UPDATE: I understand that the mother of the children is in contact with both ABLE and the Oregon Police Department. Horray!
Less than a week ago, the Toledo Blade ran and article on an effort in Lucas County Ohio to end school bullying. The article began:
Local city, county, and school officials announced a joint public awareness campaign Tuesday to combat bullying.
Calling the impact of bullying on communities “devastating,” Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said that children can’t be effective learners if they feel threatened in school.
“We want to prevent the bullying,” Ms. Skeldon-Wozniak said. “We want the schools to feel safe.”
The article went on say that students, faculty, and staff of area schools will be asked to sign anti-bullying pledges, where they will vow to monitor for bullying and support victims, among other promises. Schools also will hold parent-education events and anti-bullying assemblies.
Most curious was a statement by a police officer from Oregon City, an eastern suburb of Toledo. ” Oregon police Officer Tim McLeod said that Oregon City Schools plan to unveil a Web site for students to report incidents anonymously.”
That will be great news for one Oregon family. I know this family and I know their bullying story. The family is Lebanese- parents born there but the children born here. They are Muslim. And because of their Muslim faith, they have suffered terribly from abuse while at their school. One of the children, now a sophomore, was pulled out of Oregon schools because of the abuse she suffered at the schools and is now forced to attend on-line classes in the safety of her home.
Yet her brother, a 7th grader at Fassett Middle School, remains in school, and suffers daily taunts and jeers from his fellow ‘Christian’ students. He tells me that some of his teachers treat him differently and that he has suffered mental anguish from a few of the teachers at Fassett Middle School. He told me yesterday that he hates the thought of going to school each day.
The ‘Christian’ students make fun of his name and accuse him of being a terrorist ‘just like Osama bin Laden.’ In fact, on the day after bin Laden was killed, students came up to him and said, ‘Sorry about your loss.’
What do the school officials do about this? Nothing according to the mother. The mother has raised the issue with the school administration as well as the Board of Education, but there has been no resolution.
I told her that I would call ABLE, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, this morning to report what I have heard about the bigotry and bullying that is going on at Fassett Middle School. And I intend to do so. I also intend to call Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak to tell her what I learned about Oregon City Schools.
Isn’t it sad that children have become as intolerant as their parents? Isn’t it sad that parents perpetuate their hate through their children? And isn’t it most sad of all that a public school system apparently will do nothing to assure that all children who attend their schools are safe from abuse?