The subject of bullying is back center-stage in the Rochester area lately, as it should be.
Nearby in Wayne County, the Marion Central School District is being sued by the mother of a high school student because they say that the district didn’t do enough to stop the repeated bullying of their son. Here’s a story by WHAM’s Rachel Barnhart about this: click here. According to the story, the child has been tormented for more than two years and over 30 complaints to the school’s administration were made.
In Spencerport, a girl took her own life last week. Cameron DeVeronica was just 14. Friends set up a Facebook page now with over 10,000 followers in an effort to raise awareness for what they believe was a suicide caused by bullying. According to reports in both mainstream and social media, this young girl was being bullied by female classmates. The Ogden Police Department and Spencerport schools held a news conference last week trying to debunk the bullying rumors despite the fact that students have said otherwise. This hasn’t been sitting well with their community.
Another child has died. Once again, it looks like another local school district wants to look the other way and say “not here” and pretend bullying isn’t a cause for concern.
I have to applaud the Spencerport community, though, as a protest involving approximately 300 students and parents was held outside the Spencerport School District to demand an end to bullying. Due to this increased pressure from students who are sick of bullying, it looks like the district and police department might be pulling their heads out of the sand to do something….one can hope, at least.
In our own situation, it has now been 2 months since the incident at our school. I’ve given two full months and have gone through the cycle of anger, disappointment, sadness, etc.
My son is OK now. His concussion has healed. He smiles and laughs and plays like a normal 8 year old. He has friends and is a good boy. The big egg on his head may be gone, but I can assure you that the scars of bullying remain. This has affected all of us–I think the grown ups have taken the situation even harder than our resilient son.
If you know me at all, you know I am a pretty calm and collected person. Deep down, though, I am furious. I am pissed off at our school for allowing this to happen and DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT. I am pissed off that their solution would be to have my son and the BULLY (it is what it is, folks, he’s a bully) go to the school counselor together to try to become friends. You know, if an adult was attacked, would the judge say that the victim of the assault should make nice with the criminal? No. So why should that be the solution here? I pulled Nick out of that joint counseling because he wasn’t comfortable and to be frank, I do not want my child to be friends with a bully. Would you?
The bottom line is that bullying occurs in nice suburbs and at top-ranked schools. Not just “other schools.” Our districts are failing our children.