Thursday, Dec 5, 2013
Parents Want Answers About Bullying
WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- The focus of a community forum at Carterville High School shifted to bullying after a sophomore committed suicide earlier this month. Many parents are frustrated and concerned about their children's safety.
"Its a big problem in a lot of schools and I'm curious as to what goes on with it and how things are handled," Lee Valerius said.
Some had a strong connection to 15-year-old Jordan Lewis, who took his own life a week and a half ago.
"We need some answers. We need them before something else happens," added Jennifer Hunter.
Administrators began with their original agenda: an overview of the high school, ranking, district finances and vision for the future.
People were not allowed to speak to the group as a whole.
"Every time someone tried to talk it was shut down," Courtney Richardon explained.
Parents voiced support and concerns to school officials.
They brought up bullying, worries about cliques and favoritism.
The recent movement at Carterville High began with Brad Lewis, Jordan's father.
His video gathered national attention, when he said bullying was to blame for his son's suicide.
"Take a look at your kids. You know if they're acting different or whatever find out whats going on," Lewis urged.
Carterville school officials say bullying is not tolerated.
Parents offered many suggestions like ensuring students know about counselors on campus. They asked for school officers to reach out to students and for administrators to take all bullying reports seriously. All of the feedback will be shared with the school board.
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