Who bullies at your school?

Martin Fleming Published:

Bullying in Streetsboro has become a serious problem. Nothing is being done to suppress it. In fact, more is being done to promote it. At a recent board meeting, Feb. 14, 2013 a parent brought forth a situation that occurred while school was in session. A student was attacked by two larger students in a restroom with a teacher standing right outside the door. The question here is “Was the teacher totally oblivious to what was happening in a restroom that had no doors, or was the teacher acting as a lookout for the attack”? The parent went on to say that during the attack, one of the attackers placed his hand over the mouth of the victim, the victim bit the attacker and since he drew blood, the victim in the eyes of the vice principal became the perpetrator and was suspended from school. Apparently if you defend yourself from the attackers while being beaten to a pulp, you will be punished. This has happened more than once in the district. In another incident, a student had been harassed by another student for over a year, and in the next school year was still being harassed. The student had been constantly reporting this to the teachers but to no avail until, this student took matters into their own hand and punched the harasser. The result was to suspend the victim, turn them into a bully and then receive snide remarks from the teachers as being a bully in the presence of other students. Recently, someone knocked on a teacher’s door and that teacher came to the door and placed the blame on the student that was closest to her door even though the student who did it ran off. The teacher then gave that student a detention and the vice principal threatened that student with a suspension if they don’t take it even though the student didn’t do it. In the eyes of this district, a student is guilty even if they can prove their innocence. These types of punishment will turn a good student into a person who becomes defensive and leave them with a bitter taste in their mouth for education and their district. In seeking out a name for the student who the teacher did not know, the teacher then queried the students and pulled a student’s records up on the smart board for all the students to see. A direct violation of school policy and the students right to privacy. Would you want your child’s personal information and school records to be put out there for all to see? Without proof of seeing the student do it, the teacher can hand out a detention because according to the vice principal, “the teacher’s word always overrides the students every time”. Even when the teacher is clearly wrong in their judgement. These are just a few examples of what is occurring within the walls of the school district and I am sure there are many more. Bullying by the teachers and the students must be brought to a halt and the teachers involved in it should be reprimanded and the report placed in their files and the students involved after their second incident should be expelled. If the teacher receives more than two incidents of bullying then the teacher should be released from the district. Even though this district has zero tolerance for bullying, the policy is not being enforced and the victims continue to be targeted without anywhere to find protection. The vice principal they have hired is very ineffective in doing his job properly and thoroughly. If he had listened to the victim and checked out their story he could have curbed the attacks or false accusations but yet he turns a blind eye and lets the bullying, harassment and snide remarks continue. I would like parents who have children that have been bullied to at least comment on this site so the district will finally give some attention to this matter. It may be a long time to come before they will act, but they better do it soon before we have a student that finally goes over the edge and begin to take it out on the district. I know there is a community organization that is trying to prevent bullying but this year, bullying appears far worse than ever before. They need to address the bullying by the teachers which is an example for the students who do bully. Punishment for physically attacking another student without provocation should be dealt with severely for the punishments they are doing now have no effect on these students that purposely disrupt classrooms and take away from other students. The bully always seems to get away with it. Student records will show who have been the problems in the district and as time goes on, innocent victims that have been turned into perpetrators will eventually become a perpetrator when they see the punishments are unfair and that you can be falsely accused by a staff member as being a bully or a problem student. On the cuff, it may be that the district does not want to rid themselves of the problem students for they will lose state money for that student. Does this mean the money they get from the state is more important than your child’s safety and your child’s right to a high quality education? This is the first year for the vice principal in our district and I hope the school board realizes he is a very bad fit for our district. He is not protecting our children and I fear that matters and problems are only going to get worse if he continues in this position. The teacher standing outside the restroom while another student was being attacked should also receive and reprimand in their file and be released from this district. The actions of the vice principal and these teachers who continue to bully from their position of power should never be tolerated or accepted by our society. There is no excuse they can give or use to support what is going on now. The problem I see now is that we have employees in this district that need to go and I hope the board recognizes this. If we don’t see any change by the end of the year, then I hope the citizens will begin voting out board members until we get some who are really serious about the atmosphere these children and students have to deal with. The vice principal and staff who permit this bullying should be ashamed of themselves and offer up their own resignations regardless of who they are. Martin Fleming

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  • Short and sweet, it all stems from the home.  My kids were taught when they were old enough to understand.  Do not do to someone else what you wouldn't want done to you.  SIMPLE.  My son was bullied in school and yes, he also got suspended, and he didn't start the fight, but the kid that did had all his friends there, so the principal took his side and suspended my son.  When I went to the school and asked why the other kid wasn't suspended he said " well everyone said your son started it."  Everyone meaning the other kids friends.  My son was bullied by some teachers there also.  I confronted that at a meeting with the teacher and the principal.  Again, my son was totally wrong.

