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Parents want school to do more about bullying

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news Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

KILLDEER - You're not doing anything!" was the outcry of the 20-plus parents and community members who attended the Killdeer School Board meeting Wednesday evening at Killdeer High School. Most attendees were concerned about bullying at the school.

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What was supposed to start out as a review and discussion of current policies regarding harassment, sexual harassment and anti-hazing policies and punishments soon turned into a heated discussion.

School board member Shelley Lenz opened the discussion about bullying by saying, "There has been a recent national movement regarding bullying as of late. This movement gives us, along with other schools in North Dakota, the opportunity to review our policies and make our school a safe and positive environment for our students."

Superintendent Gary Wilz passed out copies of the current harassment, sexual harassment and anti-hazing policies and punishments saying, "I feel our policies are solid and good, they address the need, except for cyber bullying. I think that is something we need to look at adding into our policy."

But parents disagreed.

"This school does not enforce its policies," Joe Thomas said. "There have been four girls sexually harassed on school property and nothing has been done."

The board quickly silenced Thomas,­­ saying there could be legal implications for what he was about to say and added the discussion was to help create a better policy.

Thomas and other parents tried to interject but Lenz stopped them saying, "We need to do things right or we could end up in lawsuits."

Thomas and numerous other parents began handing out legal documents and testimonies from parents and students about incidents of bullying to the school board.

"When your kids are so scared that they fake sick and do everything they can not to have to go back to school, something is wrong," said Stacie Entze, Dunn Center.

Gerald Kulish of Killdeer asked the board to think about how they would feel if it was their child being bullied.

"These boys and girls are affected permanently," Kulish said.

The school board tried to move on with the meeting and said they understood the urgency but added justice, laws and policies take time.

"I feel it is best if we address the issue in a committee meeting rather than tonight's meeting," Lenz said.

Thomas argued saying, "You're not doing anything, so you form a committee and we discuss things and you bring it where? Back here! We have done this! We are going to come right back here."

Lenz motioned to form a committee and the motion was approved, but a timeframe was not set.

Many at the meeting left in anger after the motion passed.

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