More than 20 students, parents, and other members of the Eastern Pulaski Schools community spoke out at the recent school board meeting against bullying in school, which has gotten out of hand.
Parents expressed their anger at the corporation for doing what they feel is a minimum to prevent or discipline bullying in the school system. Several parents said that their children are afraid to use bathrooms or even attend extracurricular activities for fear of bullies.
The Board was presented with a copy of the curriculum developed by Peter, Paul and Mary’s Peter Yarrow, “Operation Respect”, which addresses bullying and other violence. Winamac business owner, Chris Smith, said she would provide the school with as many copies as they would need if they are interested in incorporating it.
Board President, Mike Tetzloff, assured the concerned parents that they would take their input under advisement, and said that any board action would take place at a public meeting – their next being April 9th at 5:30 p.m. ET at the school.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Klitzman said that a program has been implemented for several years at the elementary school. The program, REACH, promotes good behavior at the elementary school level.
Dr. Klitzman explained that REACH stands for Respect, Effort, Active Listening, Common Sense, and Honesty. The ideas of the program are printed in the handbook and displayed in every room. Dr. Klitzman says that Elementary School Principal Jill Collins does a wonderful job of reinforcing these concepts each day, but says that like anything else, the program has flaws, but he feels it does a reasonably good job.