Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alleged Victim In Sandusky Case Leaves High School Due To Bullying

This from the Huffington Post:

The first known alleged victim in the Jerry Sandusky case, known as "Victim One" was forced to leave his school because of an onslaught of bullying, The Patriot-News reports.

Mike Gillum, psychologist for the family, told the news source that officials at Central Mountain High School didn't step in and provide guidance to the boy's classmates, who began to blame Joe Paterno's firing on the 17-year-old.

Victim One testified he was forced into multiple sex acts between 2006 and 2008. During that time, Sandusky was also assisting the high school with their varsity football program, the report states.

Gillum told The Patriot News that name-calling and verbal threats at the school, which is located about 30 miles northeast of Pennsylvania State University, became too much for the boy to bear...


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Day,

I am concerned for the victims at Penn State. In my view, the public schools these victims attend are doing little to protect these kids.

It is much the same in Kentucky. When I reported to my supervisor and middle school director the bullying of a student the classmates said was "gay," I was told the district could only do so much, that the student would necessarily have to be alone with his/her peers at some points of teh day. The middle school director then asked my principal how I was aware of the bullying of this student, and if I was telling community members about it---as if I had done something wrong because the student was not mine.

Solution to problem: Have clearly defined rules on bullying, who the teacher goes to, a contact person who will be called, a place where the child can be safe. Then, we should document this as state employees in a log book. We should be able as school employees to have a resource director not only for gay/lesbian youth, but someone who deals specifically with sexual abuse. We should NEVER have to tell our principal this first if we are uncomfortable with their attitudes regarding bullying (I never went back to the principal again). Finally, instead of listening to video footage by a President who says "It gets better," have the superintendent and/or principal address every incoming class, and the more seasoned students, about the punitive actions the district will take if someone is being bullied. Mr. Silberman remained silent on bullying, particularly students labeled gay, and I have heard nothing from Dr. Shelton on teh subject. True, these leaders might have been quoted in the newspaper, but a "Backpack" letter is what is needed for the edification of parents, too.

Rebecca Easterling said...

Dr. Day,

This incident further proves that sexual harassment has far- reaching effects that spread beyond the classroom. Victim 1 has not only suffered from the horrors of sexual harassment, but now also has had to deal with bullying severe enough that he has needed to withdraw from his school. The sexual harassment Victim 1 suffered has now damaged his education. Though he will be able to go to another school, he will always remember the incidents of harassment and bullying of which he has been a victim. He will likely never feel completely safe at school again, which will also inhibit his learning ability. If a student does not feel safe, he or she cannot learn properly; this student's safety has been extremely compromised throughout the course of his educational career.

Sexual harassment in the schools does not end when the school day does; its effects last long into life.

Rachel Kingsland said...

Dr. Day,

This article stuck out to me because it is just one of many incidences in this country where no steps in and does the right thing.

There is absolutely no reason that a high school student who is involved in a high profile case against a sex offender should not be offered some sort of protection against bullying and harrassment. Counselors and teachers should be involved and should step in when they see this type of behavior going on.

A school should be offering lessons on the subject in their health courses and pointing out now, more than before, how important it is to speak up when something happens that shouldn't. Students should not be allowed to name call and bully this young man. It's not his fault and yet, by allowing the name calling and ridiculing, teachers and school officials are sending the wrong message.

I agree with the above commenter - rules on bullying need to be clearly defined and strictly followed. Students doing the bullying should be punished in some way and parents should be notified any time this sort of thing is occurring.

Kathryn Neff said...

Dr. Day,

This article is very heartbreaking to me because it is so unfair to "Victim One." As if he is not going through enough right now, the students at his school are harassing him to the point that he left. I think the officials at the school should have most definitely stepped in and done something about this. The people in this area seem to have a backwards thinking about the Sandusky case. Not only did this student get taken advantage of sexually by Sandusky but he has to change schools now too. None of it seems fair to the victims. Aren't people more important than a college sport?

Alex Britton said...

