LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Parents declare that issues of bullying at Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate School are out of hand. On News 18, we’re supplying you with an in-depth look at these claims and the way the college is responding in a three-part collection. A set off warning for readers, matters of suicide are talked about on this story.
“There’s a problem, and I think that the consistent piece of this problem is Sunnyside,” mentioned Melissa Lynch, mom of Anna Lynch who claims she’s been a sufferer of bullying at Lafayette Sunnyside.
Parents have turned to protesting in hopes of bringing change. On Tuesday, Jun. 2, a number of dad and mom and their children gathered exterior the college for a peaceable demonstration holding anti-bullying posters, hoping to convey consciousness to the problems. Several of these dad and mom say they’ve all been by way of the identical cycle of their baby being bullied, speaking to administrators in regards to the points, both not listening to something from administrators or administrators telling them it is dealt with, after which the bullying continues. But it is necessary we first look at what the college defines as bullying.
According to the Indiana School Safety Code, bullying is outlined as overt and undesirable repeated acts or gestures. That’s together with verbal or written communications transmitted, bodily acts dedicated or some other behaviors dedicated.
“Because of my weight, I have been bullied. People have wished death on me and called me some not-so-nice names.”
This is the opening assertion from a letter written by Sunnyside fifth grade scholar Anna Lynch. She mentioned her expertise falls proper in step with the college security code definition of bullying. She claims she skilled the whole lot from verbal, to cyber to even bodily bullying. She wrote the letter to assist express her emotions and deal with what she’s been by way of.
“Anna would come home and say, I had a bad day — there are some kids that weren’t nice to me,” mentioned her mom Melissa.
Melissa mentioned these conversations began changing into constant, and it was at all times the identical few college students inflicting her hurt.
“I would just say, well did you tell the teacher and she would say, ‘yeah, I did tell the teacher,’ and then I expected since I wasn’t contacted that it was being taken care of but it just kept going,” mentioned Melissa.
She mentioned she and her husband went to the college a number of instances to speak with administrators however the bullying continued.
“You know, you finally realize that nothing is being done but you know, when we started going to the office, they weren’t going to help us at all,” mentioned Melissa.
Sunnyside scholar Aiden Zeck mentioned he additionally met a lifeless finish with administrators when it got here to seeing a decision to the incident he endured.
“I was going over to the sink to do something, I think or I was going over to help someone and he just came over in my ear and said “die.” I was like, ‘what? Why,’” mentioned Aiden.
This occurred to him in fifth grade. Now ending his Sixth-grade yr, his mom Tina mentioned that remark within the classroom brought about a ripple of destructive results on his psychological well being.
“He had mentioned that he was going to kill himself a couple of times and that’s when he told us about this other student telling him that,” mentioned Aiden’s mom Tina Zeck. “It broke my heart because, I mean, you never want to hear that from your child.”
Tina mentioned after informing the lecturers, they did work to separate Aiden and the opposite scholar, however she mentioned no additional act of bullying prevention was put in place. And seeing that that is the way it’s ended for a number of college students who’ve reported being bullied, she in addition to all the opposite dad and mom are attempting to determine what it’s about Sunnyside that instances of bullying appear so prevalent.
“Sunnyside, they threw all the elementary schools into one building so that, I think, could have been an issue,” mentioned Tina. “I guess just kind of throwing everybody in there you don’t really know what to expect.”
Population plus age might be the basis of the issue these dad and mom and youngsters are dealing with. According to Dr. Alicia Clevenger, the college’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, the college is housing almost 1,200 college students per yr.
“It’s a delicate age I think and so at Sunnyside, you are all the sudden bringing every fifth-grader and every sixth-grader in our district into one building,” mentioned Clevenger.
She mentioned dad and mom expressing concerns about bullying is not new to high school administrators.
“I think there’s always been an issue,” mentioned Clevenger. “I think it’s maybe come to light more in the last few years or the last couple of years with the increased use of social media.”
While she acknowledges that there are college students who’ve skilled bullying at Sunnyside, she mentioned some of these annoyed dad and mom might be misunderstanding the distinction between a baby being bullied versus two youngsters having a battle.
“I can’t say that bullying is prevalent, there are misbehaviors that are prevalent,” mentioned Clevenger. “It’s about a leverage of power and it’s not — when it’s an equal participation like a fight where they are both throwing punches or name-calling, there’s no leverage of power there so that’s not bullying.”
She mentioned the college has handled a number of claims of bullying that, after investigation, have been decided as a battle. But for the instances which might be certainly bullying, she mentioned the college follows state protocol.
“It’s taken very seriously and so we have an anti-bullying plan that the district follows and a lot of times its consequences but it also has to be in conjunction with education and counseling services and things of that nature,” mentioned Clevenger.
She believes these dad and mom might be annoyed for not being knowledgeable on precisely how the college is dealing with the bully.
“The reason why we cannot share that information with parents is due to federal law, and we refer to it as FERPA,” mentioned Clevenger.
FERPA is an acronym that stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It works to guard a baby’s instructional document. Once the college does self-discipline a bully for his or her actions, that document is then protected by this Act and can’t be disclosed to some other individual.
But Anna’s mom Melissa mentioned her frustration doesn’t lie in not being knowledgeable on how the bully was punished. She, like different dad and mom, mentioned the anti-bullying plan shouldn’t be working.
“I never expected to be contacted and to be told so and so was suspended from school or had a detention or anything like that but I did expect for changes to be made,” mentioned Melissa. “I expected for my daughter to not come home from school saying the same names and saying the same types of behaviors are occurring.”
“I feel like the school’s not doing enough to protect the kids that are being bullied,” mentioned Tina.
Our subsequent particular report this month might be taking an in-depth look at the college’s anti-bullying plan and a brand new program they’ve carried out. We’ll discover out if dad and mom assume it is sufficient to maintain their children protected. The story will air on Wednesday, Jun. 16.