January 20, 2011

Garrison schools get tough on bullying

Garrison schools get tough on bullying

By JILL DENNING GACKLE

Principal Shelly Fuller had a hard time keeping the emotion out of her voice at a meeting Tuesday evening.
She told the story of a friend’s school district in Alexandria, Minn. that experienced a teen suicide blamed on bullying. Fuller said she is trying her best in the Garrison school district to combat a student reaching a similarly hopeless stage.
Fuller, the elementary principal, will meet with parents of fourth graders tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at the elementary school in the computer lab about bullying. She said fourth grade is targeted in this bullying education session because fourth grade is considered a transitional year. Additional meetings may be planned with other grades.
She said she spent much of the past two weeks addressing bullying issues in a variety of grades. High School Principal Darwin Routledge said he had a few incidents as well when he told the students that bullying would not be tolerated and students would be sent home.
“I made it pretty clear that it stops now,” Routledge said.
Board Member Steve Seidler empathized: “It sounds challenging. It sounds almost impossible to get a handle on.”
Fuller replied, “That’s why we try to do everything we can.”
 


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