El Reno Parents Team Up To Speak Out Against Bullying
EL RENO, Oklahoma - Parents in El Reno are banding together in hopes of putting an end to bullying.
Dozens of parents are calling for the El Reno Public Schools to make bullying prevention a higher priority. They spoke out on the issue on Monday's school board meeting.
There were no fireworks Monday night. Patents calmly voiced their concerns to the board over an issue that can have serious consequences.
In late February, three children were killed in Ohio after a student randomly took aim at his classmates. Experts say shootings along with suicide are the tragic consequences bullying can have.
"What is it really going to take," asked concerned parent Jason McCormack. "Another school shooting or one of our children to take their lives?"
Those are the concerns of parents who gathered at El Reno's School Board meeting on Monday.
"We're not trying to bash the teachers or the school district," El Reno parent Rudy Marado said. "We just want to get the point across and get the issue fixed."
Parents marched into the board meeting Monday night.
"The parents are saying that we have not addressed bullying," Ranet Tippins, El Reno Public Schools' superintendent said. "I can tell you, our policy complies with the law."
Not all parents blame the school district.
"Bullying isn't just here in the El Reno community. It's worldwide," El Reno parent Amanda Lacefield said.
Lacefield is helping parents come together to attack the problem. The parents say, within two weeks, 23 stories of bullying were submitted to the group. Those parents are hoping their children's stories will have the administration making drastic, proactive changes to district policy.
"I want [the children] to be able to feel free and to be who they are," Lacefield said.
The school district says it is listening to the parents, but officials say they can only react to issues they are aware of.
"If a parent has a concern, they need to let the teacher know immediately," Tippins said.
Tippins also says she has not heard from many parents. She says the group of parents has grown larger in recent days.
Parents in El Reno are calling for parents around the world to stand up to bullying.