Alleged Bullying of 5-Year-Old Raises Questions about Current Law

4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 10 2014 Apr 10, 2014 Thursday, April 10, 2014 2:05:00 PM CDT April 10, 2014 in News
By: Alexis Rogers, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

BOONVILLE - The national rate of bullying is still at an all time high and proves to be especially detrimental in smaller communities, according to a report by Business Insider. Although Missouri has a statute requiring all school districts in the state have an anti-bullying policy, those policies vary across the board.

5-year-old Jaylah McKee said she was punched in the face in early February while getting off the school bus on her way home from Hannah Cole Primary. This marked the third incident this school year that Mckee was bullied, according to her mother.

"It's not just a problem in the big cities. This is a problem that is going on everywhere," Robin McKee said.

Although all three incidents were reported, McKee said the school and the bus company ruled the first two incidents as accidents.

"They never said anything to what they believe to be an accident or how many times an accident can happen before they do something about it," McKee said.

According to the Missouri bullying law, there is a definition of what bullying is, but there isn't a definition given for accidents. Even if an accident fits the guidelines of the definition of bullying, the disciplinary actions are still up to the individual district itself. 

Mark Ficken, superintendent of Boonville R-1 School District, said the district takes every reported case of bullying seriously regardless of age. 

"It's the 'B' word. Everybody uses it and throws it around. That doesn't necessarily mean every case is bullying," Ficken said."The definition of bullying is not a one-time instance. It's a repetitive thing. Until there is a pattern of behavior of someone purposefully going after another person and singling them out with intent to do harm, whether it be physical or mental harm, then we have some bullying going on."

Other than the general definition of accidents, who makes the disciplinary decisions is also up to each individual district. In McKee's case, because of the designated relationship between the district, bus company and police, she said no one seemed to be able to help.

McKee said she talked to the principal the same morning as the third incided.

"There really wasn't anything she could do, which was pretty much the answer that I got from everybody."

In smaller communities like Boonville, many parents, like McKee, do not have the option of driving their children to school.

"Her school is not in walking distance, it's three exits down the highway which is not feasible for me to walk, so I rely solely on the buses to ensure she get back and forth from school safely," McKee said.

Ficken said he doesn't think the state's anti-bullying policy needs to be defined more specifically.

"We don't need a statute or law to tell us how to handle bullying," he said. "We need to get to the root of the problem, have open lines of communication with parents with kids and make sure we say this is never ok in this school district."

The disciplinary action for bullying is left up to the school district. According to McKee and the bus company, the solution in Jaylah's case was to separate the two students on the bus, having one sit in the front and one sit in the back. This is a common solution for similar instances in the Boonville district.

Ficken said the district currently provides outlets for children Jaylah's age.

"At the primary level and elementary, we spend a lot of time through the counseling program, educating kids of what could be perceived as bullying. What is bullying, what to look for, the signs," Ficken said.

McKee said she hopes to educate more children and parents in the area about the effects of bullying.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield has a new mayor, but it's the way he was selected that has a group... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 9:26:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the Independence School District on behalf of a senior... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 6:35:52 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Thornbrook neighborhood was without water and electricity for almost two hours on Friday. Columbia Water and... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:36:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Four vehicle crashes have occurred this week along State Road F west of Fulton in Callaway County.... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 4:12:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After serving eight years in the United States Air Force, the passion of this veteran for sky travel... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Organizers are expecting a large turnout for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans" airshow on Memorial Day weekend. ... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- When most people lose an animal, one of the first steps is to put a "missing" sign on a... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:46:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Aircraft and pilots met at Columbia Regional Airport Friday to prepare for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans"... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:45:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A high-speed car chase ended Sunday when the suspect slid into a ditch, according to a press release... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- It's no secret more cars will out for Memorial Day weekend, but many drivers are taking precautions before... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than five hundred Missourians have lost their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department of... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 1:48:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old western Missouri boy fought off an attempted abduction by hitting the... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an early morning crash on I-70 Westbound. It caused major backups... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:47:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday, the Columbia Airport Advisory Board announced the TSA approved a security screening lane to open by... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:41:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- May is known for Mother’s day, Memorial Day and in Missouri, the start of tick season. “May, June... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council discussed a recent engineering study today centering on increasing traffic flow east of Columbia.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:11:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is encouraging people to practice safe boating ahead of Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:55:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
12am 71°
1am 70°
2am 69°
3am 69°