Sixth grader Christina Giannini and seventh grader Jasmine Moore felt like their complaints against bullies weren’t being taken seriously by officials, so they decided to stage a
On Wednesday morning, 150 students assembled outside of the school, and the mob of protesters quickly gained the full attention of Bolich’s administrators.
Principal John Musat invited the students into the cafeteria for an impromptu forum. He gave the children the floor and asked them to speak their minds, said Kellie Patterson, a parent who attended the protest.
On Wednesday night, an AlertNow call was sent out to parents in the district to notify them that, as a result of the morning meeting, Bolich would initiate weekly student and parent forums to address bullying issues and discuss school safety concerns, said Cuyahoga Falls City Schools Superintendent Todd Nichols.
“What all of our parents need to expect at this point is discipline is going to be strong with regard to our reaction and response to bullying,” said Nichols.
In terms of solutions, school officials are currently eying the possibility of recruiting parents to help patrol school hallways and cafeterias and other areas where bullying is most prevalent, he said.
Patterson thinks the district is taking a “proactive” step in the right direction, but she stressed that more needs to be done.
In her opinion, bullying can be curbed at the kindergarten and elementary school levels with progressive punishments that grow harsher with each bullying infraction.
She said suspending or expelling students is not always the answer and that school counselors should work with parents to address the root cause of a student’s bullying tendencies.
Giannini and Moore said they’re pleased with the way Bolich is handling the issue and are hopeful that real change can be achieved to stem bullying.