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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bullying Part III: Punish or Honor? 18yr Old Student Punished for Defending Bullied Special Needs Girl

Punish or Honor This Student Who Came to defense of Special Needs Student?

 You Be the Judge

Thought for the Day: You be the judge. What grade would you give to this school system's handling of a report of bullying of a special needs student on a school bus? Today I saw yet another Huffington Post news story that raises serious questions about what is happening in our schools. Click on the link above, to view a 3 minute video news story about a student who has been punished for taking a stand against bullying.  Stormy Rich, an 18 year old honors student from Umatilla High School in Florida, reported daily bullying of a special needs student that was occurring on a middle school bus. Stormy was on the bus as a special privilege to miss the first period of her high school classes. The Middle School special needs student, according to Stormy Rich, "couldn't comprehend what was being done to her. "Just because she doesn't understand doesn't mean that should be happening to her," Rich told WOFL-TV." Stormy complained to the bus driver & reported the abuse to the High School authorities, but nothing was done to stop the bullying. Finally, the teen stood up to the bullies & told them to stop.  In response, the school district revoked Rich's bus-riding privileges, saying Rich exhibited bullying behavior. School officials are standing behind their response, telling WOFL-TV that "two wrongs don't make a right." Rich says she's being punished for following school policy, which calls on students to report any bullying they witness.

How can we expect students to come forward & take a stand against bullies when nothing is done to stop the bullying & they then become targets for punishment? Although the school says this is just one side of the story, it seems that if the bus driver or the school system had intervened, Rich would not have needed to take a stand. Post a comment & I will make sure your comments are forwarded to Lake County Schools communications officer Christopher Patton.
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