    Don't get me wrong, my son is no angel.  But he was done wrong by the school and the principal many times.

    I went to streetsboro, and bullying was prevelant back then in the 80's it just wasn't looked at like it is today.  I was bullied to the point that I finally said tell who ever wants to kick my a%^ to bring it on.  Guess what, the bullying stopped.

    Parents need to enforce to their kids what a horrible thing bullying is.  It affects people for the rest of their lives, if they don't commit suicide because of it.

  • The good ole RC certainly took one large step backward with this new site didn't they?...... And these papers wonder why they are going broke....... No one reads their print versions any more...... So what do you do.... Screw up your on-line version to the point people don't want to deal with it either.

  • I am not in the district but have heard concerns. One person posted that it's because kids are not taught to respect adults. Guess who taught them? Their parents. Guess who taught their parents? The older generation. Studies on bullying show that bullies in school are typically bullied at home. Bullying has been around forever, not just this generation. When I was in school, students who misbehaved regularly we not allowed to be a part of the regular classroom setting. They were in a class called Severe Behavioral Handicap (SBH). Bullies were segregated from well behaved students. If a student in SBH classes exhibited good behavior for a certain amount of time then they were gradually worked into a regualar classroom setting. Do these type of classes still exists? Or are districts too poor to fund them? I know some people would think that putting a child into SBH classes is unfair. Well, in my opinion it's ridiculously unfair for a good student to be bullied and punished. Martin, if if were my child who was being bullied and got into trouble for it I would have pulled him out of the school IMMEDIATELY! What you outlined is sickening to me. I will keep the victims and their families in my prayers and I hope something will be done.

  • Ok, that's all I got, lol. They are scrubbing all formatting from text and making commenters look silly. Shame on you RC for not addressing the issue. There's a reason why I chose this screen name for this site.

  • One of the first things they teach you in web design is the importance of whitespace, especially in text, making it much easier to read. Let's see if the new line and carriage return is recognized.

  • One of the first things they teach you in web design is the importance of whitespace, especially in text, making it much easier to read. Let's see if the new line and carriage return is recognized.

  • One of the first things they teach you in web design is the importance of whitespace, especially in text, making it much easier to read.%0D%0A Let's see if the ascii charactors for line break is recognized.

  • One of the first things they teach you in web design is the importance of whitespace, especially in text, making it much easier to read.

    Let's see if the html code for break is recognized.

  • Has anyone figured out how to create a paragraph yet? Martin Fleming

  • I feel for any child or student that is bullied. I hate to see it happened and always stepped in when seeing it done to another student when I was in school. Today, students scatter and don't want to get involved to stop it. It is sad. Today, staff become contributors without the realization that they are doing it. Many are ignoring bullying for the betterment of something else. Some of the people I knew in high school who were bullied went on and entered politics and it could be the reason we are in the shape our economy is in today. Payback in it's highest form I guess. We have to isolate students from the ones who cause constant disruption in classes, clashes with other students if we are going to produce and environment that is conducive to learning without the fear of bully's being all around you. Sometimes if you wonder why a student talks to you the way they do, then maybe it is you who made them that way or contributed in it someway or your peers contributed. Attitudes don't change unless their is a driving force making it so. Going from excited to go to school to dreading going to school. I don't feel comfortable with that. I just don't. Martin Fleming

  • Common ed. give us the capacity to make paragraphs. Martin Fleming

  • Nope.

