It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.
You drop off your kids to school in the morning with kisses, hugs and a last-minute shout out, “have a good day,” and you fully expect to drive up to pick them up at the designated spot after school. You expect to get your children back safe and sound. Whole and in one healthy piece. And Alive.
Too many parents are experiencing something much different and something horrific as we continue to have a growing epidemic of schoolyard bullying. No parent should have to meet their child at the Emergency Room or worse, the county morgue.
On September 16, 2019, there was an incident at a middle school in Moreno Valley. It was described as a fight, but back in the day we called it getting “jumped”. That’s how we referred to being physically attacked by more than one kid, unexpectedly. This time, it happened at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley. This apparently did not come as a shock to some who had been experiencing issues at the school prior to this tragic incident.
In March of this year, there was a riot at the school involving around 50 students. The riot had to be neutralized by police by deploying pepper balls into the student crowds. Landmark Middle School is no stranger to tragic student deaths. The school also has a history of prior incidents including the death of a student in 1998 over a fight for a basketball.
I was curious about what kind of school Landmark MS is so I looked it up and found what I had already suspected. Mostly Latino and African American population. Low performing. 82% low income. But what really struck me is the reviews of this school. Everything I read was pretty bad. There seems to be a culture at this school that is unacceptable. And it is, in fact, a chronically low performing school.
His name is Diego. He left for school the morning of September 16 and never made it home whole and healthy. He was attacked by students at his school. His attack was videotaped for all to see. He died 10 days later after doctors diagnosed him brain dead. Blunt force trauma to the head killed Diego. He was being harassed by the other students and tried to get help. That never happened. Diego is gone now, but his death should not be in vain. Bullying is an extremely important issue that we have to deal with. Now! Diego is also not alone. There are thousands of cases like this all over the country. Kids are dying either at the hands of their bullies or by their own hands as suicide has become an epidemic and solution for many kids as they suffer brutal bullying in their schools.
Something must be done. We need a ZERO-TOLERANCE policy resolution now. I have proposed some language and ideas for a resolution that schools can adopt and use. Here’s my proposal…
I don’t know how bullying can be eradicated. I don’t have the answers, but I do feel that there should be ZERO TOLERANCE for bullying.
La Comadre is calling for a mandatory bully removal policy effective immediately at all middle and high school campuses. Enough is enough. Every single complaint should be taken seriously and should be investigated thoroughly. Bullies should be kept off the campus until they are cleared or if the complaint is validated, the student bully (once validated) should not be allowed back until completing a bully intervention and prevention course of some kind and/or subjected to a behavioral treatment program. Of course, parents should be responsible for this treatment (when they can). We are here folks, at the point where we must ACT to prevent these types of tragedies from continuing to occur.
Let’s insist on a board resolution that takes bullying more seriously. Like it’s a matter of life and death.
Let’s DO SOMETHING! Our kids are not safe!
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