Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A news story from our local paper

Another example of what's going on with Hailey in this same community in 2005, has anything changed?

Imagine, if you will, that you are having a dream.
In that dream, you are a young child again - a kindergartner perhaps - standing and waiting for the school bus to stop at your house and pick you up to take you to school. For some reason you can't identify you are nervous - maybe even frightened. What's there to be frightened of, right? The school bus is a safe enough place.

But as the bus pulls up your heart begins to race. "I don't want to get on the bus," you say to yourself. Despite your mental protestings, you know you must. Sheepishly, you climb the steps into the belly of that yellow behemoth. As you pass between the row of seats, you remember why you are terrified - the bully. The bully that lurks just waiting for the right victim to catch their eye. You slink to your seat - head down, eyes focused on your shoes - hoping not to be noticed. Then you hear the voice that sets your hair on end and your heart into a full-on sprint. "Hey, did your momma dress you in that?" You freeze, hoping that by ignoring the culprit your fragile little body will be spared. No luck. Strong hands - teenage hands - grab onto your head and lift you up to the top of the bus, slamming your head into the metal ceiling, leaving you with a searing pain that is both physical and mental.You wake up and realize it's just a dream.

Unfortunately, for some children, that dream is a nightmare they live every single day. It comes in many forms, profiles and has many different results. One thing always remains the same though - until someone stands up to them the bullies will continue to bully.The Kolanczyk's storyFor Chuck Kolanczyk, the above nightmare is very similar to the one he endured Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004.The day was just like any other for Chuck, 6, having had a delightful time at his Roselawn Elementary kindergarten class. Chuck is part of Tracey Meskers' and Holly Pember's kindergarten-first grade "loop" class, and he enjoys school very much.Every day, the bus picks up the elementary students at Roselawn and then drives over to the high school to pick up high school and middle school students. Upon arrival at the high school, the bus driver had to escort a student off the bus into the parking lot, temporarily leaving the bus unsupervised.It was at this point, allege Gerald and Corina Kolanczyk, that a high school student entered the bus, picked Chuck up by his head, and slammed him against the roof of the bus."Can you imagine these huge hands basically grabbing you by the ears, lifting you up and slamming your head into the bus?" asked Corina. "Can you imagine what effect that type of physical and mental trauma has on a child?""No child should have to deal with that," adds Gerald. "Ever."

Holding Jerry's hand, Corina describes Chuck's condition when he arrived at home as being "strange" and "so unlike Chuck.""When he got home he started vomiting," Corina describes with tears in her eyes. "He told me he was having head pains and chest pains. He was having a hard time breathing as well. At a point he just became inconsolable."With Corina gripped in the throes of panic, wondering what was going on with her son, she finally learned what happened."I finally got Chuck calmed down enough to find out what happened and then we went to the emergency room."Chuck was first diagnosed with a concussion and a neck sprain.

However, after Chuck kept experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain, the Kolanczyks decided to bring Chuck back in to be checked out again."We told them about the shortness of breath and the chest pain Chuck was experiencing, and they told us that what he was experiencing was trauma and shock from the attack," explains Corina."You'd be in shock, too, if something like that happened to you," adds Gerald. "He won't ride the bus anymore," Corina chimes in, "and at this point we don't want him to."Corina says she has nothing against the driver of the bus on which the assault occurred, she and Gerald are just worried about the physical and mental well-being of their son.

"We don't want Chuckster to be scarred for life by this, or to continue to be targeted because he told us what happened," says Gerald. "I think he has suffered enough."In light of what transpired on the bus that day, along with some other allegations the Kolanczyks have brought forth against the School District of Chetek, Gerald and Corina made the difficult decision to pull two of their three children out of the district - effective Wednesday, Feb. 16."As of Wednesday, Feb. 16, my 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter are no longer part of the Chetek School District," writes Gerald in a letter to School District of Chetek Superintendent Al Brown. "We will be home schooling them this year and they will be transferring to Cameron via open enrollment next year."

The decision to pull their children out of school in the middle of the school year was not an easy one for the Kolanczyks, but one they felt was necessary as a response to what they called "being pushed aside.""We were hoping to let Chuck and his sister finish out the school year in Chetek and then enroll at Cameron next year," explains Gerald. "But we have just had enough with them [representatives of the School District] and the way they have treated us."Gerald adds that the sad part of the whole thing is that no matter what happens with his kids the rest of this year, and next at Cameron, the fact remains that there is still a bully out there, ready to traumatize another child."

They haven't punished the kid responsible for this yet," states Gerald, with sadness in his eyes. "We've told them who did it. Chuck has even identified the boy, and there has still not been anything done about it."

Read the rest of the story at the Chetek Alert's website HERE

1 comment:

PBandJ said...

This is just awful! I remember being picked on in school and on the bus, and it was traumatizing enough without anything like this happening. I am seriously afraid for this world when such brutal things can happen without consequence.