This just proves that bullying does not only happen when a child is walking through the halls of the school but after schools activities need to also be looked at and checked in to.

Students should be taught and also aware of this subject because these kind of actions are happening. Whether texting, face-booking, or any other type of social activity, students need to be taught humility and teachers, counselors, and even principals need to step in and place action on this type of mistreatment. Students have been known to commit suicide and also hurt themselves over this type of act and schools would be held accountable for not preventing this.

Students should not be afraid to contact help for this type of situation and this can be addressed individually and to the group as a whole through school officials actions.

Sydney Arnold said...

I was somewhat shocked after reading this article. I cannot believe how harsh children can be. Not only was the child a victim of multiple sex acts, but now he has to endure bullying from his school peers. I feel as if bullying is not taken as serious as it should be. Just like in this case, counselors and teachers did not step in and stop this wrong act. I believe that rules against bullying should be enforced to help make schools a safe place for education. It is sad that the victim felt so attacked that he had to change schools.

Malika El-saadiq said...

I believe that bullying in some schools is being taken too lightly. I believe that those who are bullied are the victims and should not have to relocate. I believe that those who should relocate are those who are doing the bullying. Bullying is an infectious disease and if the one who is doing the bullying is not reprimanded then what stops this bully from attacking the other students. I believe that action needs to be taken twoards those who are bullying and causing disruption in the highschool before the victim is being forced to change highschools.

Sean Vandermosten said...

This is just an awful consequence of an even more awful situation. It truly is a shame how the students hardships are being used against him in a cruel way. The poor boy has already gone through enough, this only will add to his personal heartache. Though i could not even come close to feeling what this student is going through, any one that has ever been bullied can relate. The school should have stepped in long before this, and its a shame that the student feels as though this is his only option.

Anonymous said...

No one wants bullying to occur, we all agree, and certainly most educators engage in stopping it when they see it or are made aware of it. Perhaps we should start looking at the origins and conditions that support it outside the school building instead of blaming educators for not eradicating it.

Megan DeWald said...

I agree that this article is heartbreaking. It is crazy to me people look past the fact that this poor young man was forced into sexual acts on several occasions and blame him for the coach getting fired. He did the right thing and yet continues to suffer for it. I do disagree, though, with some other comments that are posted about the school being obligated to step in and punish the bullies for causing victim #1 to feel like he had to leave the school. I do not think it is the school's responsibility.

Tyler Mudd said...

I am a big sports fan, and I think this whole thing is a disgrace. You can't but feel bad for that young student, after all that has happened to him. I don't think that you can blame the schools too much for this bullying incident. I think it would be almost impossible to stop bullying if it was going to occur, because of all of the stories publicity.

Joseph Shouse said...

This story is really sad and I feel for all the victims in this case. Victim number one should not had to go through any of this. So many victims fail to come forward for this very reason. "How will their peers react?" This is where the school should have made a statement about bullying and stopped it from the beginning. As soon as victim number one came out the school then should have had a plan ready to be enforced. If Penn. St. students are going to burn cars and trash their campus, how are high school students who see that on T.V. going to react, probably the same way; which they should not. This young boy life will never be the same.

I see on the news all of the time that teachers and school districts want to stop bullying. Yes, it can be hard but for this one instance I believe this school should have been prepared for any backlash that came out of the situation. The school should have tried to protect this victim. Their are always two sides to a story but it looks like to me that the school did nothing.

Amber Whitaker said...

I am not sure how anyone can say that the way victim 1 is being bullied isn't the schools fault. After being sexually harassed between 2006 to 2008 he now suffers being bullied in school by his peers. The school system needs to get a grip on bullying.

LGBT kids are bullied in school and now here is another incident of another kid being bullied. People need to sit down and think of how bullying is effecting these kids, not only emotionally, but educationally as well. I mean look at Victim 1, they were forced to withdraw from school. The school had to know the kid was being bullied and it almost seems like they didn't care. So what will happen to him now?
So many kids get bullied and unnoticed. Something has to give with bullying.