Archive for bullying

Campbell Jr. High Bullying Video

Posted in Bullying, Campbell Jr. High, Dustin Howard, Michael Kuduk, Mike Menchen, School Buses, Schools with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by Joan Graves

bullyingRecently, a video was posted on Facebook showing a brief altercation between two students at Campbell Jr. High School. The video was taken and posted by a student who was tired of seeing a fellow student bullied. The video shows a girl, Trinity, standing next to an unnamed male student. In the background students can be heard encouraging the students to fight. As the frenzy grows Trinity suddenly grabs the boy in a headlock and drags him off.

There are multiple problems in this situation. The trigger point for parents was the lack of Campbell staff. Superintendent Paul Christy stated it was “a small area” in front of a large school. He also stated that a minimum of 10 teachers and 2 administrators are always present during dismissal, when this video was shot. Even with the noise of dismissal I can’t imagine how that many employees could miss the sounds of a brewing fight.

According to Trinity’s mother, April, Trinity is special needs. However, she states the school has labeled Trinity a behavior problem. Trinity does not have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) in place, that all special needs students have.  Because Trinity’s disabilities don’t create a learning deficit, an IEP wasn’t needed. However, based on information provided to me, a 504 would have been appropriate.

A 504 refers to Section 504 of the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act. It essentially states that no one with any type of disability may be discriminated against. A 504 in place would have meant the school recognized Trinity as being special needs and certain protections, such as an escort to the bus each day, could have been secured. It is extremely interesting or highly questionable, depending on how you look at it, that Trinity did not have a 504 in place at the time of this incident.

Citing privacy issues Christy couldn’t specifically comment on this issue. He did explain steps he has taken to help curb this type of behavior in the future. High school students will no longer be allowed to exit the bus at Campbell. Buses will be assigned specific parking spaces so they are in the same spot each day, keeping students from wondering through the crowd. The most effective prevention however, has been in place for a year.

Affixed inside the front of every bus are two phone numbers. One to the Clark County Sheriff’s office (745-0290) and the other to Winchester Police (355-7443). A student or parent may call either and provide bullying information anonymously. According, to Christy this is the 2nd year the numbers have been available with only a single phone call going into them. With all the bullying allegations why is no one calling?  I hear repeatedly how the schools don’t do enough to stop bullying. This is your way to bypass them and go directly to law enforcement. Parents instruct your child to report bullying to the school first. But if he/she isn’t comfortable with that, or the school doesn’t respond then call one of the numbers listed above and get it stopped.

Here is where the story takes a turn. Prior to the altercation, April had been informed that the district was filing legal papers to have Trinity removed from Campbell citing she was out of control. The posting of the fight video changed everything. When I met with Christy he was clearly angry over the video being shared online. He had contacted Facebook to have the video removed but Facebook declined, saying it didn’t violate their terms of use. According, to Christy he wanted the video removed because “innocent students” were caught in the middle. I saw and shared the video because students circling around and encouraging others to fight are not innocent. Furthermore, you would be hard pressed to identify anyone by the video alone.

The video was allegedly used as a bargaining chip in a meeting between April, Christy, Campbell Principal Dustin Howard and Assistant Principal Mike Menchen. According to April school officials agreed to remove legal filings forcing Trinity from Campbell Jr. High into the Phoenix Academy, if April would remove the fight video from YouTube. April agreed.

The student alleges that she was “forced” by Christy to remove the video from her Facebook page. By doing so it would remove it from everyone’s page who shared it. The moment I received word of this I sent a text to Christy asking him about it because quite frankly, I didn’t believe it. But when he failed to respond I knew chances were high he did. Why else would he not respond?

I then contacted Board of Education Chair, Dr. Michael Kuduk, who, unlike Christy, will respond to inquiries even if he doesn’t like them. Kuduk was in agreement with Christy that the video should not have been online. However, Kuduk stated that Christy had no authority to “force” this student or any other to remove something from his/her personal Facebook page.

