Sanibel island school, feds looking into bullying allegations


By MCKENZIE CASSIDY
Cape Coral Daily Breeze
Fort Myers, Fla. — Lee County School Board Chairman Steve Teuber confirmed Tuesday night that the school district is investigating allegations made by parents from the city of Sanibel about systematic bullying and intimidation.

Parents of students at The Sanibel School first addressed the board Nov. 3. On Tuesday the board heard from 34 speakers, an overwhelming majority of them addressing the allegations.

Some claimed that special needs children were being forced out of the school to ensure that the school average did not decrease, while others said instances of bullying and harassment went unaddressed.

Another parent, in support of the top-rated school, said a petition was signed by 160 parents in support of how the school administration conducted business.

Superintendent James Browder said the Office of Civil Rights is conducting an investigation into the allegations. The district will also carry out a subsequent investigation within its professional standards and ESE department.

Browder expects the investigations to take approximately three months.

“This is an administrative issue and that falls under purvey of superintendent,” he said. “I take all of these very seriously and I will make the right decision in the best interest of students, staff and the community.”

Teuber said he hopes the issue can be resolved between both sides.

“There are a lot of things that don’t get solved when people carry grudges,” he said. “Sanibel is a great community. I hope we can come to this and get this resolved and that everyone gets a resolution we can work with.”

While many came out in support of The Sanibel School, other parents discussed their child’s horrific experiences. Former students also addressed the board about being bullied and being ignored by school officials

“My children were both bullied and harassed over the last five years,” said Claudia Foster, a parent. “My oldest son was denied participation in his eighth-grade graduation ceremony because he refused to dig through a cafeteria trash can as ordered by his principal.”

Two teenage girls, former students at the school, said they were threatened with violence by other girls in the school, but nothing was done. Full story.

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One Response

  1. As founder of Champions Against Bullying, I would welcome the opportunity to extend our reach and be of service and benefit to those in need, and listed as one of your bullying resources.

    Please check out our interactive, Ministry of Education approved resource when you visit our website. This award-winning tool has been adopted by schools and parents.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,

    Alexandra Penn

    Learning is Impaired when Children are Scared

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