Letters to the Editor | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 1, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: March 28, 2018 at 10:40 am
Last year I was asked to serve on a citizen task force to design long range planning for Colleton County schools. The goal was developing world-class education in Colleton County so that students from the county can compete in today’s world.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time participating in student activities and field trips in elementary schools in Walterboro for the past five years. My grandson has excellent academic records, but I’m cautious in asking him, “How was your day today?” He has been bullied since kindergarten, and tells me about a new incident every time I see him.
These incidents are everything from physical encounters to name-calling and ethnic and religious put-downs. He begs to be home-schooled to avoid the harassment.
Recently when I picked him up, he tearfully reported being slapped in the face by another student during computer lab. He had gone to the bully box to make a report, but there were no forms available. I immediately returned to the school to make my own report. I was told the matter had been “taken care of,” but I wasn’t satisfied.
This was a last straw. I went to Dr. Foster’s office where I introduced him to the student, and let the student tell the top school official in the county about his problem. Later, when Dr. Foster followed up, there was no documentation of the matter “being taken care of.” The principal and the teacher did not know anything about the incident.
This is not an isolated problem! This child is not the only student who is afraid to go to school every day, afraid to go to lunch, afraid to go to the play ground, afraid to report the incident because that will result in another round of name calling, i.e. snitch, tattle-tail. Bullies boast that nobody will do anything. The bully has no fear of being discovered, much less punished!
This is happening all over Colleton County, the state, and the nation. Nearly every school shooter reports being bullied.
Where and how do we being to address this problem? Children are not born knowing race, creed, color or religious values. They certainly are not born speaking profanity, but they have mastered all these lessons by the time they are in elementary school. They are learning what they live, but parents don’t accept that responsibility! Not their child! The only parents who are concerned are the parents of bullied children.
On their technical devices, they play games where they move to the next level by the number of animals or people they can kill, or even “kill themselves” to achieve the status! They may not be able to read or do their homework, but they know how to move to the next level! World-class learning!
As a professional, I am retired as the executive director of a shelter for abused women and children. I have been an advocate for their rights on a state and national level. Abusers are bullies. Unfortunately, too many children live in homes where domestic violence is “the norm.” Picking on someone more vulnerable than you are is then “normal.” And, by the way, domestic violence incidents are also rarely documented!
So what is the answer? I only know the questions. Where do students go when there are no forms at the bully box and no one really wants to hear their problem? How do students learn when fear overrides the learning environments? How can we have world-class schools when students engage in such low-class behaviors?
Dr. Rebecca Lee-Grigg
Love and support
of community helped
Far too often the kindness of our wonderful community is overlooked. I can honestly say that without the love and support of some fine people here in Colleton County, my family and I could not have made it through the worst day of our lives.
Within minutes of our 911 call, our police chief, Wade Marvin, was at our home. He was accompanied by some of the best trained and truly compassionate officers, first responders and other professionals out there.
The horrible news of my husband’s passing spread quickly and our home was soon filled with friends, neighbors and our beloved pastor, Ben Barnett.
God’s grace has lifted us up and will continue to hold us together as we move forward, without our cherished husband and father.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the love and overwhelming support that has been extended to our family.
Heather S. Simmons
Students made ‘Smoke’ a success
The recent success of the Smoke in the ’Boro barbecue was partly due to the volunteer efforts of students from our county.
Students from Colleton County High School New Tech volunteered over 60 hours. By acting as servers for the cookers, their smiling faces epitomized why our community is the Front Porch of the Lowcountry.
Our Scout troops, under the leadership of Mike Fanchette, volunteered over 75 hours. They acted as servers and helped in any way requested.
A community is only as good as its people and we are fortunate to have these wonderful volunteers.
Smoke in the ’Boro