It is a shame that Paul Christy resorted to such excessive lengths to have the video removed. This could have been a post about the positive changes he made regarding bulling but instead we are left to wonder why Christy would invest so much time and energy into trying to get rid of a video everyone has already seen? It begs the question, what is he getting rid of that we haven’t seen? Let us hope, nothing. Because the First Amendment of the US Constitution is nothing to be trifled with.

In the future, Superintendent Christy, allow me to save you some time. I always download, save and back-up any video that comes into Stand Up Clark County. So, if I’ve seen it, all your efforts in the world won’t make it go away

Stand Up Clark County for free speech and downloaded videos.

Better Future For Our Kids Worth The Cost Of Squaring Off With Bullies

Posted in Board of Education (General), Encouragement with tags , , , , on September 9, 2013 by Joan Graves

Better Future For Our Kids Worth The Cost Of Squaring Off With Bullies

injustice anywhere threat

The red-lettered link above will connect you to a post written by attorney Jim Bordas. The post is his reflection upon his life and the things he is teaching his children. He eloquently states the high cost for those with enough courage to stand up to bullies. He doesn’t sugar-coat the ramifications for the pioneers of change. Yet, his words manager to encourage us to continue on in our fight regardless of how we may suffer personally. Like us, he knows the best way to stop bullying in our schools is for kids to see adults standing up to bullies, no matter who they are. Read the post to discover the plan he has to back up the message he is sending.

Stand Up Clark County, we are not alone!

Principal Uses His Power To Get Playing Time For His Son

Posted in Board of Education (General), In The News, Point of View, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by Joan Graves

The Jessamine County Board of Education is currently hearing the contested demotion case of West Jessamine High School Principal, Ed Jones. Jones is accused of interfering in his son’s school athletics over a period of several years. The Jessamine Journal reports that a teacher alleges Jones told her he was “unhappy with the baseball team and his son’s playing time”. The teacher, Denise Hamilton, is married to the coach in question. She described the severe emotional toll of having to cope with what she believed was unethical behavior while trying to maintain her job. “That is my supervisor; he’s in charge of my professional career, and I’ve had outstanding evaluations for 10 years,” I take pride in what I do.’ When referring to an incident where Jones allegedly was angry over his son is playing time, Hamilton said; “I had never seen such rage.” The Journal goes on to state Hamilton testified she was “afraid for her professional career to the point of physical illness.”

Other employees reported Jones had frequently been heard screaming and yelling at employees and coaches. Others allege Jones made remarks such as “He better put my son in” and, “You don’t know who you’re messing with”.

Typically, in these situations a student with a relative abusing educational power gains an over-inflated sense of entitlement. If no one steps up to contest the ethical erosion, the student will see the benefits of continuing the family-trait of narcissism. They fail to realize that their lack of empathy increases the chance of future criminal behavior.

Sadly, this story is playing out in various ways in school districts across America. The very place that should be preparing our kids for a better future has become a breeding-ground for narcissist personality disorder. Compounding the issue are the educators whose goal is to survive so they silently wait for the coming year so they can pass the problem to the next person. That may be getting rid of the problem for one person but it does nothing to improve or enrich the life of the student.

We can compare what happens in our schools to a crocheting project. When you begin crocheting an afghan, it does not look like much. The pattern we hope we are creating remains hidden as one loop is weaved into the next. It is only after a significant amount of time, money and effort has been invested that we begin to see the pattern is not at all, what we expected. Then we must decide whether we should rip it out and begin again or attempt to cover up the parts we do not like.

A kid who depends on someone else’s power to get him through life will not have the first clue what to do when that power fails him. And make no mistake about it, that day will come. The only question is are we going to be people willing to rip out what’s wrong and start over while we have a chance to make a difference, or are we going watch the them self-destruction years later, unraveling from the inside out?

Stand Up Clark County and embrace the hobby of crocheting.

