This morning’s news read, Boy bullied in Gig Harbor as teacher watches. My heart was immediately broken. As I read the article reporting that in February an eighth grade boy was held down and put under chairs while classmates drew on his feet and stuffed his socks in his mouth, all while the teacher, John Rosi, was watching and even joined in by poking the boy in the stomach.
As a mother of children who attend school I am angry, saddened and confused. Questions began to dwell in my mind… Why is this okay? Why did Rosi receive a 10 day suspension? Why was his license to teach not revoked? Why were the children allowed to do this in the classroom? Why is this now being investigated by the Pierce County sheriff’s office when it should have been completed during the time he was suspended? With so many good teachers without jobs, why does he get to teach?
Kopachuck Middle School’s Mission, Vision & Values listed on their website include the following:
Kopachuck Middle School is an exemplary learning community dedicated to all students becoming productive life-long learners who achieve at high levels.
Kopachuck Middle School is an action oriented school that involves all stakeholders in continuously developing ideals and transforming them into reality.
We will work together to identify and develop strategies and assessments to help each student achieve at high levels. We will monitor individual and collective efforts, and use data to guide our process of continuous improvement. We will honor a collaborative, respectful approach in furthering our collective vision. We will demonstrate life-long learning and foster it in our students.
We will work with students, not against them.
We will be open minded and flexible when faced with challenges, and we will teach the appreciation of individual differences. The website also includes a picture and a link regarding Policy 3207 prohibition of harassment, intimidation and bullying.
When reading Kopachuck Middle School’s Mission, Vision & Values and Policy 3207 I see that the students, the teacher, the school and the district failed this boy. This boy who will live with this the rest of his life. Forever the videos, pictures and stories of his traumatic event will appear via the internet. Isn’t middle school traumatic enough??
I write these words today not to add to this boy’s traumatic event. I write because what happened to him should stop. Our schools are supposed to be a safe place for our children. Parents put their trust in the teachers that educate their children. During the school year teachers see our children more than we do. Yes we are to be active and participate in our child’s education. But it is not our responsibility to be there EVERY moment to ensure that they are receiving the education that they are entitled to as well as their safety. The world can be a big bad scary place for children. A child’s home, school and church should be places that enrich, build up, develop, and inspire them. Not deplete, tear down, repress and dissuade them.
I personally remember being a child who was a victim of bullying from the children in my school and my neighborhood. I am grateful to this very day for the teachers and staff that took a stand for me, which made my “world” a safe place.
Kindergarten teaches the world to keep your hands to yourself, to not say anything that is not nice, and to respect those around you.
Rosi needs to be terminated from his career as a teacher and sent back to Kindergarten as a student.