Stop Bullying: Help a Child Return to a Safe and Secure School

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A middle school student, a daughter of Montclair, NJ, came to the school district two years ago as a happy, outgoing, engaged, and accomplished honor student. Shortly after arriving, the student experienced a pattern of bullying at school and off-hours which continues to date.

The student was physically attacked at school by a group of boys. She was also targeted for two years, both in school and online chats, with public humiliation, racial insults and threats. The student, who is African-American, was called, “Blackie,” “Tar Baby,” “Burnt Stick,” “Shadow” and other slurs. Students also told the victim, “You look like you jumped in a bucket of black paint.”

Rather than the District addressing dozens of incidents, the student was provided insufficient and sporadic adult supervision to escort her to classes.

In addition, the District began to retaliate against the student and her family and then proceeded to cover up its actions. They destroyed video evidence, planted false documents and then treated a victim like a perpetrator. 

The student now has an attorney, who said, “The school allowed a culture of harassment, intimidation, bullying (HIB) and abuse to exist within its midst and failed to protect the student in any way. As is always the case with HIB, when left unaddressed, or addressed inadequately, the child ends up being victimized, ostracized and isolated.”  

THE STUDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO HER SAFETY AND WELL-BEING. WE DEMAND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION WITHOUT STALLING.  SCHOOL BEGINS SOON:

  • The District must place the student in an alternative safe and secure environment where the student qualifies, and of the student’s choosing;
  • There should be no conditions on this placement;
  • The placement should be at the expense of the Board of Education of the town where the violations occurred; and
  • There should be no further retaliation against the student or parents.

The District has demonstrated it is unable to provide a safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environment for the student. 

THEREFORE, as parents and members of the Montclair community, as well as concerned people from New Jersey and beyond, we petition the Superintendent and the Board of Education to act and IMMEDIATELY place the child in a safe and secure environment.