Holliday Needs To Reevaluate & Learn From What We’ve Already Done

Posted in Herald-Leader, In The News, Point of View, Winchester Sun with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2013 by Joan Graves

ImageIt is beyond ridiculous that the state leader in education launches an attack on the last day of school. Clark County has an opportunity to start fresh. We have a new board and will soon have a new superintendent. You did that Clark County. You took a stand and said enough is enough. YOU brought change. YOU were doing something when Frankfort was ignoring us.

If Terry Holliday had actually been paying attention to Clark County he would know that we are a community that fights back against bullies. We are a community that cares. We are a community united and committed. And when a strong community comes together as we have people like Holliday don’t stand a chance.

We have come too far and achieved too much to have someone who doesn’t have the first inkling of what is going on here to threaten and bully us. There is absolutely NO reason to think that we cannot succeed on the state level as we have locally. We’re smarter, more experienced, organized and we’ve got the power of the people.

Stand Up Clark County and show Terry Holliday he picked the wrong community at the right time.

Middle School Parents Take A Look At Your Opposition

Posted in Board of Education (General), Documents, Emails, School Board Election 2012 with tags , , , , on October 27, 2012 by Joan Graves

Yesterday I posted IP address 65.5.251.78 on my FB page telling her I was tracking her. I tried to ignore her but she is having none of that. So, I want you all to see what is happening behind the scenes.

I have listed her comments below followed by my responses to her. The first comments are in response to the post on the Community Eligibility Option.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 12:22 pm

Please post the attachment explaining the rationale

Joan Graves Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 4:18 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

I’m not certain what you want me to post.If you go to the Winchester Sun’s website you can search the archives for the 2 articles I mentioned.

You can go to the U.S. Dept. of Education & the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to obtain info on the Healthy hunger-free program & the Community Eligibility Option.

Hope that answers your questions, if not let me know. Thanks for reading the blog.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 8:34 pm

The attachment referenced in the emails with the district”s rationale

Joan Graves Submitted on 2012/10/20 at 11:01 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

The rational was the letter Elaine sent to the Winchester Sun on Aug. 2011. This is the link to that letter. http://www.centralkynews.com/winchestersun/news/ws-farris-free-lunch-for-all-isnt-an-option-20110809,0,1281648.story

This exchange left me thinking she wasn’t really interested in truth because the information was before her. All she had to do was a few minutes of research. When she found herself unable to dispute the facts I laid out she moved on to her next target.

When I posted about the middle school merger meeting I said, “Debbie Fatkin didn’t bother to show up.” Though, I didn’t go back to confirm it, I accepted that Debbie was at the meeting and apologized for the mistake.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/23 at 10:24 pm

To clarify a statement above… Debbie Fatkin was in attendance tonight sitting in the front row next to BJ Swope. The room was crowded and it was easy to miss people in attendance.

Joan Graves

Submitted on 2012/10/23 at 11:04 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

My apologies to Debbie. I didn’t see her & asked people that were there that apparently didn’t see her either. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

It’s hard to argue when someone who admits a wrong and apologizes. Since her whole point is to discredit me she now starts grasping at straws.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/24 at 7:12 pm | In reply to Joan Graves.

Winchester’s population is approximately 18,500. 200 people is barely over 1%. That is a far cry from a majority.

Joan Graves

Submitted on 2012/10/24 at 8:30 pm | In reply to Anonymous.

I didn’t say everyone in the majority attended the meeting. How many times has a school board meeting drawn that many community members? That is about 5 times the average board meeting. There is a problem when that many people show up unhappy. This has been the case twice in the last 10 months. And it’s not just the same people voicing the same complaints.

Knowing she had nothing to fight facts with she dropped it and moved on to the candidate forum. Obviously, this is just an attempt to provoke a fight so I didn’t bother responding.

