Follow-up From HCPSS Town Hall – Bullying/Harassment at….Elementary and Our Community

Good morning sir [Mr. Kittlemen]

I hope that this email finds you well. With that being said, I am certain that you are aware that my 8-year old daughter and I kicked off and spoke at the HCPSS Town Hall on 8 December 2015. My daughter provided oral testimony of her nightmare of being afraid to go to school or even play outside due to the bullying, harassment, and retaliation that she has suffered at the hands of another student that attends….Elementary. I fought my ex-wife and my daughters mother for custody of our daughter when she was only 2 years old and I won. I made promises to my daughter and my ex-wife in letting them know that I would never let her fall, that I would protect her, guide her, pray over her, pray with her, provide for her, do my best to teach her how to be a successful and divine young lady and woman. I would caution to say that I am doing a pretty good job given that my daughter is an Honor Student and Brownie Scout. With all of that being said, this entire ordeal hurts me to my core as my daughter and I have suffered a great deal at the expense of bullying and harassment as denoted above and those who are empowered to bring about change have been silent, neglectful, and dismissive.

With that being said, I feel extremely inclined to reach out to you as a concerned parent ​and citizen​. ​As mentioned previously, my daughter has unfortunately been subjected to constant bullying during both school and non-school hours. Her perpetrator is another student at…Elementary whom also happens to live four houses down from us. This bullying has consisted of inappropriate touch, foul language (directed at my daughter and myself), threats of violence, acts of physical violence upon my daughter and myself, and several false claims. I took what I believe to be appropriate proactive measures in notifying the Laurel Marsh, Principal….Elementary School, Dan Notari, Vice Principal…Elementary School, Lori Jenner, Guidance Counselor,….Elementary School and Sarah Kroushler, Alternative Education Specialist….Elementary School of these issues at onset (during the summer) so as my daughter would be protected and feel safe when she enters school for the day. As of today, the children have been involved in multiple altercations during both school and non-school hours.

I have spoken with Ron Morris, Director of Elementary Education at the Howard County Board of Education regarding out of district transfer requests as this has become much more than an incident of bullying. It has now become a public safety issue. Nevertheless the Howard County Board of Education [School Reassignment Office] does not appear willing to treat it as such for some reason or the other. Perhaps they do not believe that things are as bad as they seem. Or perhaps they believe that it’s acceptable that my Honor Student and Girl Scout is suffering day in and out when she enters school. ​Perhaps they believe it’s okay for my daughter to be fearful to even go to school. Or perhaps they believe that it’s okay that my daughter is afraid to report what happens to her during the course of a school day because of continued retaliation. ​

I subsequently reached out to Dr. Michael Ford, School Safety Specialist
Maryland State Department of Education as my daughter ​tells me everyday that she does not want to go to school as she feels unsafe at ….Elementary. Dr. Ford has been so kind as to listen to my complaints and concerns. He has also reached out to his counterparts in Howard County in an effort to bring about some form of resolution. ​However issues regarding reassignment are beyond his purview. Nevertheless I must ask you, should I have had to elevate the issue to the state ​l​evel? ​Should I even have had to elevate this issue to you as I am doing now?​

A​s stated previously, my daughter further reiterated that she doesn’t feel comfortable reporting incidents of bullying and harassment to the ​Administration and adults at….Elementary due to what I call broken trust. With that in mind, my daughter also informed me that each time she reports any incident between her assailant and herself, ​the other child ​goes back to Ms. Croushler and lies on her so as to make it appear that my daughter was the aggressor while she plays the role of the victim. What’s more, my daughter has also reported that ​this other child ​has continuously and habitually spread rumors about her. ​These rumors are completely demeaning to woman much less a child (E.g. Being called the B word, Being accused of practicing fellatio, etc) ​The results of all of these acts have seriously disrupted the learning environment not only for my child but several other students at….Elementary. What’s more is that it has had a significant impact on our day-to-day life​ within our community.​

At the end of the day, I’m just trying to do the best that I can to protect my daughter as a single parent and father in removing her from this tumultuous environment. However unfortunately as it may be, as mentioned previously it appears that the Howard County Board of Education [School Reassignment Office] would much rather turn a blind eye towards it this public safety and bullying issue. This is extremely concerning to me as a parent as I fear that I and other parents could potentially have other Grace McCormas on our hands if something isn’t done and soon. With that being said, I am reaching out to you in hopes that you might be able to bring about some form of resolution regarding the bullying that is and has been occurring at….Elementary School​. But more than anything I am hoping that you can perhaps facilitate the immediate processing of my out of district transfer request. ​My daughter deserves so much better than this. Please help us?​​

Please also see below for traffic and background data regarding this nightmare of an ordeal.

V/r

Dedrick Moone
A Humble and Loving Father

 

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