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An Open Letter To Superintendent Marcus Newsome

Jun 20, 2014 by

newsman

An Open Letter To Superintendent Marcus Newsome:
 We Demand That You PROTECT not PUNISH Our Students That Are Targets For Bullies

Dear Superintendent Newsome,

Chesterfield County Public Schools has a serious bullying issue that impacts students at every level; from elementary to high school. The district is failing to protect our children, but instead is punishing students that are forced to defend themselves from ongoing incidents of bullying all due to the fact that the adults within the school district are either refusing to or incapable of providing a safe and secure setting for our children to learn.

Superintendent Newsome, Chesterfield County Public School policy defines bullying as:

Bullying – Repeated or single incidents of negative behaviors targeting a specific victim. Bullying behaviors include, but are not limited to, threats, verbal or written abuse, physical abuse, harassment, ethnic or gender slurs, exclusion, and threatening body posture.

While you and the other administrators are quick to say, “Chesterfield County Public Schools has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying.” Your actions support the fact that not only do you and the district support bullying as the norm, but the culture within the district has allowed for the systematic re-victimizing of any and all students that report bullying to an administrator.

In one clearly horrific incident of serial bullying, a ninth grader was reportedly told that “as long as he did not fight back” he would not be suspended when he was bullied. The same ninth grader was reportedly told to “fall on the ground and get into the fetal position if you are attacked until help comes” by Thomas Dales’ Dean of Students, Anthony McLaurin. Although the parent, Andrea Jackson, pleaded with McLaurin and many other school officials, including Principal Pam Lumsden, no administrator had the competence, nor the intelligence to protect her son, who was eventually assaulted by the student that threatened him via social media the night before the assault. It should also be noted that the assault took place at the bus loop of the school during dismissal, where for over three full minutes, a mob of students were able to record the assault and post it on social media; without one single adult being seen.

While initially, the ninth grade student kept his hands in his pockets, trying not to fight the bully back, eventually he was forced to defend himself when the bully picked him up and slammed him on the ground, after having punched him several times. The administration suspended the victim, along with the bully because “he did not walk away.” Once again, as the video clearly showed, the student was surrounded by a mob of students with cell phones out, and not one adult around for over three minutes. How was this child suppose to defend himself? How is he expected to fall down and “ball up in the fetal position until help arrives” when he is being aggressively attacked by another student that had every intent of harming him?

Most importantly, WHERE WERE THE ADULTS?

Dr. Newsome, Chesterfield County Public Schools has to do better about protecting, not punishing our children, especially when you and your administration fail to do so. It is unacceptable for any administrator within any district to direct a student to accept abuse from another individual.

Are parents and students to assume that our students are to just “lay there and accept physical and sexual assaults” while in school until an adult comes to help…IF an adult comes to help.

Bullying in our schools must not be tolerated. Punishing our children that stand up to bullies when the adults fail to will not be tolerated either. Help put an end to the bully-friendly culture in our schools. We are encouraging all parents and students that have students that have been re-victimized by the district for protecting themselves when the district refused to do so to file a civil rights complaint with the Office of Civil Rights at https://ocrcas.ed.gov See: http://www.nbc12.com/story/25371023/chesterfield-teen-survives-bullying-experience

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2 Comments

  1. andrjacksonea

    i feel this article talks about whats going on in Chesterfield schools. The victims are suffering and the staff arent doing anything to help.they are teaching are kids to except the mental and physical abuse.which is not right or exceptable.

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