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Students, school battle bullying issue

February 3, 2012

Supporting the elimination of cyber bullying are, from left: Briana Gantz, Haley Traski, Brenda Herrera, Jamie Jagnecki, Brittany Gantz, Krystal Hardy, Bobbi Stiles and Andrea Bottomley, wearing “Team Schae” shirts Friday.

PLYMOUTH — How does a school combat cyber bullying not on school grounds or that has been posted on social media not during the school day?
That’s what the Plymouth Community School Corporation has had to handle this week. While no specific names were targeted online, several students used Twitter and Facebook to verbally battle against a comment made regarding another student’s weight.
“We do have a policy on bullying,” said Plymouth High School Principal Jim Condon. “We have tried to address bullying with students and they can report anonymously, and we have worked with the student council officers on ways we can handle bullying. There are strategies in place to decrease bullying and be more proactive, and we have made a lot of progress with it.”
In this instance, the students’ parents were informed, but other students, like Krystal Hardy, says more should be done. She received a one-day in-school suspension, she said, because she refused to follow the administration’s directives when a group of students quietly protested what she felt was a case that had not been properly taken care of.
Hardy said a friend “was devastated to find tweets on Twitter from fellow classmates pertaining to her body, stating she is ‘obese’… going on and going on.”
She said, “This sent her world upside down. She was talking about suicide and not wanting to come back to school.”
Hardy understands why the school took no action— since the cyber bullying didn’t take place at school — but she is not happy with that decision.
“The first thing they could not stress enough to us this year was no bullying, of any kind,” she said. “So, a number of my friends and I decided we would take action, creating T-shirts that had the bullied individual’s name on the front, and mine said ‘Bullying = Not Cool’ on the back.”
Krystal and her friends wore the shirts to school the day of the Homecoming pep rally.
According to the 16-year-old, the school administrators felt the shirts would cause disruption at the end-of-school rally, even though she said the shirts had been worn throughout the school day.
“We felt they were going to be disruptive and take the focus off of the assembly itself,” Condon affirmed, adding, “We felt the displays were going to make or could have an adverse effect.”
Wearing the shirts to the rally anyway, the students were approached by administration who then asked them if they understood the consequences.
One administrator removed a student’s sign that read: “A word to define your body, BEAUTIFUL,” Hardy said, and asked repeatedly for the students to leave the school.
“None of us listened because we did not understand what we did wrong,” she said. “We moved to our student section where he came back and told us we were to leave now. My fellow students ended up leaving, although I did not. They said we could not do this, that we can’t have this attention on our school. If they would have done something about this in the first place, there wouldn’t be attention brought upon our school. This school is hypocritical and unfair.”
Condon said, “The shirts they chose to wear at the time could have been disruptive in the school hallways.”
“I believe that these students didn’t get in any trouble simply because of who they are,” Hardy said. “No one deserves to be treated like this, especially someone as sweet and innocent as this one. People strive every day to gain approval from others, just to be shut down by ignorant people that think they’re better than everyone else. I just really believe something should be done about this or at least something should be said.”

Comments

Why would phs do nothing to

February 4, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13873

Why would phs do nothing to these students? I believe more attention needs to be brought to this matter. If the girl being bullied had hurt herself I'm sure something would be done. They shouldn't wait for a tragedy to occur. Take a stand administrators. What difference does it make if the boys are basketball players? Remember back in 03? 30 some strikes handed out? Good teams ripped to shreds! The drinking didn't happen on school property but many were punished. Some simply for being present not even drinking. At the end of the day I guess it is Plymouth. Not what you know who you know. Don't have too much faith in the administrators there.

Taking A Stand

February 4, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13871

You Girls are more adults than your administration who did nothing. Bullying is a huge issue in the U.S, but I guess not in Plymouth. We all could learn from these girls, and the school should rethink suspending this young woman, because the message it sends is that it's ok to Bully.
From Ashamed to call myself a Rockie, class of 2001

Good for them for taking a stand....Plymouth you never change!!

February 4, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13870

Good job to these girls for taking a stand. You did not cause a scene, you simply addressed the bullies in public, you should never be punished for being a good person. But next time put it in Red and white and you should be ok. The High school only wants to make themselves look good. They know they can address the issue, and also know they could contact the Police on behalf of the student to resolve the issue... The administration needs to stop trying to be in a popularity contest and start taking care of ALL their students. Great work girls, from PHS grad of 2001.

PHS

February 3, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13866

There has been bulling going on in PHS for many yrs. It seems Everyone want to turn the other cheek. Or the school want to look the other way. I believe Plymouth High is just scared of being sued. I had a granddaughter that was picked on last yr in their Google docs.They should have expelled they boys however and didn't.They got to go to school in a class room at school. Plus go on the band field trip. It was so wrong. I have lost all respect for the hall's I walked as a teen. PHS needs to re think the way the handle things.

Did the bullies get into any

February 3, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13865

Did the bullies get into any trouble?

No. Nothing.

February 7, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 24 weeks ago
Comment: 13874

No. Nothing.

I was one of those girls that

February 3, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13864

I was one of those girls that wore the shirt and I was never confronted by the school except for being told to get out of the pep rally.

They say our shirts "could

February 4, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13869

They say our shirts "could have been disrupted in the school hallways," but they weren't. If they felt that was the case they should have said something to us earlier in the day and not just at the pep rally, which was at the end of the day.

shirts

February 3, 2012 by Anonymous, 2 years 25 weeks ago
Comment: 13867

I am totally for supporting NO BULLYING! I understand that the girls wanted to do something to support that rule. I wish I could come up with an awesome solution for this. I have a question though....why was the person's name that was bullied printed on the shirt? It is confusing a bit in my mind. It seems that by posting the name, it would bring it to everyones attention! Perhaps if a t shirt had something a general positive statement RE: bullying might have been a better choice.? I know that the girls wanted to support the girl that was devastated with the bullying comments,but I think by using her name, didnt help the issue. I DO think that the adiminstration is not doing enough to help this bullying situation. Unfortunatley, this has been a hurtful issue for many kids and adults for years. Being heavy, obese, chunky, or whatever is a difficult thing for those who are. I am an old granny...and I still feel the hurtful statements and bullying that I received when I was in school. Something is wrong when a person has to degrade another in any way. It is also wrong that there has not been a solution for these problems. The only thing that I can do, is to pray for this situation, and hopefully support some kind of a program to better things. Good Luck and hugs to those girls that wanted to help! Shame on the administration for handling things the way they did.

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