Equal treatment for all

School board discusses bullying and how it's handled


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“All of us should have positive experiences.”
Parent Elizabeth Earnhardt to the school board about bullying

BY ANN GENADER

Hearing West Milford Board of Education Trustee Teresa Dwyer tell of her experience as the mother of a child who was tormented by bullies brought a strong reaction from two parents who said their experience was vastly different than hers.

Dwyer said she alerted the administration at Macopin School when her daughter was bullied there several years ago. She said there was quick action and the problem was cleared up within a month and there never was intimidation or retaliation as a result.

The trustee advised that people have to follow a chain of command when there is a problem to be addressed. She said people should not assume what they hear is true without getting all the facts involved.

She spoke after several board members said there are people who fail to speak their opinion if they are on the minority side of a debatable subject - fearing intimidation and action against them if they do make their opinion heard.

Elizabeth Earnhardt responded to Dwyer’s comments at the public comments part of the meeting. She said she was very happy that the trustee’s daughter’s situation was resolved – but all cases do not end up like that.

She said that after she publicly went before the school board, there was retaliation to her. In addition, her daughter needed to receive medical treatment because of the actions of others.

“All of us should have positive experiences,” she said. “I’m just telling you the facts.”

Tamara Jordan told the board that a situation involving her and her family continued for over a month.

“If you’re not in a clique, you are retaliated on," said Jordan. "It’s not right. Many, many people in this town have had it up to here. I am so upset at what’s going on in town. It’s out of control – very hard and difficult.”

Jordan spoke of the “Mom’s Page” on the Internet. She said things are not as loving and happy as they appear. She said what is happening – verbal attacks on people and lies - must stop.

The trustees did not respond. This discussion was at the end of a nearly four hour board meeting.

What do you think? Is bullying and cyber bullying out of control, on the part of both kids and adults? Go to westmilfordmessenger.com and start the conversation.


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