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PSUSD addresses handling of bullying in schools

Bullying discussed at PSUSD board meeting

The Palm Springs Unified School District held it's board meeting this evening and one of the big topics discussed was how the district is handling bullying in its schools.

It's a topic that has become increasingly relevant to parents, amplified after a local mother's post about her son being allegedly bullied at Two Bunch Palms Elementary went viral.

"All I want is for every single kid to be safe, that's all I want," said Aiden Vasquez, the boy who was allegedly bullied at Two Bunch Palms Elementary.

The 10-year-old gave a cry for help in front of parents and school officials at the board meeting.

"My son, look at his face. He's emotionally and physically screwed right now, we all are," said Lizette Casanova, Aiden's mother.

Other concerned parents also took the podium and shared their own children's bully stories.

"Her arm was broken in two places by a student at Catherine Finchy Elementary School," one mother said.

Parents weren't the only ones asking for change, some teachers took the podium to speak out.

"Bullying needs to be replaced with something else and you just can't stop an idea you need to replace it," said Dr. Brian McDaniel, 2017 CA Teacher of the Year and Painted Hills Middle School teacher.

 

 

Four schools were recognized by the state for implementing positive behavior systems in classrooms at the start of the meeting. One of the schools honored was Two Bunch Palms, the same school where Aiden was hurt. 

Aiden's mother can be heard speaking out as they made the announcement.

"I think my son should take a picture with those being recognized for no violence," Casanova shouted. 

KESQ & CBS Local 2's Lauren Coronado spoke with Dr. Anne Kalisek, the executive director for student support services at PSUSD. Kalisek said Vasquez's case is not considered a bully case according to state law.

"We did take appropriate actions with the student who hit the young man," Kalisek said.

According to PSUSD, during the 2017/2018 school year, 32 students were suspended for bully-related incidents. More than 900 students were suspended for physical harm-related incidents. 

Kalisek says Vasquez's incident is isolated and that several anti-bully programs are in place, which is also why Two Bunch Palms was an award recipient tonight.

If you or someone you know wants to report anonymously bullying, violence, or any other concerns, visit Spriego.comSprigeo sends an email to an administrator with all of the details from your report and protects your identity.

 

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Noticias en español: Telemundo 15

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