CLEAR FORK VALLEY — Bullying exists in the Clear Fork valley schools, and something needs to be done now to stop it, school board members were told at a Monday night school board meeting.
Bullying at the “middle school is very big right now,” said Angela Palmer.
She asked the school board when they will address the problem, and said she knows a lot of the time “children won’t come up and tell you.”
School superintendent Janice Wyckoff said there is a policy on bullying that the schools do enforce.
She asked: “Are we 100 percent on bullying? No.”
Wyckoff said unless “kids talk to us” there isn’t anything school officials can do.
School board president Kyle Beveridge said he has a “personal perspective” on the problem because when he went to Clear Fork in the 70s, he was bullied and told he was “short, had fuzzy hair, a fuzzy name.” He said his wife was named homecoming queen then and other kids would come after her.
Beveridge said bullying has escalated because of the prevalence of Facebook, Instagram, social media.
“Can the school put a stop to it?” he said. “Probably not. But yes, we can try.”
School board member Amy Weekley said it takes the whole community to try to counteract bullying.
Palmer said cyber bullying is one of the largest problems. She said the Lakewood schools are using something called “Stop it.”
With this, kids can phone in. She said kids are “tech savvy and are saying we need to be savvy.”
Palmer said sometimes something is going on in a kid’s environment that makes him or her want to bully someone.
Beveridge told Palmer she should put together a parents’ group because they are the ones who see kids more than do school officials. He said the board would try to come up with something within the next 60 days.
Board member Carl Gonzalez said the school has a handbook. He said “more teeth” needs to be put in the hand book. He said in some cases kids have been prosecuted for bullying.
Wyckoff said the board would try to come up with something within 60 days.