Wednesday, April 10, 2013
An investigation into a second posting which invoked the image of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter is still ongoing.
In a letter to parents and staff Wednesday, the Ladue School District announced that a police investigation has identified who was behind an Instagram social media account discovered in January that made crude comments about students at Ladue Middle School. Police Chief Rich Wooten confirmed that the source was a juvenile who did not attend Ladue schools. He would not identify the age of the person or where they were from because no actual crime took place. "While the comments accompanying the first post were insulting, the pictures were legally acquired from other social media sites and no laws were broken," the letter to parents said. Police are still investigating a second Instagram account that came soon after the first and made …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A parent filed the complaint in September over the annual obscene "senior list" circulated by students at Ladue High.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has agreed to investigate a complaint filed over the annual "senior list" circulated at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. The list, circulated near graduation time by students for at least 10 years, names a handful of girls each year and describes them with crude, vulgar and sometimes obscene references to students' body parts, sexual habits and hygiene. A Ladue High parent, Ruth Ahlemeier, complained to the Ladue School District about the list, after hearing that it was an annual tradition among students, and after her daughter appeared on the list that was circulated on May 11. Ahlemeier, chief executive for OEM Logistics in Olivette, filed the complaint with the Office for Civil…
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Spate of media accounts spurs these remarks.
During Monday's Ladue School District Board of Education meeting, the district's superintendent, Dr. Marsha Chappelow, issued the following statement in connection with the controversy surrounding allegations of bullying at Horton Watkins High School tied to an obscene list that has circulated toward the end of the school year: "I’d like to take a few minutes to give you the status of the situation at the high school that has been receiving media attention… In the past, there have been student-created lists containing highly inappropriate comments about other students distributed at the high school. In the latest instance, some of the students responsible were identified and disciplined. Previous Coverage: Obscene List About Ladue High …
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Ladue administrators say they take bullying seriously, but they cannot combat students who make bad decisions in spite of the consequences.
A vulgar and sometimes obscene "Senior List" that unkindly characterizes the body parts, sexual habits and hygiene of selected girls at Ladue Horton Watkins High School caught administrators by surprise when it was passed around during the lunch period on May 11. It was at least the 10th year that the list had been circulated by students at the high school, according to district administrators, but anti-bullying programs and other efforts had not effectively curbed the practice. "The (Ladue High) principal also stated that in the past the list had been passed around at graduation rehearsal. Therefore, having students pass it out at lunch was entirely unexpected," wrote Ladue School Board President Jayne Langsam in a letter to a Ladue High …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A Ladue School District letter describes it as an "ugly tradition" the school has tried to stop.
The parent of a Ladue Horton Watkins High School student has mounted a campaign against what the school district itself has called an "ugly tradition" — an annual list of graduating senior girls that describes them with vulgarities and obscenities and is circulated throughout the school. A series of letters between parent Ruth Ahlemeier and various officials with the Ladue School District describes Ahlemeier's efforts to have the practice in Ladue High stopped and the district's efforts to investigate her complaints. In one letter, shared with Patch on Monday, the president of the school board, Jayne Langsam, responded to Ahlemeier, recounting a conversation Ahlemeier had with Ladue High's principal: "The principal did say during the …
Thursday, May 24, 2012
A new pamphlet by the National School Boards Association spells out guidelines school officials should use to combat bullying, an issue many St. Louis-area schools have dealt with.
New guidelines from the National School Boards Association, released this week, spell out ways school officials should address the issue of bullying in their classrooms, while protecting the First Amendment rights of students. The guidelines (PDF) start with the free speech issue: "The fact that some speech deeply upsets, offends or angers some citizens is not a justification for banning or limiting the speech....In general, a listener is free to avoid hateful speech, to turn away, and, of course, to respond and to challenge it. But listeners may not insist that government silence the speech." (Please see the PDF file attached to this article for more details.) An article in Education Week notes that "the new guidelines were produced by …
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Parkway Northeast Principal Dr. Kim Brandon shares her latest letter with the school community.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Last Sunday night I watched the Dateline NBC news story about Phoebe Prince, the young girl who took her life after experiencing cruel and excessive bullying from classmates at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. I was saddened by the actions of the students who had bullied and victimized Phoebe. Why did they do this? What made these young adults think it was OK to treat another human being like this? What outcome were they hoping for? I wish I could say this type of behavior happens at other schools—not at Northeast—but I know this isn’t true. We all know that bullying happens everywhere and every day; however, this doesn’t mean we have to accept it and there are definitely steps we can take to proactively address bullying. As many…
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Merna Youssef will be honored December 10 by the St. Louis Coalition of Human Rights.
"Freedom from bullying is a human right. It is a human right because everyone is equal no matter what. It is also a human right because no one has to fit in or be like others to be treated the same way." You probably won't find these words in a universal treatise on human rights anywhere. At least not yet. But Parkway Northeast Middle School 8th grade student Merna Youssef is well on her way. Youssef, 13, has been recognized by the St. Louis Coalition of Human Rights as the first place winner of the Missouri Human Rights Essay Contest. Entitled, "How Does Bullying Affect the Right to Personal Security?" Youssef describes a narrative in her essay that spans generations and even continents. Her family arrived from Egypt when she was 9 years …
Friday, March 11, 2011
The White House convenes first-ever conference on it, state lawmakers are talking about it, what are your family's experiences with it?
Editor's Note: Today's Q & A focuses on a subject that's probably hit everyone at some point: Chances are, you've been bullied, you may have even been a bully. I was bullied growing up. As an elementary school child it was verbal--words will never hurt you, right? Well, don't believe it. But it got worse in middle school. No sticks or stones. Instead it was physical intimidation. Punches. Getting slammed to the ground after the bell rang and we were getting on the bus. Daily. Gut-wrenching. I went to a good school, with good teachers and administrators, but there wasn't much that could be done to stop what was happening. Eventually (mercifully), it stopped.
State lawmaker representing part of the Parkway School district proposes reform; District says many efforts already being made.
Bullying is a problem that no parent or child wants to deal with, but many are. Despite efforts on many levels to stop the harassment that often begins at a very early age, when Patch talked to kids, parents and school officials, we were hard- pressed to find someone who hasn't either dealt with the issue personally or seen it take place. That early onset, and the fact that it normally happens when adults aren't present make it harder to stop. The issue is so big that students, parents, and teachers addressed the issue Thursday in Washington, D.C. at the first White House Conference On Bullying prevention hosted by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. "As adults, we all remember what it was like to see kids picked on in the …