After trying an in-school suspension to resolve a middle school bullying problem, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools has adopted a new policy and taken drastic measures to keep students safe.
It started about a month ago when seventh grader Emily Deyoung confronted a bully at as he picked on one of her friends. He called her friend "fat."
The boy, who was not publicly identified by the school district, threatened Deyoung and said he would "assault her, put her in crutches and burn her house down,” said Danielle Deyoung, Emily’s mother.
The Deyoungs reported the incident to school officials, who told the boy to stop bullying her.
Despite the punishment, the boy continued to threaten Emily, her parents said. So her parents, frustrated with the continuing problem, reached out to the school again.
“It wasn’t enough,” said Danielle Deyoung. “The boy is one of Emily’s classmates. After the suspension, he hopped right back on the same school bus as Emily and she didn’t feel safe. She had nightmares and the stress was making her break out in hives.”
The boy was then given a two-day, in-school suspension and was assigned a chaperone to escort him from class to class.
Deyoung said she was told by that officers were aware of the boy as other parents had also issued complaints against him.
With that, Deyoung pulled Emily and her older brother Aaron out of Bolich for nearly two weeks and refused to return them to class until further action was taken against the boy.
On Tuesday, Deyoung met with Superintendent Todd Nichols who promised that there would be zero contact between Emily and the bully.
Deyoung said she’ll return Emily and Aaron to school on Wednesday morning.
Nichols said he takes every threat seriously. He said the district is willing to accommodate the parents of threatened students. To that end, the district has put new policy changes in place to ramp up communication among parents, teachers, students and school administrators with the AlertNow call system.
The system sends out mass calls and text messages to inform the district of emergency situations or threatening issues.
Parents or students who have a bullying issue or potential threat to report should contact Nichols, a teacher, administrator or the Cuyahoga Falls police.