Bullying in schools is a problem that nearly every district grapples with on a daily basis, but parents in one Connecticut town are saying it's becoming an epidemic and they're taking their concerns public.
At the school board meeting in Windsor on Tuesday night, there were a lot of students who were recognized for the positives they bring to the school system.
After seeing many great things happening throughout the school district, parents revealed some of the bad.
“She had been punched in the face by a boy while her hair was being held so that she could not remove herself. It was caught on video,” one parent said Tuesday evening.
“Last year, in second grade, there was a child who said he wanted to bring a knife to school and kill him,” another parent said.
“He for the first time, was called a racial slur. It was something we knew would happen, it was something we prepared him for, but it still broke our hearts when he came home and told us about it,” another said.
A handful of Windsor parents and students pleaded for change after detailing cases of bullying that, according to them, pervades the entire school system.
Kait Morgan said her son has been the victim of bullying at JFK Middle School.
“Various physical assaults to verbal. Lots of hurtful words being said,” Morgan said.
She says whenever it's reported, administrators are very receptive but nothing seems to change afterward.
“I don't believe there's enough support there in the curriculum, parents and the community,” Morgan said.
On Tuesday evening, some board of education members told accounts of bullying that happened to their own children and Superintendent of School Craig Cooke says while disciplinary issues have decreased overall this year, the allegations made tonight need to be addressed.
“It's certainly something we'll be taking up first thing on Monday morning when we come back from break and I look forward to more dialogue from the public,” Cooke said.
The bullying seems to be recognized by students as well. A video created by fifth-grader A'aliyah Grimes was part of her CT Kid Governor submission.
“I want to help kids who are getting bullied, but don't want to tell anyone,” Grimes said.
After taking their concerns public, parents are hoping it might spark change.
“My 10-year-old should not come home and say I’m afraid to go to school,” Morgan said.
Parents want a zero tolerance policy to be enforced. That will be reviewed. Cooke says he wants parents and students to go to him so he can personally address concerns.
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