Parents Say School Needs to Step Up Against Bullying - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Parents Say School Needs to Step Up Against Bullying

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Jessica Daley

jdaley@myabc5.com

@TheDaleyReport

A recent bullying situation surrounding an eight-year-old in the Grinnell-Newburg School District caused Wednesday night's regular school board meeting to be standing room only.

Parent after parent after parent told the school board how bullying has hurt their children and how the school hasn't been there to help.

Jessica Gannaway said her eight-year-old son Ethan complained of being bullied at school, but the principal called him a liar. When Ethan's dad Matt went to the school to talk to the superintendent, the district filed a restraining order against him.

"It's difficult. We're dealing with it," Jessica Gannaway said. "We're kind of rolling with the punches as everything is happening with Ethan too."

They pulled Ethan out of that school. Jessica said the support at the meeting was overwhelming.

"Knowing that they actually do care. There are people still out there that care and want to make a difference in the community so no other child ever has to go through anything like this again."

Alyson Rasmusson didn't even know the Gannaway's until she saw their plea for help on Facebook. She knows not every child is affected by bullying but believes not even one should be.

"That handful is a handful of children who have been harmed, hurt emotionally, physically or however it has been," she said. "There shouldn't be a handful anywhere. It just really needs to be stopped."

Parents want to see the school set more clear policies for bullying and harassment and make sure they are actually enforced for everyone.

"I'm hopeful," Gannaway said. "I can't guarantee it will happen... very hopeful."

The school board listened to parents for about 30 minutes. Because of school code, they could not discuss public comments. They thanked everyone for their stories and said they'd work to make Grinnell– Newburg a better school district.

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