Frontier BOE discusses bullying

NEWPORT – A couple of parents aired concerns about bullying of children who attend Newport Elementary School during Monday’s meeting of the Frontier District Board of Education.

“It’s not just my son; there are a lot of kids getting bullied at that school,” one parent said. “But I may have to take him out of school.”

Another parent told the board members his child had been groped and physically injured by another bully at the school. He said on at least one occasion his child had to be treated in an emergency room and was not able to participate in school sports due to the injury.

“There is a big problem at the Newport school, but this is covered up,” he said. “I know people who have taken their kids out of school and home schooled them.”

He added that his child is a good student but does not want to attend school due to the bullying incidents that occur almost daily.

Both parents said they had approached Newport Elementary School Principal Greg Morus about the situation, but the bullying has continued.

Frontier District Superintendent Bruce Kidder said he had talked to Morus about the bullying incidents.

“He’s bringing in the three kids involved and taking care of that,” Kidder said.

Board member Justin Hoff noted the bullying issue has been brought before the board in the past.

“There are supposed to be some things in place to handle this,” he said.

Kidder said for the last four years the Frontier District has had an intervention counselor available for seven hours every school day to help deal with such situations. He said the counselor divides her time at each of the district schools every week.

“She’s been addressing the issue of bullying, and has completed a series of five lessons for kindergarten through sixth grades on the topic of bullying,” Kidder said. “And she always follows up when there’s an incident.”

School board member Jeff Knowlton asked Kidder to do a thorough investigation of the bullying incidents at Newport Elementary and report the results back to him before the next board meeting.

“We need to put a stop to this now,” Knowlton said.

In other business Monday, the new board officers were elected for 2013 during an organizational meeting preceding the regular board session.

Hoff was named board president, and Rick Kroll Jr. was elected vice president.

Knowlton was appointed the board’s legislative liaison for the Ohio School Board Association, and Bryan Oliver was elected student achievement liaison.

Kidder presented plaques honoring retiring educators Peggy McKnight and Jane Ann Becker for their years of service to the Frontier District.