Christine Bolaños covers human interest, social & criminal justice, education & business issues for international, national & local outlets. IWMF Fellow-El Salvador. NAHJ Austin VP-Print. Bilingual.
Amid recently reported cases of bullying, LISD wants to remind parents and students of anti-bullying programs and initiatives taking place throughout the school district, some of which have been started by students themselves. LISD staff and students have joined forces to create a culture of kindness and caring at LISD campuses in hopes of combating bullying.
Only halfway into the year, the Leander and Cedar Park community has already mourned the death of a teenager who died by suicide on an LISD campus only a week after another high schooler took a non-fatal drug overdose.
Around the same time, a 20-something LISD graduate took his own life at his home. Last year, an elementary school student attempted suicide after reports of being bullied on campus.
While the number of deaths by suicide is low locally as is nationally when compared to the total population, there is evidence that those numbers are increasing slightly in Texas and in Williamson County.
For one child, thoughts of suicide as a permanent fix to bullying will likely never have to cross her mind as they did for Sammy.
Her mother and school principal quickly responded to her bullying situation and now not only is Anna unafraid of stepping foot in her school, she also reconciled with her former bully.
It's been several months since he has stepped foot in a public school, but Robert Mercer, is still haunted by memories of what happened to him in the boys restroom at Mason Elementary.
Parents of the autistic boy said he suffered severe bullying and sexual harassment from four other elementary-aged boys he went to school with.
A Texas House anti-bullying bill heavily focused on a growing number of cyberbullying cases could bring drastic changes in the way bullying cases are handled in public school districts throughout the state.
If passed, the anti-bullying law would enforce a No Place For Hate and zero tolerance for bullying culture in Texas schools, said Mary Throop, Rep. Mark Strama’s chief of staff and education advisor.
Former Mason Elementary student Robert Mercer has been through 18 surgeries in his ten years of life, most of them on the brain; and has had to come to term with the facts that he is autistic and that he'll be blind by the time he's 20. But Robert said none of that is worse than what four fellow fourth graders put him through in the boy's bathroom.
On June 1, members of Hutto High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions, along with many others, will join forces by participating in a rally at the Texas Capitol to raise awareness about bullying.
The Zero Tolerance Project is a grassroots effort organized by Matthew Michael Sullivan, Bud Collier, and Lisa Reyna Loe, a Leander mom who said her son was a victim of bullying at Leander ISD.
Sammy heaved a sigh of relief as he walked up the steps of the yellow school bus. He never thought he would actually feel good about going to school. Last year, convinced he had no other way of getting away from bullies, he had tried to take his own life. It wasn’t the first time.