  • You just can't get a paragraph to come out.    Maybe this?   Martin Fleming

  • I'm sorry but your guilty without proof and take the punishment is just not good enough for me. The teacher doesn't confront the student but pulls their record up in the classroom for all the class to see and then writes the detention never confronting the student. What if the teacher doesn't recognize who your child is and writes them a detention for a reason for lack of a better term, ludicrous? What generated this was there was a knock on the teachers door. When she answered it no one was there, so she stepped out and the closest student that was there became the culprit. The student with the broken ribs gets suspended for two days for biting that hand that was covering his mouth. Imagine if you hurt your attacker then they arrested you? I am sure eventually we will hear from others who truly have been in the same situation. New blood not knowing the students but begins pointing the finger at all is a little too wild for me. He seems to be attacking the situation from every angle without a solid game plan. Teachers making comments that they don't think contribute to a situation that student knew would be bad but had no other way out than to make it stop themselves. Then for reasons unknown, ignore further taunts and threats and then wonder why a students attitude has changed for the district? They can't figure this out? Then to top it off, receives daily threats from the vice principal as to the punishment they shall endure if his demands for a detention are not fulfilled. Now I wonder, where do you turn to for support? A teacher who is head of the anti-bully club, giving you a detention for something they don't know if you truly did or did not do (that's a good example of bullying), a vice principal is taunting you every day for the same reason (doesn't that come under bullying), that is if you have read the student hand book. This teacher was wrong in their actions and should admit it and rescind the detention and the slate wiped clean along with an apology. This is what I feel is fit. Maybe this is what is needed to bring the student back to believing in their district. Martin Fleming

  • At the board meeting a parent indicated a student received broken or fractured ribs and some other injuries. Two larger students attacked a smaller student. This is an indication that he has the school under control? Do you think a student should accept a detention for something they didn't do but was just at the wrong place at the wrong time? What faith should they put in the district after this? If you are wrongly accused, wouldn't you see things differently? All the hard work, all the contribution, all the games, support and it is all for not when you defend yourself against a bully to get them to stop and then are blamed for things you didn't do. And we call this good work. Martin Fleming

  • Factualinfo, The problem is the one who is in charge of the anti-bullying club is a bully. Picking on students without any proof of them doing something. The anti-bullying club in this school is nothing but a joke and the vice principal backs her up with her false claims. The Vice Principal they hired is not who you think he is. Believe me. He himself is the bully when he goes after students that had exemplary records in order to protect the students who truly are a disruptive force. I am also losing my faith in the Principal at this school also. I thought we were making some headway in this district but with this Vice Principal, all that had been accomplished has been sent down the drain with his incompetence in this district and he is making it worse every day. Students that should have been expelled 3 months ago from this district are still harassing and taunting students and on a daily basis more students who were victims, are becoming the perpetrators. I hope he is proud of himself on how he has made things far worse in this district and I hope the board pulls their head out of their behind and get rid of this guy before things get even worse. I fear for the safety of many of the students. There's all kinds of reason we can blame the situation on but the fact remains, if you don't eradicate the district of the highly disruptive students and get rid of the Vice Principal that is totally ineffective in controlling the situation our district is going to get much worse. The teachers need to understand that their remarks to students on past incidents are also making things far worse. You would think we are hiring mature adults as teachers but from what I have heard and seen, we are doing just the opposite and hopefully we can eliminate the two board members coming up for re-election and get two that really have a good head on their shoulders. One cares more for the awards that she receives than doing something to rid the district of bullying. The other, well he just seems clueless on many things happening in the district. That's just the way I see it. I don't read more into than what is truly there. You don't need to. Martin Fleming

  • In general, on the bullying, I still believe that the best way to really end it is consistency in the classrooms from the teachers. Support of the teachers from the administrators. And continued education and involvement of the students themselves. Our school does have an anti-bullying club now with many members and hopefully it will actually take off and accomplish something. I know some schools offer a student run group that takes on those that are bullying and those that are being bullied and act as mentors and leaders on the problem. Obviously, this is only at the HS level of things but maybe having a group of kids that will be there to listen to the stories of those that are bullied and to not turn a blind eye when they see someone else being bullied is the key at the HS level. Obviously, younger grades could have some version of this dependent on age/appropriateness for that level. Unfortunately, in todays age where parents believe their kids are never wrong and respect for adults/authority is not taught, it isn't surprising that bullying is rampant. Plus, I do believe the internet/text where kids never step back from the drama of teen/tween relationships accounts for much of the problem as well. It used to be that a kid could go home and "let it go" for the night/weekend. Now, the bullying follows them 24/7 and the drama is spun out of control. Personally, the best things parents can do for their kids is hold them accountable their behavior, teach them how to address/deal with others behavior and "unplug" them in the evenings from friends/classmates, etc. Get them into other outside venues/activities where the microcosm of life at school doesn't become their whole world. Its funny how once they are off at college, the things like bullying and drama seem to diminish significantly. Not just because they are older but because they are out of the small world they were living in.

