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Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Posts Tagged ‘shawna sullivan

Maryland Jury Rules in Favor of School!!!

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It’s a known fact, for those who pay attention to these kinds of things, that when it comes to court cases, it doesn’t matter what the facts are.  What matters is what can be proven.  A jury in Maryland ruled in favor of the school and school administrators in a high-profile bullying case of a 10-year-old special needs student.  In so doing, they cited that there wasn’t enough evidence to support the claims of negligence on the administrators’ parts.  Shame.  Shame.  Shame.

So, what’s the lesson learned in this case?  Most importantly is that it really doesn’t matter what the facts are, only what can be proven. (just ask O.J. Simpson.  I’m sure he’d agree.)  So, with that said, know that if you’re ever faced with a similar situation, document EVERYTHING!  Take pictures.  Take videos, if possible.  Write, and sign, notes!  Keep a log of all phone calls.  Keep a log of the responses you get during these phone calls.  Leave no stone unturned. See, Ed and Shawna Sullivan didn’t do this.  They didn’t understand the significance of having solid proof.  They didn’t understand the ramifications of NOT doing so.  They thought their word would be enough.  They were wrong.  And, now, because they didn’t know, they will have the task of telling their 10-year-old son that the school administrators got away with not protecting him better.  He won’t understand.  He’s 10.

In a sense, the 10-year-old boy got bullied again yesterday by the legal system. Or, was he victimized by parents who didn’t understand how the system works. As a 10-year-old, what he understands most is that he, and they, lost.

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Written by Ron Kemp

December 23, 2011 at 7:10 am

Judge Throws Out 9 of 13 Charges in Baltimore Bullying Case

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In my Saturday, December 17th blog entry, “VICTORY!!!”, I spoke briefly about a case in Baltimore where a 10-year-old special needs student had been bullied so severely, his parents were suing the school administrators and system.  I provided a link to the article.  Maybe you read it.  Maybe not.

The latest development in that case is the judge, today, through out nearly 3/4 of the charges brought against the school and its administrators.  An amazing 9 of the 13 charges were dropped, citing that they were “too vague”.  Apparently, not everyone has adopted a ZERO TOLERANCE policy, yet. (the maddening thing is Maryland is MY state!!!)  If the school officials in this case get off with nothing more than a wrist slap, what message will that send?  What will that say to the family involved?  What does the kid, himself, get out that?  I’ll tell you.  He, and they, will come away with a state-sanctioned message that kids getting bullied while on their watch really isn’t a big concern of theirs.  Says the defense attorney in the case, “Not all fights…are bullying…”  I’m thinking the defense attorney doesn’t have kids.

Let’s set this straight:  bullying is NEVER ok!  And, when it happens at school or on school grounds, the school administrators are required, REQUIRED!, to take immediate and decisive action.  Anything less than that, and every child in that school system is at risk everyday that they are in school.

Maryland would do well to follow Tennessee’s lead from earlier in the week.  There, the judge sent a clear-cut message the bullying was absolutely not tolerated there.  State-by-state, that same policy needs to be introduced and upheld.  Once implemented, any teacher or school administrator who doesn’t follow the zero tolerance guidelines should be removed from a position where they are responsible for the safety, physically and emotionally, of young people.  Failure to follow the zero tolerance guidelines means that they are incapable of protecting YOUR children from vicious attacks.  And, if that’s the case, they should have to pay.  Pay by losing their jobs.  And, as in the case in Baltimore, they should have to pay monetarily for the pain and suffering endured by the bullying.

Here’s to hoping the jury makes the right decision.

Written by Ron Kemp

December 22, 2011 at 7:32 am