parents who disagreed with choices made by coaches, and the threats they made, sometimes going so far as to break the windows at the homes of coaches (one of these coaches was Grand Douglass, the present school board president).
Bullying at Grandview is not a new topic, the school has had programs and policy to deal with this topic for a number of years. The school website even has a section where bullying incidents are reported, in a simple “number of cases in a six month” format. The problem is that this report shows very few incidents. If the parents at the meeting are to be believed, the actual numbers of incidents are much larger.
Look for much more on this topic as the community and school board reacts to the stories these parents told at the special meeting.
Some newspaper stories about bullying.
Edison school staff get input from students on bullying issue November 2, 2011
Second meeting on bullying scheduled Grandview, March 9, 2011
New Albany middle-schoolers plan anti-bully walk March 21, 2012
Anti-bullying experts focus on respect during visit Bexley, December 7, 2011
(Later) Although there was some statements made by school board members that seemed like they were in favor of changes at the time of this 2012 board meeting, there was no obvious change in school policy announced by the school board.