  • As far as this particular instance you refer to with the assistant principle. Are you directly involved and have spoken to him and/or the student or teacher or just the information you have been given? Not saying it isn't true, just asking what perspective it is being viewed by. I know and I'm sure many teacher/admin and even students would agree that sometimes the teachers/admin make the wrong call and don't take the time to get all the facts. Yet, knowing teenagers like I do, having two of my own and many more in/out of my home, the "truth" is usually subject to many versions. Sometimes it isn't easy to make the right call. Sometimes I think it does take the student, his family, his friends to advocate on a full investigation of an event. If a wrong call has been made and there is information to substantiate it that wasn't heard/investigated then pursuing it further would be important for all involved. Sometimes adults need those lessons repeated too.

  • As far as the new super, I'm glad you're impressed. Personally, I've not had the same impression but only time will tell. But the facts are that he has no experience, was let go from his last job (and there were reasons) and he is taking over a district that is in constant turmoil administratively and that has trickled down for years. Even an experienced super would have a tough time but an inexperienced one, no matter how great his drive/ideas will not have an easy time of it. Again, time will tell.

  • I beg to differ with you on the VP at the high school. He is a bit of a bully in his dealing with students. He is supporting an accusation made by a staff member by the mere presence of student in the hallway. If the student was guilty then the punishment is merited. Accusing someone of something they didn’t do and without the staff member actually witnessing it is just going a little too far and the vp just can’t seem to get this drift. Have you ever accepted the punishment for something you didn’t do? Is this how we want to show the children you can be convicted without representation or ignore their side? However, I think as time progresses, more and more will post their experience and the problem will be brought to light and hopefully, we can begin to develop a safe environment for all the students. Hopefully we can convince the school board there is a problem here that needs to be resolved immediately. It has to begin with the teachers. They need to think before they speak or make their remarks. Sometimes what they say can be insensitive to a situation the student may carry great weight. The atmosphere the teachers have with the students is of their own design and if the teachers are going to want respect, they need to respect the students and identify those who are disruptive in the class. If these students cannot meld into an academic environment then we have to face the fact and either separate them or assign them to home schooling. We have the technology to do it and it is an avenue we can take to make the environment safe and geared to learning. Even though committees have been formed you hear nothing being done to stop the bullying it is only becoming more and more evident. All these committees become close to the district and it would appear friendship can develop blindness. Teachers are adding to the problem when they call the victims of continuous harassment bully’s when the victim finally fight back. When problems break out in the classroom I think it becomes evident that the teacher has lost control or a student has become over confident in his control of the environment. He/she may have a learning disability that encourages a clown personality to gain attention but in the wrong way. Student’s wanting to have dominance over another while the teacher is turning a blind eye when the end result could have been resolved a long time ago. In their defense (of their shortcomings), they will begin to say the victim is having problems at home, or they are just crying wolf. For the longest time, a child will tolerate and accept the bullying. They at times will tell a teacher but the teacher sloughs it off. Finally the victim can take no more and takes the offensive. They tell the student they should have told someone when all along the student was telling them. So they tell the student to make sure someone knows. Then they suspend the victim. Student follows the instructions of reporting the bullying and when the student is assaulted again, they claim the student is crying wolf. As these bullies get tired of bullying the students they do, they will move on. Eventually it will be your child. What will you do? Tell your child to suck it up. Those ribs will heal in 4 or 5 weeks. That arm will heal in six months. You weren’t listening out of that ear anyway. It won’t leave that much of a scar. Is that what you want to tell your child? Things carry fast on Facebook but they get twisted and rumors start to grow. The truth fades quickly. This medium doesn’t seem to have that problem and I hope many more begin to post their experience here. The district has a zero tolerance for bullying but only the victims are subject to it application. Again, we should know within the first year if a Vice Principal has merited his/her position. With Mr. Daulbaugh as the Super, I think the board has made an excellent choice. His knowledge in the field of technology and using it to the district’s advantage is blessing in disguise. He’s energetic, he’s young, he has some great vision. Something we almost had with our buddy in Chagrin, but I think Mr. Daulbaugh is worth his salt. He can move our district forward as fast as he’s moving and think he may already have a plan working out in his mind. I really do not believe we can go wrong with this guy. Martin Fleming

  • I have also experienced this, just 2 weeks ago. My son is in the 9th grade & has only been in this school system for 2.5 years. He was being bulling on the bus but didn't want to tell anyone because the school tells the bullies to stop but they don't & it becomes worse. My son finally had enough & threatened one of the bullies. The bus driver heard him but not the other kids so guess who got suspended for 2 days? Thats right...punish the victim! I'm so frustrated with the school right now & my son still does not want me to make a big deal out of it but I'm sure it's still going on!

