There has been much dialogue since the open board meeting. Some in agreement that bullying is indeed an issue, some saying there is so much positive being done at Lincoln.
I say both are correct. I have been a parent of children in Lincoln for more than 20 years. The teachers there have nurtured and cared for, educated, and helped shaped the lives of my children, and they are cherished by our family.
There are many programs in place promoting sharing, caring, and anti-bullying. The addition of a full time guidance counselor is huge for our school.
However, Traci Kelz from Central Office met with myself and my husband after two incidents of bullying occurred within the first two weeks of this school year. She informed us that the school district has found that suspension and expulsion are a last resort and have not proved themselves to be productive means of discipline.
They prefer that children be observed in the classroom, while they make efforts to gain resources to aid in the child’s behavior. It is certainly true that theses children need resources, and they should be given every means of assistance the schools can manage. Perhaps an alternative academic environment needs to be addressed.
When children who hit and abuse their classmates, disrespect their teachers, throw chairs, disrupt the academic environment of their classrooms, and are the cause of soft lockdowns in the school and do so year after year, they need to be removed from that classroom setting so our teachers can teach and the rest of the students can learn.
When children who have bullied and abused their classmates are then put in positions of power and authority that demand respect, it further promotes their behavior.
The children who have endured such abuse are being shown that the hurt that has been caused to themselves personally or to their classmates, and the disruption that these children have caused in the classroom, is perfectly acceptable.
These policies are in complete contradiction to the rights of our students as stated in the student handbook to a safe, productive, nurturing, positive environment.
This is not about our teachers at Lincoln, it’s about policies set forth by our district that continue to do harm to our children.