Parents Say Persistent Bullying at RFA Not Being Addressed
A cell phone video of a high-school-aged-girl repeatedly swinging and striking another female student at Rome Free Academy is spreading on social media. It was posted on Facebook in several different groups yesterday. It has been reposted and removed on the platform several times. The video has family members of students in the district concerned.
According to DoSomething.org, approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying. In the US, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 has been bullied during the school year and students are less likely to report bullying as they get older. Only 39% of high schoolers notified an adult of bullying.
Rome Schools Superintendent Peter Blake responded to an email seeking comment but did not elaborate on the incident.
...My understanding is that there is a video of a couple of young ladies involved in an altercation within one of our bathrooms at RFA. From what the administration has shared with me, the student has been disciplined to the fullest extent we are able to, under the law....
After the video circulated, parents, and family members of students at RFA are questioning whether the district is working to the "best of their ability" to combat bullying in their school. Several posted their comments in regards to the issue on the social media threads, which have since been deleted along with the video.
We spoke to a source close to the altercation (who asked to remain anonymous for the sake of the student,) who believes that the district needs to do more to make a safer environment for students.
I believe there's a lot of passing the buck, I think fights in schools and on the bus is so frequent and common, its almost overwhelming, I believe lots of parents don't properly take care of the problem at home when their kid is a repeat bully. I believe they need stern monitors on every bus, more security, and stronger punishments when a student beats the crap out of another student right in the bathroom, how the h*ll does this crap happen?
One parent wrote in expressing his concern about the administration, and how he hopes they take situations more seriously moving forward.
I shared the original post and made it public but it was removed. I'm a parent and this enrages me. Everyone in Rome is posting and they know who the victim and the people doing it. This stuff needs to end and not be swept and brushed aside. I hope and pray that the district takes this seriously now, before something worse happens.
There is also speculation surrounding the student responsible for the fight, and the punishment that was received. Many are unhappy about the decision that was allegedly made by the district, believing it was not enough.
We followed up with Mr. Blake asking for a comment about what the district is doing, or planning to do to combat bullying. We hadn't heard back prior to publication. We'll update this story when his statement becomes available.
If you or someone you know is being bullied, here's some resources that can help:
No Bully Help Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
STOMP Out Bullying HelpLine: view hours and chat online
GLBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255