Parent compliments R-2 teachers, administrators on anti-bully response

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 11/27/19

Following her address to the Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education Nov. 18, local parent Terry Andrade said the district staff and administrators have ran with ideas to prevent bullying on school …

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Parent compliments R-2 teachers, administrators on anti-bully response

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Following her address to the Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education Nov. 18, local parent Terry Andrade said the district staff and administrators have ran with ideas to prevent bullying on school campuses.

“The staff is interacting more with the kids, supervising much better,” Andrade said. “They have Chromebooks and a site where kids can report any bullying in school.”

Andrade said one of the first cases reported on the Chromebooks included her son. Both students and staff used the site to report the incident.

“After they investigated, it was more horseplaying,” Andraded said. “But the principle told them it could have been considered bullying.”

Andrade said she has spoken several times with Owensville Middle School (OMS) Principal Teresa Schulte.

“She explained to both kids that it was horseplaying and was quite serious about it,” Andrade said. “Many teachers are getting out there and helping with supervision and keeping an eye on the kids.”

Andrade said the dedication and willingness of the staff and administrators to make changes is a win for everyone.

“They gave the kids a piece of paper to be able to report bullying to a website,” Andrade said. “Now the kids have a way of telling without feeling like they are a snitch, when something is going on. I am really proud of the kids for using the Chromebook site.”

Andrade said she is open with her kids and talks to them about everything.

“I see a positive outcome from speaking out and the vice principal is right there along with the principal,” she said. “The staff and principals are creating a better place for the kids.”

Owensville High School Principal Kris Altemeyer said Tuesday that administrators have addressed their policy at all four of the buildings. At the high school, students can report incidents on any computer connected to the district server.

“We have tried to streamline our reporting system to make it easier for kids to access the website and parents can also get on there,” Altemeyer said. “There is a link through www.dutchemen.us school website. We set up stations at counselor’s office for students to submit their report and talk to the counselor if they need to.”

Altemeyer said students may check an option that they would like to remain anonymous, but administrators involved in the investigation will know who submitted the report.

“We are very forthright about that,” Altemeyer said. “Our main goal to keep kids safe and keep them coming here, feeling good about coming to school every day. It is still our priority.”

Andrade said she really feels like the teachers and administrators are trying hard to come up with ideas, but it takes everyone to keep the ideas flowing. That is why she wants to have a meeting in December — in a neutral space for everyone to share ideas.

“I am going to try to get a room at the library and everyone can talk,” she said. “I don’t know what time or when. I will ask soon and try to make it in a way that everyone can get there. It is about coming up with solutions in positive ways.”

Andrade said everyone in the community needs to be involved in finding solutions. It doesn’t do the situation any good for people to be angry or want revenge.

“We want to work together with staff in a positive way in order to make positive change,” she said. “So far they are trying very hard and I can honestly say that. They used our ideas and their own ideas. They are putting on their tennis shoes and getting out there with the kids, have staff monitoring hallway a better.”

While teachers and staff continue to work with students and policies, Andrade said she is just thankful the situation has been handled in a positive way — and not just at the middle school, but all the schools.

“I don’t want division I want everyone to come together without hostility,” she said.

Andrade said she plans to advertise the future meeting in The Republican.

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