Ida Baker student accuses school of "ignoring" bullying
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Lee County student says she's afraid to go to school because the bullying is getting out of hand.
October kicks off National Bullying Awareness month. On Monday, some Cape Coral students wore blue to show their support. But one Ida Baker High School Student says not much is being doing to stop the problem.
"They're not doing anything," said the 16-year-old Ida Baker student, who did not want to show her face out of fear the bullying would be made worse. "[The school is] saying 'This is not bullying. It's not.' But it is. It is bullying."
A junior in high school she says she's been pushed and "called some bad names."
"I want to switch school so bad," she said. "Because of all the bullying. It's just insane how every kid is going off on another starting rumors."
She says she's filed written complaints that the school never followed up on and feels they are ignoring to the problem.
"Did the person bullying you get in trouble?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"They just talked to her and she said, 'We have problems,'" the student said. "And they [the school] were like, "OK you can go bye.'"
According to stompoutbullying.org, one out of every four teens report being bullied. As many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they're afraid to go to school.
"These kids don't realize they could find themselves in jail, kicked out of school. There are serious repercussions to what they're doing," said Trish Routte with Lee County Crimestoppers. "It's not just about smack-talking anymore. This is serious criminal activity."
Crimestoppers is hoping a new campaign called "DNT H8" will help crack down on bullying. The Don't Hate campaign lets teens anonymously report bullying by sending a text message. The sheriff office then immediately follows up.
"All they have to do is give us a name, tell us what's happening," said Routte. "And we will make sure that it's taken care of."
It's a welcome idea to one Lee County mom who says her daughter is also the victim of bullying.
"You think it's a good idea?," asked Grant.
"Oh definitely," the mother said. "Anything because right now there's nothing...My daughter got pushed and they basically just told me I need to forget about it, move on. They're not paying attention to anybody."
Lee County Schools response
The school district says they are paying attention. In a statement they tell Fox 4:
"The school and the district followed all established policies and procedures as is done whenever such allegations are brought forth. The allegations that administrators 'turned a blind eye' in this case is absolutely false and untrue."
"Because of privacy and confidentiality laws, the District can't comment or provide information on specific students. Anyone with concerns can bring them to their principal or the Zone Administrators who oversee their school."
DNT H8 campaign
If you want to anonymously report bullying you can text Crimestoppers at CRIMES (274637) and use the keyword DNT H8.