LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Mother and father declare that issues of bullying at Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate College are out of hand. On Information 18, we’re providing you with an in-depth have a look at these claims and the way the college is responding in a three-part sequence. A set off warning for readers, subjects of suicide are talked about on this story.
“There’s an issue, and I believe that the constant piece of this drawback is Sunnyside,” mentioned Melissa Lynch, mom of Anna Lynch who claims she’s been a sufferer of bullying at Lafayette Sunnyside.
Mother and father have turned to protesting in hopes of bringing change. On Tuesday, Jun. 2, a number of dad and mom and their children gathered outdoors the college for a peaceable demonstration holding anti-bullying posters, hoping to carry consciousness to the problems. A number of of these dad and mom say they’ve all been by means of the identical cycle of their little one being bullied, speaking to directors in regards to the points, both not listening to something from directors or directors telling them it is dealt with, after which the bullying continues. However it’s vital we first have a look at what the college defines as bullying.
Based on the Indiana College Security Code, bullying is outlined as overt and undesirable repeated acts or gestures. That is together with verbal or written communications transmitted, bodily acts dedicated or some other behaviors dedicated.
“Due to my weight, I’ve been bullied. Individuals have wished demise on me and referred to as me some not-so-nice names.”
That is the opening assertion from a letter written by Sunnyside fifth grade pupil Anna Lynch. She mentioned her expertise falls proper in step with the college security code definition of bullying. She claims she skilled every part from verbal, to cyber to even bodily bullying. She wrote the letter to assist categorical her emotions and address what she’s been by means of.
“Anna would come dwelling and say, I had a foul day — there are some children that weren’t good to me,” mentioned her mom Melissa.
Melissa mentioned these conversations began turning into constant, and it was at all times the identical few college students inflicting her hurt.
“I’d simply say, nicely did you inform the trainer and he or she would say, ‘yeah, I did inform the trainer,’ after which I anticipated since I wasn’t contacted that it was being taken care of however it simply saved going,” mentioned Melissa.
She mentioned she and her husband went to the college a number of instances to speak with directors however the bullying continued.
“You realize, you lastly notice that nothing is being performed however you realize, once we began going to the workplace, they weren’t going to assist us in any respect,” mentioned Melissa.
Sunnyside pupil Aiden Zeck mentioned he additionally met a lifeless finish with directors when it got here to seeing a decision to the incident he endured.
“I used to be going over to the sink to do one thing, I believe or I used to be going over to assist somebody and he simply came to visit in my ear and mentioned “die.” I used to be 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 triggered a ripple of destructive results on his psychological well being.
“He had talked about that he was going to kill himself a few instances and that is when he instructed us about this different pupil telling him that,” mentioned Aiden’s mom Tina Zeck. “It broke my coronary heart as a result of, I imply, you by no means wish to hear that out of your little one.”
Tina mentioned after informing the academics, they did work to separate Aiden and the opposite pupil, 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 try to determine what it’s about Sunnyside that instances of bullying appear so prevalent.
“Sunnyside, they threw all of the elementary colleges into one constructing in order that, I believe, may have been a problem,” mentioned Tina. “I suppose simply type of throwing everyone in there you do not actually know what to anticipate.”
Inhabitants plus age could possibly be the basis of the issue these dad and mom and children are dealing with. Based on Dr. Alicia Clevenger, the college’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, the college is housing almost 1,200 college students per yr.
“It is a delicate age I believe and so at Sunnyside, you’re all of the sudden bringing each fifth-grader and each sixth-grader in our district into one constructing,” mentioned Clevenger.
She mentioned dad and mom expressing considerations about bullying is not new to high school directors.
“I believe there’s at all times been a problem,” mentioned Clevenger. “I believe it’s possibly come to gentle extra in the previous few years or the final couple of years with the elevated use of social media.”
Whereas she acknowledges that there are college students who’ve skilled bullying at Sunnyside, she mentioned a few of these pissed off dad and mom could possibly be misunderstanding the distinction between a baby being bullied versus two youngsters having a battle.
“I am unable to say that bullying is prevalent, there are misbehaviors which are prevalent,” mentioned Clevenger. “It is a few leverage of energy and it isn’t — when it is an equal participation like a struggle the place they’re each throwing punches or name-calling, there isn’t any leverage of energy there in order that’s not bullying.”
She mentioned the college has handled a number of claims of bullying that, after investigation, had been decided as a battle. However for the instances which are certainly bullying, she mentioned the college follows state protocol.
“It is taken very significantly and so now we have an anti-bullying plan that the district follows and numerous instances its penalties however it additionally needs to be along with schooling and counseling companies and issues of that nature,” mentioned Clevenger.
She believes these dad and mom could possibly be pissed off for not being knowledgeable on precisely how the college is dealing with the bully.
“The explanation why we can’t share that info with dad and mom is because of federal regulation, and we seek advice from it as FERPA,” mentioned Clevenger.
FERPA is an acronym that stands for Household Instructional Rights and Privateness Act. It really works to guard a baby’s academic document. As soon as 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 particular person.
However 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 is just not working.
“I by no means anticipated to be contacted and to be instructed so and so was suspended from faculty or had a detention or something like that however I did count on for adjustments to be made,” mentioned Melissa. “I anticipated for my daughter to not come dwelling from faculty saying the identical names and saying the identical varieties of behaviors are occurring.”
“I really feel like the college’s not doing sufficient to guard the children which are being bullied,” mentioned Tina.
Our subsequent particular report this month can be taking an in-depth have a look at the college’s anti-bullying plan and a brand new program they’ve applied. We’ll discover out if dad and mom suppose it is sufficient to maintain their children secure. The story will air on Wednesday, Jun. 16.