Rainier school board defends anti-bullying effort; parents vow to push for change
RAINIER, Ore. -- Chad Taylor is more than a little upset.
"A week-and-a-half before graduation you get a kidney punch by the school, for reporting an incident that should be reported," Taylor said.
Chad's son Naythan was among the first Rainier High School students who tried to alert school staff, then the district, that cyberbullying through posts on Instagram were pushing another student toward suicide. He was suspended for allegedly cursing at school staff and going over their heads to report the bullying.
Some parents claim school administrators are the ones acting like bullies, pushing kids and parents to their limits.
"I was threatened. Right in front of my daughter, I was threatened," said one parent at Monday night's Rainier school board meeting.
Rainier School Board chair Sean Clark read the district's first public statement on the issue, essentially saying the staff and district handled everything right.
"When an individual feels that the system hasn't worked, and that the district's policies and procedures have not been followed, they have the ability to file a formal complaint as per policy in order to seek action," Clark said. "Throughout all of the events that have happened over the past few weeks, there have been no formal complaints filed with the district. The school board stands behind the actions of its staff."
Chad Taylor plans on filing a formal complaint as soon as he can.
Taylor's son Naythan graduated, but Taylor has four other kids who are still in Rainier's school system.
"If one of them ever ends up being bullied and I don't do something about it now - or try - then that's on me," Taylor said. "We're saying our motto is 'stop the bullying.' But we're trying to do it by being a bully and telling kids to shut up. And to me, that's just not an effective solution."