I am writing in response to a group discussion I read last week on the Westfield Chatter Facebook group. The topic of the discussion was bullying in Westfield Washington Schools.
There were more than 430 comments in just a few hours before the thread was taken down. Hundreds of those posts were written by former students and parents of current students in Westfield Schools, and detailed terrible abuse suffered by students on buses, in hallways, on playgrounds, in classrooms. They told of administrators who claimed to be addressing the problems, but children continuing to be bullied.
The common thread of the stories was pain, isolation and frustration that school administrators did not address or stop the abuse. There was expressed distrust of those who have been given authority to watch over our children while they are at school. Four of my children have been bullied at WWS. We finally removed our two youngest kids from Westfield schools when administrators took no responsibility and made it clear that there was nothing they could do.
I have never talked about the hell my child endured but after what I read from so many parents and students, I feel I must act, not only for the sake of my kids, but for all the kids in our community. I will tell my child’s story, and I encourage others to do the same. We can’t uncover the true magnitude of this problem if we remain silent and we cannot fight bullying in all its forms if we continue to remain silent.
I will address the school board during public comment at the next meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 9. I urge parents and community members who want to stop bullying in our schools to join me. Our children’s lives may be at stake.