On Thursday night in Cincinnati, over 150 angry community members gathered at a Fairfield Board of Education meeting to demand answers regarding ongoing bullying at a local middle school. Parents are protesting school officials inaction after a student took her own life last year, as well as another recent allegation of bullying against an Asian American student at the same school.
150 people show up at Fairfield board meeting to protest bullying
The school district has been under fire for its handling of bullying ever since Emilie Olsen, a student at Fairfield Middle School, took her own life last December. Her family contended that bullying had a hand in her death. Since then, parents say that another Asian American student has been bullied at the school -- by the same student who allegedly bullied Olsen.
One parent said this eighth grade daughter, who is Asian American, was recently the target of bullying by a while male student. The bullying resulted in a physical altercation in which the Asian American student was tripped and suffered a mild concussion and short term memory loss.
After his wife watched a surveillance video of an Oct. 5 physical education class at Fairfield Middle School, Ray Schmitz said both his eighth grade daughter, who is Asian American and a white, male, classmate were chasing after a an indoor hockey puck in gym class when the boy used his hockey stick to reach forward and trip his daughter.
Although the boy did immediately help the girl up and apologize, the Schmitz's believe she was bullied.
As a result, Schmitz said, "she suffered a mild concussion and her short term memory was damaged for a while."
Community members say that school officials have not done nearly enough to address the incident. The parents of the bullied girl called on the Asian American community to join them at the board meeting, which drew protestors from outside the district in support of the Schmitz family.
More here: Fairfield schools again accused of lax bullying enforcement
October happens to National Bullying Prevention Month. This week, the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islander launched Act To Change, a public awareness campaign to address bullying. For information and tools to address and prevent bullying, go to the #ActToChange website.