Angry parents confront school board with tales of bullying

HENRY COUNTY, IN (NBC) - Indiana school officials faced off with parents and grandparents who have withdrawn their children from school as a last resort in protecting them from out-of-control bullying.

"What are they going to do? They're going to wait until some little kid commits suicide?" asked grandfather John Denny.

It's a fear many Henry County guardians said they have. During Monday's Henry County School Board meeting, school officials got an earful from concerned parents and grandparents.

They say they are speaking out now before it's too late.

"They called him gay," said Melissa Jones to the school board as she recalled her son's bullies. It's just one of the ways students at Blue River Valley Junior/Senior High School bullied her son until he couldn't take it anymore.

"They repeatedly taunt him, knock his books and his papers onto the floor, over and over," Jones added.

Jones is home-schooling her son now, but she isn't done speaking out.

"It is your legal obligation to keep our kids safe at the school," she told the board and superintendent.

Jones and a handful of other angry parents and grandparents came to the meeting armed with tales of bullying.

One woman, who did not want her identity revealed in order to protect her son, claimed she pulled him out of Blue River Valley after another student threatened to sexually violate him.

"I'm doing something," screamed the mother at the school board and superintendent. "Now you guys do something. What are you doing? You had a month. A month. Do you know what my kid could have went through in a month in your school if I left him there?"

The district's bullying policy says each incident of bullying will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Many parents are angry with how those cases have been handled.

School Board President Wayne Jacobs said the board is considering changing the policy but can't yet say how.

"You get into difficulties when you try and make it too specific," he said. "We want our administration to have the right to use their judgment and have some chance to do what they think is best."

Jacobs told parents that communication with school officials is important.

"If your child is being bullied, we certainly encourage you to have your student contact the appropriate people at the school," he said.

Parents who came to the meeting said that's exactly what they've done and have gotten little or no results.

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