(EDITOR'S NOTE: The names of the parents in this story have been withheld in order to protect the identity of their children.)
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - A student being bullied by fellow students and another student verbally assaulted by a parent on school property were both reported to the Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday evening.
The alleged incidents involved separate students, but occurred at the same school.
In the first incident, the father told the board members that his daughter had been bullied by some fellow participants in an extra-curricular activity she's involved in throughout her high school career and that she had reported the abuse to her teacher.
He said he had "afforded the people who have the authority to take action" the time to do something about the bullying, but "the progress is very slow - if any at all."
When he spoke to the principal about the situation, he did find that the principal and the teacher had talked about the issue, but claimed that the teacher "admitted she didn't know what to do about it."
"Correct me if I'm wrong," he said to the board, "but there is apparently no board policy" in regard to how to handle bullying.
"State law says there must be a policy. This is not a Keyser High School issue, it is a county-wide issue and it needs to be dealt with," he said.
Noting that bullying is actually a national problem, board member Craig Rotruck told the parent that he and superintendent of schools Rob Woy had talked about the situation and "we're trying everything we can to try to make our schools a safer place."
The obviously frustrated parent said the incident has "definitely had an impact" on his daughter - even to the point that she no longer wants to participate in the extra-curricular activity which she has been a part of for three years.
Board president Kevin Watson asked the parent some specific questions about the situation, and promised to get back to him with some answers.
In a separate issue, a mother told the board that another parent had somehow gone into the school, "went into the classroom, and verbally assaulted my daughter.
"Tell me how she was able to do that," she challenged the board, noting that security measures currently in place at the school should have prevented the incident from happening.
The mother went on to say the incident had been preceded by a bunch of text messages being sent to her daughter by the other woman's daughter.
"Her daughter was texting horrible things to her," she said.
Watson told the parent that hearing of such an incident was "hard to take," and promised to look into the situation.
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