Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lakewood Schools sued over bullies

There once was a time when standing up to bullies built character in children. It was a right of passage, passed on from the older kids to the younger kids they picked on. It was part of of growing up.

After-school fights, backyard football game fights, coming home with a black eye, Mom all concerned, Dad telling you to suck it up, be a man and you'll get 'em next time, were all just part of being a boy.

There was always, the cool kids, the bullies, the geeks, jocks, stoners, band fags, etc..... Each group had their social status from within and among the other groups. In general, the groups either got along and/or picked on each other or fought with each other.

Unfortunately, with the move towards being politically correct, youth violence, failed parenting, over protective parents and a list of other reasons, children are no longer allowed to be children.

Our schools are barely able to teach students 2+2=4 and they are being asked to deal with issues that are clearly outside their scope of expertise, are not set up to deal with, and not to be rude, but is not their problem.

A Lakewood, OH couple has filed suit against Lakewood City Schools for not protecting their son from bullies. The couple is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of at least $50,000.

The Plain Dealer reports the lawsuit states -

The bullies - referred to as John Doe(s) and Jane Doe(s) - started taunting and threatening the boy in fall 2005. In March 2006, that escalated to a "beating."

The district did not take the necessary measures to discipline the aggressors, despite the Wenchos' numerous complaints. The school counselor told the parents that "the problem was (the boy's) own inability to deal with the anxiety and stress that the bullying caused him."

As a result, the boy suffered physical and psychological injuries including suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress syndrome and panic attacks.

The district has not seen a copy of the lawsuit, said its lawyer, Mike Hanna of Squire Sanders & Dempsey.

Hanna said he could not comment on the suit but said the district "took all appropriate steps to address the situation." That included meetings with the child and the students he identified as the bullies.

The boy's mother, Kelly Wencho, said the district failed to discipline any of the bullies, who continually pushed, teased and took her son's lunch away from him.

Wencho said her son suffered a nervous breakdown in March 2006 after being shoved against a wall. He was taken to Lakewood Hospital and spent three days under psychiatric care.

Wencho said her son, who is prone to crying and night terrors, is still afraid to walk out of his house by himself. More....


I understand a school must protect & provide a safe learning environment for the children, but we cannot expect them to hold our children's hand every second of the school day.

I know only what the PD printed about the story, but it seems the school took appropriate measures and to be quite honest, it sounds like the kids problems are much more deep rooted than getting picked on at school.

Only thinking, what would have happened had the kids parents encouraged him to stand up for himself & fight back? Everything might have stopped.

Then there is always the "hot sauce on the sandwich trick", bet that would stop the stolen lunches.


1 comment:

  1. Lakewood HS is a microcosm of the rest of Lakewood. The thug bullies have parents (maybe) well, they live with someone who is most likely, a bigger A-hole. City officials seem to be going out of their way to promote Lakewood as a place for thugs, poor people and halfway houses.


Don't be scared!