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Bullying Forces Girl to Leave School

Date: 11/16/2009

The Longmeadow school system, especially Wolf Swamp Road School and research, that bullying begins in third grade. They reactively institute a program in the fifth grade to address this?

I recently pulled my daughter out of the promising Longmeadow school system because of bullying, not only from children, but parents alike. The girl who initiated the bullying of my daughter lives a mere three streets away from us. This girl elicited help from two Metco students in bullying my daughter physically and emotionally. It appears that because this girl grew jealous of my daughter over time and lacked the appropriate social and coping skills, she began to bully my daughter and others. My daughter is a quiet, likeable, bright young girl who is the light of my life. Having this happen to her has devastated our family.

I moved to Longmeadow for the school system. According to the Massachusetts Department of Education, Longmeadow is one of the top places for college success and school systems. Contrary to these statistics, in combination with talking to other concerned parents, it appears this girl has been a problem in many other cases.

As a last resort, I went to speak to the parents of this girl who continued to harass my daughter. This had to be the most disgusting experience of all. Instead of addressing and rectifying the behavior of their child, the parents brought my daughter down to all the other parents and children. When I approached the angry parents, they both became physical. I was appalled at this behavior. It was true to the apple not falling far from the tree with their daughter who clearly gets the message that violence and beating others down is okay.

These people live in our community with more children in the town. Scary is not even satisfying to me in describing them and what they have done to my family. My daughter excelled in her MCAS and is an exceptional girl. My need to pass this information on is to say that the school needs to observe the zero tolerance and get rid of the bullies, not the futures of tomorrow.

Going back to the known research, bullies have far lower success in life. For those interested in statistics versus funding coming into the town would be enlightened to know that those receiving special educations services as this child does and the Metco students, who also carried on with bullying my daughter receive or at least appear to receive in my case "special" privileges and protections.

The average student gets pushed to the wayside while our tax dollars gets spent on children who harm our children emotionally and physically, as they have my daughter.

It is worth an investigation into the rights and protections of the children like my daughter who I have removed where the system in this town failed. These children are bullying our children and use our money to enhance their education. Aside from protections for Section 504, Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEIA) and the American Disabilities Law, where are the rights for those who are bullied?

I will continue to speak out for humanity and against the harassment that exists in this chapter of injustice for my daughter.

Karen Westeen