Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another update

This morning Craig and I took the discharge summary, clearly stating the injuries the doctor observed last night to the principal and notified him that Hailey wouldn't be at school. I told him that she was really afraid of coming back and being forced to spend her recess in the library with S and he told me he never said that..... He also told me that one of the witnesses we mentioned told him she wasn't even out there when it happened. Funny since SHE was one of the two who ran in to tell him. DUH! We also informed him that the attorney we made contact with this morning clearly stated that choking and punching someone would most certainly NOT be disorderly conduct but rather assault and battery in that it has the potential to cause great bodily harm. Hell in my opinion choking someone would fit the bill of attempted murder actually....... but I'm no judge.

I'm impressed (and saddened) by the number of parents in this community who emailed me after my blog post last night. I had no idea that many people here read my blog! That and to read some of the stories is heartbreaking. Many of these parents no longer have their children in this district and some moved altogether. Some still have their kids in the school either for lack of options or because they don't know who to turn to. Most it seems have climbed the ladder. The principal, the administrator, the school board, even law enforcement and have gotten nowhere. How very sad that politics in this town has taken over what is truly best for our children. Sad indeed.

Anyway. So I got some of Hailey's belongings out of her locker and we left and went to the police station, hoping to make contact with the officer from yesterday and make sure that charges were filed and collect Hailey's disorderly conduct citation. The officer we needed to talk to wasn't working today so that was a bust. Not that we want Hailey ticketed, but if in fact her saying "you can't catch me" WAS enticement then we will take the charge presented, fair is fair. Mostly we want a court date to let the judge decide.

After that we headed over to the county courthouse to file a restraining order preventing S from harassing Hailey further. Rumor has it she was served at school. I am hoping she learns from all of this and doesn't create anymore trouble.

I was warned in a comment from a friend overseas that my blogging the events of all of this may be detrimental to any proceedings that need to come from it. Blogging this is serving a few purposes. It's helping me keep a timeline of events, allowing me to document the goings on so if the time comes to remember them I remember clearly, and to send a message to anyone who thinks it's ok to bully a child or families in the communities you serve. It's NOT ok for that girl to physically hurt another child, it's NOT ok for school and city staff to "dumb down" events in order to keep violent acts within the district "under the rug" (my opinion on what's going on of course, however one of the members of the school board did say, in a newspaper story referencing the drug problem in our schools:

"As a school board member, and I see other school board members present, we work very hard in a very competitive school situation to do positive things," stated Jost. "If we have negative concerns we try and deal with them-privately."

Privately? Tell me, why would we deal with illegal behaviors such as drugs in school privately, rather than refer them to law enforcement, Mr Jost? Does that even make any sense?

You can read this article, which I mentioned references drugs and not violence HERE

Back to violence....

It is NOT ok to make the victim of the assault spend her lunch in a room with her attacker ( a statement that "didn't" take place of course). It's not ok to try to back a parent into a corner and tell them that if the attacker is charged the victim will be too, in an apparent effort to put the kibosh on anything leaving the school (again, MY opinion. and not just stemming from my case, but from talking to other people this happens a LOT in this community. One parent in fact claims she felt she was being talked out of taking her child with a broken nose from a school assault to the hospital! Sadly she didn't end up taking him so there was no proof of his injury therefore no charges could be filed. ).

None of this is ok. Of course some of these things are simply my take on what is going on and may or may not be the intent of the people involved (there's my attempt at a disclaimer lmao) But I'd rather speak up and take that risk then have this little town be the next Columbine or Jonesboro because bullies were allowed to bully and victims were allowed to be victimized. When the victim of a crime at school walks away feeling scared to return to school because nothing was done to their attacker, that is NOT OK! What happens when one day the bully brings a weapon to school and something horrible happens. I'm scared to send my daughter to school for God's sake! This is NOT OK!

Whew, ok calming down slightly. It makes me so scared and sad and angry that his has happened to my daughter and to the other families I've been in contact with. Children should not be treated this way. Children should be protected and when we hand our most precious things over to the people at school we should be assured that every step will be taken to keep our child safe from violence. When we send our children out that door in the morning we put our faith in the adults that we have little choice in entrusting with their care...... what happens when they fail to do that? What happens when nobody holds them accountable for failing to do that? Eventually tragedy happens.

I don't honestly know what it will take to get the answers and accountability we (and others) feel comfortable with but I have some places to start. There are many state representatives and othe resources we can turn to if we look. I'm sure I will again look like the bad guy and have my house egged or something (hehe) but there are a few things I tell my kids on a regular basis. That I will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and that sometimes it's worth the risk to stand up for what you beleive in.

***Again, I don't know if these things are the intent of the people involved. I have no way of knowing exactly what each party thinks or feels in this or any other incidence. I do know that my child was physically inujured at school and that her attacker was not, in my opinion, properly disciplined or held accountable nor were steps taken to assure my daughters comfort in her future safety from this child in the school setting. It is not my intent whatsoever to place blame where it is undue or to make accusations that are blatently false. It is simply my intent to tell our story, as we saw it and to make sure my child and others in this school district are protected to the fullest extent possible to the end I am capable.***

1 comment:

Katie said...

Go Get 'em Kat! I hope that they arrest that little girl at school, in front of the principal, and show her that it is NOT right to beat up other children.

And seriously, if they're going to say that Hailey was "enticing" her by tell her that she couldn't catch her, then that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. And like you said, if she was "enticing" her, then that girl was trying to kill her. Attemped murder it should be.

Like I said. Go Get 'em. And I wouldn't stop with that little girl, I'd get rid of that principal too.