Parent says school ignored bullying of son

Letter to the editor
The News Herald
Connelly Springs, N.C. — I would like to know when it became OK to overlook bullying in schools. For almost a year now, my son, 6, had a problem with a boy two years older than him. My son has been kicked in the face, choked and called fat, tub of lard, et cetera. My son weighs 40 pounds. That is by no means fat. These actions and words have scarred my son to the point when he was coming home in tears from after school. I can hardly get him to eat anything anymore because he “doesn’t want to grow up to be fat.”

I made several attempts to fix this problem by going to the director and principal of the school. Both told me they would “take care of it.”

Friday came and my son was picked up from after school. The bully had kicked him in the face and called him fat yet again. I decided, as a concerned and fed-up parent, to take matters into my own hands. I made a trip to the school to speak to the parent of this child. She would not listen to any reason whatsoever.

I received a phone call from the principal today and was informed that I handled the situation the wrong way. I was too aggressive and angry and should not have left work to talk to this parent. Full story.

N.C.: Anti-gay rights groups block school bullying bill

By Lynn Bonner
Raleigh News & Observer
A flood of calls and mail from social conservatives who don’t want gay students on a list of potential bullying targets helped stall votes on a proposed school safety law.

Legislators have been working on a bullying bill for more than a year, and until Tuesday morning thought they had a compromise that would pass both House and Senate.

But the bill stalled over a list that included “sexual orientation” as one of more than a dozen reasons a student might be bullied or harassed. Both the House and Senate plan to vote on a bullying bill before they finish work this week, though it is not certain what it will say.

Opponents want the whole list removed. Those who want the law to list potential targets said the descriptions are necessary because some bullying is ignored or tolerated as “kids being kids.”
“When people are being ignored, you have to be specific sometimes,” said Brian Lewis, lobbyist for the North Carolina Association of Educators. Full story.

N.C. Representative: Take a stand against bullying

IndyWeek.com
Editor’s Note: Rep. Darren Jackson is a freshman legislator from Wake County. As Bob Geary posted on the Citizen and Triangulator blogs Monday night, Jackson, a Democrat, was part of the 59-57 House majority that passed the anti-bullying bill. The House was holding a final reading at press time Tuesday. The Senate already has passed the measure. If the House gives the final OK Gov. Beverly Perdue is expected to sign it into law. Jackson’s comments on the House floor before the vote were particularly poignant. We’re reprinting them here. — Lisa Sorg

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I got a letter from a constituent that I’d like to read a little bit about tonight in this forum.

She wrote, “I am the mother of a son with autism. I truly cannot comprehend the reluctance of any legislator to pass this bill. Bullies do exist, and they make life miserable for those unable to defend themselves. In a civilized society, why do we allow this? My son is bright but different. Eccentric some would say. Unfortunately, this difference can be the catalyst for teasing and taunting, sometimes in a subtle form, and sometimes in more flagrant acts involving an emotional and physical violation. Full story.

Anti-bullying bill gets tentative House OK

By James Romoser
Winston-Salem Journal
RALEIGH, N.C. — The General Assembly is on the verge of requiring all local school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies that specifically recognize certain categories of students, including gay and lesbian students.

After a long and contentious debate, the anti-bullying bill was tentatively approved by the N.C. House last night. The vote was 59-to-57, with most Democrats supporting the bill and Republicans opposing it. Read the School Violence Prevention Act

One final vote is required in the House before the bill can be sent to the governor.

The N.C. Senate narrowly approved the bill last month. Full story.

N.C.: Anti-bullying bill heads to House floor

Associated Press
Charlotte Observer
A bill requiring school districts in North Carolina to approve more detailed anti-bullying policies is headed to the House floor.
A House judiciary committee Tuesday approved the Senate measure on a party-line vote of 9-5, with Democrats in the majority.

Districts would have to create updated policies that at a minimum list the perceived characteristics of a person likely to be bullied.

Social conservatives and Christian leaders oppose the bill, in part, because sexual orientation and gender identity are among the characteristics required to be in the policies.

Related stories:
Anti-bullying bill in jeopardy
Bullying bill moving through state house
Anti-bullying bill passes House committee
Bullying bill clears House committee