  • I have experienced this first hand this year. We just moved to Streetsboro, from Ravenna, I have a 3rd, 5th, and 6th grader whom were all new to this school the beginning of this year. However, long story short, my 11 year old, in 5th grade was bullied on the school bus so bad it got to the point she refused to ride the bus for a week, with no other choice (as I have to work) she reluctantly started riding the bus again. I feel the way this was handled was insanely ridiculous to say the least. She was given a book to read from the principle, it was along the lines of "How to deal with your emotions when you are being bullied" Seriously??? No one called me back, i was informed I was not allowed to approach the bus driver regarding this, and guess what, my daughter had to have an assigned seat in the front of the bus, because the boy threw a fit......needless to say, it has ceased, not sure what happened, but the kids worked it out themselves with no help from the school nor bus garage, and all is well. But Streetsboro Schools can rest assured that IF this happens again, I will be making a HUGE scene. Thank you Martin for posting this and bringing awareness to a situation that is on-going, but never talked about!!!

  • As far as the bullying in our school, in general, I do believe you're right about it increasing. I think a lot comes from the inconsistencies in the administrative positions. How many times have admin positions changed over and over again. The teachers (especially at Defer) feel they have no admins there to back them up. The students know it and they react/act out as many kids do when things are in constant turmoil. Until this district gets a handle on the ridiculous hiring practices they have employed with regards to all the administrative positions, I don't think much will change. But lets face it,the district/BOE have chosen to turn the fate of our district over to a man who was a first time principle for 2 years, a first time curriculum director for 1 year and now in just three years he will be a first time, inexperienced superintendent who has to hire a whole slew of new administrators for next year plus wants to pass not only a new HS levy but a whole 5 year building levy plan. So, am I saddened that the bullying is escalating, of course. Am I surprised, not at all. It's just like when there is inconsistencies in parenting, children don't do well.

  • Mr Fleming - Just to add a different perspective, I personally feel that the new Assistant Principle is doing a really good job, especially with what he walked into this year. I'm sure he isn't perfect but I know of several instances that he has handled well and fairly for all. Compared to the number of incidents last year that were never handled and the amount of fights and disruptions we saw under the former Asst priciple, the new one has brought things a long way. Remember that there are always two sides to a story and what you may have heard, my just be one version of the truth. Personally, since the current Principle and new Asst. Principle have been working together this year, things are starting to settle down, in my opinion. Lets hope for the sake of consistency that the HS admin stays the same for a few years and more of the problems there can be worked out. Hope you give the Asst Principle a chance. Maybe sit down and talk with him, I think you will find him very attentive to he needs of the district and the students.

  • Stanback, Sorry, I meant Psychiatrists.Funny thing is I knew to write Psychiatrist, still wrote Psychologist, How Freudian, Eh?

  • Trawl, your statement on additional monies was most definitely a rumor since psychologists cannot prescribe medications and most kids on Ritalin were taken to a doctor by their parents. So lets not try to blame something else on the schools. The real problem with publishing the facts is it removes the ability of friends and family to pretend this kid was an innocent wide eyed babe.

  • Martin, About money, I seem to remember the 90's when schools got additional money for each child "diagnosed" as having ADD/ADHD and on Ritalin or other ADD/ADHD meds. It's rumored schools hired psychologists to diagnose ADD/ADHD and prescribe meds in order to get the monies. The unintended consequences (that I doubt admins care about) is we now have a generation of children who's brain structures developed and who learned to function under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs. And now that generation is making babies. But that has nothing to do with bullying. Or does it?

  • Martin, you bring up some good points. Yes, when the person being bullied pushes back the bullied is then marked and treated as the problem. Then the "administration" bullies the bullied. Its easier to stop someone who isn't doing something wrong from doing the something wrong they aren't doing. The danger of the schools administration taking the easy way out by "blaming the vic" isn't that it can turn the child against education but that it can instill a sense of futility in trusting official channels and contempt for "authority".

  • Opinion posters have the distinct advantage of not being governed by student privacy laws or policies. While I am sure that bullting does go on school officials do not have a crystal ball to look at to see the true facts. In many cases the school is put in an untenable position of being law enforcement, parent, and counselor and for the most part they do a great job.