The 2017-2018 school year has just begun and already there are reports of violent attacks taking place at one Quad City school. Bullying has become a national topic; there is no parent immune from this epidemic. One week into the new school year a Davenport Central student was attacked and thrown into the trophy case as he was walking in between classes. Fortunately the student was not seriously injured but did need to seek medical attention requiring several stitches. You are probably thinking that the attacker was suspended or even arrested for the incident. You are correct the student has been suspended and as of now no arrest has been made. What you may be disappointed to hear is that the victim of the assault was also suspended from school.
How can we send our students to school when they are not properly protected? What do we do when a crime has been committed against one of our students and they are also made out to be a perpetrator? This stems from a line of thinking that if the student is attacked then he or she should automatically and miraculously find their way to safety. If the student attempts to defend themselves in any way they are then listed as an aggressor. The father of the Davenport Central student spoke to assistant principal Ed Veasey. I may also remind you that Davenport Central also dropped the ball by not contacting the parents of the victim. A call did come from the school nurse explaining that the student needed medical attention. The father learned of the student’s suspension from his son, not the administration. When speaking to assistant principal Ed Veasey the father asked some simple questions. Q. Why was my son suspended? A. Because he was in an altercation. Q. He was attacked does he not have the right to defend himself? A. Yes he has the right to defend himself. Q. Then why is he suspended? As you can see the father became frustrated and decided that the argument was circular and coming to no reasonable conclusion.
Later that day the students Father contacted the Davenport schools administration office in order to make sense of the situation. Obviously someone with authority must have some common sense? Or so you would think. The student’s father had to repeatedly call the administration office only to be told an administrator would call the next day around 10:00 AM. This is a phone call the student’s father never received. The student’s father had to call the Administration office only to be told he needed to talk with the senior principal Jon Flynn before he was able to take his case to one of the administrators.
Jon Flynn was contacted and did answer the father’s questions with similar answers as that of assistant principal Ed Veasey. Mr. Flynn did seem surprised that the administration did not contact the parents of the student about the attack, but he also stood his ground on the suspension. Jon Flynn also admitted that a student could defend him or herself but they must make an attempt within an unknown time frame to escape the attack. This does not seem to make sense especially when a student is thrown into a glass trophy case later requiring stitches. The father reports that Jon Flynn was respectable and understanding but he could not lift the suspension. I doubt that, but that is reportedly what he stated.
So here is the deal. What if it is your son or daughter next? We send our kids to school thinking that they will be safe and when they defend themselves They are treated as a victim, instead as part of the problem. This should not take place in any school. Davenport Central High School has in my opinion placed a green light on bullying. Students must live in fear knowing that they will also be suspended if they try to defend themselves. This should never have to be on the minds of students in a supposedly safe learning environment. The father should never have had to deal with an obtuse school district and high school administration. Neither should you. No student should ever feel as if they are a perpetrator if they are attacked by another student and punished for defending themselves. This may cause who knows how much harm to their young minds. This author believes that some actions should take place in order to make it right for the student involved.
- The principals involved reprimanded in writing.
- A direct apology to the student by the administration.
- A change in policy so that students feel safe again.
- Better training methods in handling cases of school bullying.
- An apology to the father of the student in writing assuring him that this behavior by school staff will never happen again.
Please help! I urge you to call the Davenport school administration office and tell them school bullying will not be tolerated. That those who are bullied are not offenders but victims.
You can reach the Davenport offices at 563-445-5000