Parents express concern about ongoing bullying at Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate; the administrators respond

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Mother and father say bullying points at Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate College are uncontrolled. On Information 18, we offer you an in-depth have a look at these claims and the way the varsity is responding in a three-part collection. A set off warning to readers, suicide arguments are talked about on this story.

“There’s a drawback, and I believe the principle piece of this drawback is Sunnyside,” stated Melissa Lynch, mom of Anna Lynch who claims she was bullied in Lafayette Sunnyside.


Mother and father have turned to protest in hopes of bringing a couple of change. On Tuesday 2 June, a number of mother and father and their youngsters gathered outdoors the varsity for a peaceable demonstration with anti-bullying posters, hoping to lift consciousness of the issues. Lots of these mother and father declare all of them went by way of the identical cycle the place their baby was bullied, speaking to the directors about points, or listening to nothing from the directors or directors telling them it was dealt with, after which the bullying continues. However it will be significant that we first have a look at what the varsity defines as bullying.

In response to the Indiana College Safety Code, Bullying is outlined as overt and undesirable repeated acts or gestures. This consists of transmitted verbal or written communications, dedicated bodily acts or different behaviors dedicated.

“Due to my weight, I used to be bullied. Folks wished me dying and referred to as me with not very good names.”

That is the opening assertion from a letter written by Sunnyside fifth grade pupil Anna Lynch. She stated her expertise is consistent with the varsity security code’s definition of bullying. He claims to have skilled every part from verbal bullying, to cyber, to bodily bullying. She wrote the letter to assist specific her emotions and deal with what she has been by way of.

“Anna would come dwelling and say, I had a nasty day – there are some youngsters who have not been good to me,” stated her mom Melissa.

Melissa stated these conversations started to turn into coherent, and it was nonetheless the identical few college students who damage her.

“I’d identical to to say, properly, you advised the instructor and he or she would say, ‘sure, I advised the instructor’, after which I anticipated, since I wasn’t contacted, that she was coping with it, however it stored going, “Melissa stated.

She stated she and her husband went to the varsity a number of instances to speak to directors, however the bullying continued.

“You understand, you lastly notice that nothing is being accomplished, however you understand, once we began going to the workplace, they weren’t going to assist us in any respect,” Melissa stated.

Sunnyside pupil Aiden Zeck stated he additionally ran right into a bind with the directors when it got here to discovering an answer to the incident he suffered.

“I used to be going to the sink to do one thing, I believe or I used to be going to assist somebody and he got here as much as my ear and stated“ die. ”I used to be like, ‘what? Why,’” Aiden stated.

It occurred to him in fifth grade. Now that she is ending sixth grade, her mom Tina stated the commentary at school has brought about a wave of detrimental results on her psychological well being.

“He stated he was going to commit suicide a few instances and that is when he advised us that one other pupil advised him,” Aiden’s mom Tina Zeck stated. “It broke my coronary heart as a result of, I imply, you by no means wish to hear that out of your son.”

Tina stated that after informing the lecturers, they labored to separate Aiden and the opposite pupil, however stated no additional bullying prevention measures had been put in place. And since that is the way it ended for a number of college students who reported being bullied, she and all the opposite mother and father try to determine what’s in Sunnyside that bullying appears so prevalent.

“Sunnyside, they put all of the elementary colleges in a single constructing in order that, I believe, may have been an issue,” Tina stated. “I assume by simply throwing everybody in there you do not actually know what to anticipate.”

Inhabitants plus age could possibly be the foundation of the issue these mother and father and kids are dealing with. In response to Dr Alicia Clevenger, the varsity’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and schooling, the varsity hosts practically 1,200 college students yearly.

“I believe it is a delicate age and so in Sunnyside, you are abruptly bringing each fifth grade and each sixth grade in our district into one constructing,” Clevenger stated.

He stated mother and father who specific concern about bullying should not new to high school directors.

“I believe there has at all times been an issue,” Clevenger stated. “I believe possibly it has come to gentle extra in the previous couple of years or the final couple of years with the rise in using social media.”

Whereas acknowledging that there are college students who’ve been bullied in Sunnyside, he stated a few of these annoyed mother and father could also be misunderstanding the distinction between a bullied baby and two youngsters having a battle.

“I am unable to say that bullying is prevalent, there are dangerous behaviors which are prevalent,” Clevenger stated. “It is a lever of energy and it is not – in terms of truthful participation like a battle the place each of you’re punching or insulting, there isn’t any lever of energy there, so it is not bullying.”

He stated the varsity confronted a number of complaints of bullying which, after the investigation, had been decided to be a battle. However for instances which are truly bullying, he stated the varsity follows state protocol.

“It is taken very significantly and so we’ve an anti-bullying plan that the district follows and lots of instances its penalties, however it additionally must be mixed with schooling and counseling providers and issues like that,” Clevenger stated.

He believes these mother and father could also be annoyed that they haven’t been knowledgeable precisely how the varsity is dealing with the bully.

“The rationale we can’t share this data with mother and father is because of federal regulation and we name it FERPA,” stated Clevenger.

FERPA is an acronym which stands for Household Instructional Rights and Privateness Act. It really works to guard a toddler’s academic report. As soon as the varsity disciplines a bully for his actions, that report is protected by this regulation and can’t be disclosed to every other individual.

However Anna’s mom, Melissa, stated her frustration did not lie in not being advised how the bully was punished. She, like different mother and father, stated the anti-bullying plan does not work.

“I by no means anticipated to be contacted and advised so and so he was suspended from faculty or had a detention or one thing, however I used to be anticipating adjustments to be made,” stated Melissa. “I anticipated my daughter to not come dwelling from faculty saying the identical names and saying that the identical kinds of habits had been occurring.”

“I really feel the varsity is not doing sufficient to guard bullied youngsters,” Tina stated.

Our subsequent particular report this month will take an in-depth have a look at the varsity’s anti-bullying plan and a brand new program they’ve carried out. We’ll discover out if mother and father suppose it is sufficient to maintain their youngsters protected. The story will air on Wednesday, June 16.



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