Local News

Wake Forest Parents Want Tougher Policy On School Bullies

Posted April 22, 2005

— Some parents in Wake County say the school system's policies to crack down on school bullies is not enough. They are worried about a student who has been terrorizing their children.

Parents say a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Heritage Elementary School has assaulted their children and threatened to kill other students. They worry that parents aren't getting enough information when situations like this arise in schools.

"He hit and assaulted a girl," said Bill Raitz, a concerned parent. "He's assaulted my son. I don't want that child back in school."

The Wake County School Board is talking about strengthening its anti-harassment policy by adding the word "bullying," but that still does not address the parents' biggest concern.

For confidentiality reasons, the school system said it could not fully explain how it is handling a situation.

"We're not allowed to discuss disciplinary action," said Michael Evans, of Wake County Schools spokesman.

Evans can only say appropriate action was taken and the situation is resolved.

"That's not a local policy," said Evans. "That's not something that we have options on, it's federal law." Parents were unaware of the problem until last week because their children were too afraid to tell.

"It's very frustrating," said Raitz. "The parents are out of the loop.""

Parents said they did not want to waste any more time, so they organized a meeting to demand answers from the school. "You never know what's going to happen these days," said another parent, Dana Sherron. "You have someone making threats. You want to do everything you can to protect your children; we feel like our hands are tied."

A representative of the school system said a team of investigators is handling this case.

Late Thursday afternoon, the school was able to expedite some information to parents with a letter it sent home.


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