Between 20 to 30 percent of children every year report being bullied at least once, according to the National Bullying Prevention Center, and often students who are victims of bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression
Kacey Brewer, a 10th grader at Bismarck High School, said she has been consistently bullied since the fifth grade on the Bismarck campus.
“For a period of six months she attended Central High School and was not bullied a single time,” Sharea Layn, Kacey's sister, said. “Whenever she transferred back to Bismarck High School, the bullying began again.”
Brewer’s mom, Maria Manning, said that about a year ago that four or five students sprayed perfume and Lysol on her daughter, and a substitute teacher witnessed the event and did nothing about it. Brewer went to the principal’s office and reported the incident herself.
Brewer’s family has attempted to report the bullying to the school many times and has also gone through the Courage 2 Report hotline.
“The school has done nothing, and the state of Missouri has done nothing," Layn said.
Brewer, with friends and family, organized a protest Thursday hoping to propel the school to take more action when it comes to bullying.
“In general, I think there should be more rules, and the incidents of bullying should be taken more seriously no matter who they are from,” Layn said.
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The family says they may take legal action if it is not resolved.
Every school district in Missouri is required to have a protocol in place to handle bullying.
Superintendent Jason King said that there is a protocol in place for bullying for the Bismarck school district.
“We take bullying very seriously in our district, and we do have a protocol that we follow," he said.
He indicated a situation is investigated thoroughly, those involved are questioned and then necessary actions are taken.
District employees are required to report any instance of bullying of which the employee has first-hand knowledge.
Every school district is different so it is hard to say if one district compared to another has a high percentage of bullying; however, King does not feel like Bismarck has a high presence of bullying of any form.
“The district is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment free of any form of bullying," he said.