Administration and staff tackle bullying

Steven Dunn, Staff Writer

Bullying is a very serious issue in the school system. It is widespread and is destructive to the victims’ physical and mental health. Luckily, the high school’s staff are all willing to defend the students that are at risk.

One of the many people willing to decry bullying is English teacher Barbara Lomenzo. Lomenzo said, “I don’t see bullying happen too much actually, at least not in my classes.  I know it still happens, and have had a student report two incidents to me this year so far.” She went on to say that she “[thinks] verbal bullying is the most common form.”

Luckily, it is also more likely for bullying to be dealt with nowadays. When the topic about progressiveness of how schools deal with bullying is thought of, she thought that “the system is more progressive now.  I was in high school in the 1980’s and this was not dealt with as much.” However, she does point out that social media allows bullying to continue out of school, so the progress made in the past few decades is sort of a double-edged sword.

Administration is a very important part of bullying prevention. “I would say that we get concerning information on a regular basis, sometimes weekly. I would like to clarify though that there is a difference between ‘disrespect’ and ‘bullying’,”  assistant principal Michael Kromka said. He explained, “Our discipline is progressive and gets more severe with each recorded infraction.”

He also acknowledged that in certain cases, the victim might fight the perpetrator in self defense, and said, “This is determined on a case by case basis.  It is up to administration to determine, following an investigation, if actions were taken out of self defense or if they crossed lines past self defense.”

Kromka stressed that student safety is a top priority for administration. He said, “At the end of the day, part of my job is to ensure that students are safe here in school. Administration and Officer Shaffer take potential bullying/harassment situations very seriously and we respond promptly when we are notified.  What we ask for from students is to make good choices and communicate with us so that we can help.”