Letter to the Editor: Bolich BB Gun Incident Could Have Been Avoided
Cuyahoga Falls resident offers her version of why a sixth grade student thought bringing a BB gun to school would solve his bullying problems.
Editor's Note: This letter was submitted by Cuyahoga Falls resident Tammy Pinter.
The child who brought the BB gun to Bolich Middle School had been bullied since the start of sixth grade. He informed a school counselor several times that he was being bullied. The counselor did not investigate it further nor did they follow up with the student.
In addition, he requested his classes to be changed which both the counselor and vice principal denied. One of the challenges of his situation was that it wasn’t just one kid bullying him it was several and through various means daily.
This situation escalated to the point of this child not wanting to go to school because of the ongoing harassment. Unfortunately, these events led him to the very stupid decision of bringing a BB gun to school. When asked by family after the incident what he was trying to accomplish by bringing a BB gun to school, he said he thought if people saw he had a BB gun then they would leave him alone.
He is now beginning to become painfully aware of the consequences of his actions and the long term affects this will have on him and his family, plus the future ramifications yet to come from Juvenile Court. With the Chardon tragedy being days after him taking the BB gun to school, he realizes that even though he didn’t remove the BB gun from his locker that just having it at school scared a lot of people on multiple levels when all he wanted was for the bullying to stop.
The truly sad thing about this story is that I have watched this child over the last three years go from being a happy little boy getting good grades and liking school to struggling this entire year at Bolich and wondering what more we could have done so that he didn’t feel like taking a BB gun to school was the answer to a larger problem.