It??s been two weeks since LaFayette parentsloudly voiced their concerns to the school board over bullying and discipline issues within the district. Tonight, they returned to LaFayette Junior-Senior High School to present the board with a petition and list of demands for change.
Parents say communication with teachers and administration is a chronic problem within the district.
??Your child might be struggling in school but you won??t hear about it until May,?? said LaFayette parent Betty Lyons. ??By then it??s too late. We??re asking for better communication between schools and parents.??
An extreme bullying incident that occurred earlier this month brought dissatisfaction with discipline in schools to a boiling point. On June 4, a middle school boy was allegedly attacked by four other boys in the locker room before lacrosse practice. The victim??s parents say their son was held down, punched repeatedly in the groin, sexually assaulted with a lacrosse stick and choked until he turned purple. They also claim this wasn??t the first incident involving their son and his attackers, and that appeals to the school about bullying have fallen on deaf ears for the last four years.
Parents aren??t the only ones frustrated with LaFayette school administrators.
??They??re not really doing their jobs in doing what??s best for the kids,?? said LaFayette High School senior Kaitlyn Dodge. ??They act like [bullying incidents] are no big deal and like [the kids] will just take care of themselves. It shouldn??t be that way.??
Though parents have said that communication levels with administration have remained the same since a June 12 meeting, where the board announced a new bullying committee, many are hopeful that real changes in school policy and communication with parents are on the horizon.
Tonight, the board approved Laura Levine, who??s worked within the school district for the past 10 months and served as Director and Chair of Special Education and Interim Superintendent. Parents tonight say Levine has already begun to reach out to them to listen to their concerns and develop a plan of action.
??Our number one purpose and goal is to address the very serious concerns voiced by these parents tonight,?? said Levine. ??I??ve already met with several parents and we??re looking at which policies need to be revised and we will be doing a much, much better job of communicating.??