Thursday May 24, 2012

I’m writing in reference to the letter written to the editor on May 19 about standing behind the bully law in school. I know this story well because I’m the father.

It was very hard sending the children to school every day when we knew their rights were not being protected by the school. The school protected the bully and the bully’s parents instead, I believe because the mother is a volunteer at the school and the family has been living in the town for generations. The family of the bully was asked for permission to have the school counselor sit down and talk with both kids and the family would not allow it. This made us all very sad. If the kids are not allowed to try to work out their differences then how will there issues ever be resolved.

The school’s answer to all of this was to segregate our daughter from the table where she always sat at lunch. The bully sat where she chose, and she chose to sit with all of my daughter’s friends and told them all not to be friends with my daughter because my daughter was the bully. Day after day they would ride on the bus, the bullying was constant, but the school continued to not see anything.

The school decided that it was more of a problem with the adults than with the kids and asked us to meet with the police department to have a mediation. The parents of the bully refused to meet. We told our story to the mediator and he recommended to the principal that the parent not be allowed back in the school. The principal and superintendent overruled the police officer’s recommendation and the mother is still there.

We decided to leave the school and go to a Pittsfield school. Their new school has welcomed our children with open arms and they have never been happier!

We live in a world where everyone is judged by their looks, how much money they have, house, car, whatever, We need to teach our kids to respect each other’s feelings and stand up for others. In stead, everyone tears each oth er down to make themselves feel better. This behavior has to stop.

The moral of the story is that I believe the bully law the school is supposed to follow was absolutely not followed and if it was handled properly instead of sticking their heads in the sand none of this would have ever happened.

JASON ARTIOLI

Dalton