Anonymous
65.5.251.78
Submitted on 2012/10/26 at 8:14 am

Wonderful public forum last night at the extension office. Here are my thoughts on the candidates for the school board.
Mr Graves – He came across to me as “a jokester”, full of negativity and has a personal agenda. Not someone I’d vote for to move our schools forward.
Dr Griffin – She started out a little nervous but came around. Seems to be in the race for “ALL” the kids. Very intelligent lady. Someone I’d vote for.
Mrs Fatkin – Has a lot of experience and has lobbied for “ALL” the kids. She’s someone I’d vote for.
Mr McGowan – Oh my!! What a jerk. Another one with a personal agenda. He must have been called to the principles office many times. No way would he get my vote.
Ms Ritchie – Interesting character. Definitely in over her head. She had to read off McGowan’s paper to answer questions. Did she do that in class too? No way would I vote for her.
Mrs Wolfe – Very nice quiet lady. Seemed to very genuine. She seems like she’d bring some common sense to the board. I’d vote for her.

So, stand up Clark County and continue to move our schools forward. Vote for Griffith, Fatkin and Wolfe.

Since she was having trouble baiting me she stepped up her assault and went after the middle school merger. The gloves are off and the profanity unleashed.

Sit Down Stand Up Clark County
sitdownstandup@gmail.com
95.154.230.191
Submitted on 2012/10/27 at 12:51 am

Slow down? What the hell are you talking about? This has been in the works for years? Slow? The only thing slow around here is your reaction time to the issue.

We (Winchesters natives capable of rational & independent thought) are so sick of you and your self righteous husband and all the bullshit you’re both peddling as facts. Please, just go back to sleep and let the intelligent grown ups deal with these issues. This is all too important to let some sad little housewife with an axe to grind have any say in the matter.

Woohoo – you filed some paperwork and got to look at some random emails. What in the hell makes you think this gives you insight into anything? You take it all out of context, mix it up and vomit back some ridiculous unfounded and unproven claims like you have some special insight. First it was fun to watch you make a fool of yourself, but we can’t take it anymore.

Ok, so to stay on topic. Since apparently BJ Swope’s judgement is valuable enough for you to pick apart this portion of an email conversation and use it for your own personal agenda, then let me ask you this — if BJ Swope is smart enough to not vote for the middle school because of security concern, then why aren’t you pressing him to know what that concern was? I’ll answer for you: because you’re too deep into your own BS to keep sight on the real issue. If BJ Swope hasn’t done something since 2010 to make sure this security concern was fixed, then his opinion shouldn’t be of any value to you.
– and if the security issue hasn’t been addressed yet, then this renovation of the school should be fast tracked so we can make sure our students are safe.

Your arguments are weak.

Sit Down Stand Up Clark County.

This is typical behavior. When they can’t do anything else they lie, curse and name call. They demand evidence but provide none of their own. When they get evidence they discredit it. In order to draw attention from the truth they start making personal attacks and trying to drag everyone else down to their level. It is classic text-book desperation.

Ashley Ritchie, Michael McGowan and Steve Graves articulated their thoughts, priorities and goals for the school board. All three candidates spoke with confidence, proving they have the ability to remain faithful to the change we all want and need. Seeing that displayed before the masses has scared the heck out of our opponents. They were hoping our candidates would fall on their face but when they saw the support they received an attack was in order. Because anytime they are failing they turn to the only tactic they remain true to: bullying.

My refusal to respond to their attack only increased their desperation. Because lets face it, one thing I’ve always been consistent with is my passion. That passion can just as easily work against me as for me. They have been able to provoke me several times in the past but unlike them I’ve admitted my mistakes apologized and moved on. This community and these students are far more important than me giving into my desire to klunk their heads together.

Each day more people come forward and square off with our current board. It can no longer be said that this is all the result of an angry “housewife with a personal vendetta”. We have middle school parents and students able to articulate with controlled passion exactly what is wrong with our current school decisions. The school board’s ship of deception, arrogance and selfishness is sinking and there is no life-preserving in sight.

Stand Up Clark County and say no to childish temper tantrums and yes to change.

 

Workplace Bullying

Posted in Point of View with tags , , , on June 20, 2012 by Joan Graves

Workplace Bullying

This is from my personal blog on workplace bullying