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The Silence ...

Published: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 5:00 AM     Updated: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 1:36 AM

By The Republican Editorials


It’s been one year since 15-year-old Phoebe Prince committed suicide after what authorities say was the result of persistent bullying by classmates at South Hadley High School.


In the wake of the tragedy, the school vowed to put in place polices to address bullying. The new policies were enacted – a necessary response from the school system that was less than forthcoming in the wake of Prince’s death.


Efforts to repair the school’s image – and more importantly to protect the young people in its charge – are ongoing.


But the school system’s commitment to healing itself suffered another blow recently when a new charge of bullying surfaced at the high school.


Multiple news outlets have reported that advocates for the Payton Spinney – who had been a friend of Prince’s – say the school has been unresponsive to her educational and personal issues.


A lawyer for Spinney said the school has failed to implement a plan that takes into account Spinney’s autism and that it has failed to stop bullying she endures at school.


Just as troubling as the new allegations has been School Superintendent Gus Sayer’s silence on the matter.


Last Friday, Sayer said he will not be issuing a public statement addressing accusations that the School Department did not prevent Spinney from being bullied.


We are very troubled by Sayer’s silence. Parents who have children in the South Hadley schools should also be troubled.


Bullying is an unpleasant topic. But the only way to prevent it is by openly confronting the problem.


Source: http://www.masslive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/02/silence_on_bullying_a_troublin.html



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