TE Middle School Student the Target of Anti-Semitic ‘Dirty Jew’ Attacks by Classmate

Image result for anti-semitismI was sent an Associated Press news article about a middle school student accused of anti-Semitic bullying and of making threats to a fellow student and asked if I was going to write about the situation.  I opened the article, expecting to read about this latest horror story occurring in some faraway place – only to discover that the incident occurred in our own school district at TE Middle School in Berwyn.

According to the story, which the family shared with news media, the bully’s target was their 12 year old daughter who told him she was no longer interested in him.  His response was to retaliate by texting images of Adolph Hitler and ‘dirty Jew’ remarks.  He reportedly also threated to bring a gun to school and go after 33 classmates, including the female student who ‘broke up’ with him.

Although the male student faces criminal charges for his actions, the article states that he returned to school within a week.  The female student was so afraid when the boy returned to school, that the family has removed her from the school for the remainder of the year.

I understand that the administration has to balance the safety of the female student and her classmates with the right to an education of the male student but personally it seems unfair that the alleged victim is the one not attending TE Middle School! According to 6ABC News, “the 12-year-old was charged with harassment and marking terroristic threats. He was suspended from school for five days.”

Chester County DA Tom Hogan was contacted for comment and the AP news article states that “ … he could not comment on pending cases but added he had no reason to think the girl’s parents would give an inaccurate account.”

Since the news article first surfaced, I have heard that the death threat against the 33 fellow classmates was investigated and dismissed by the school.  I have no idea whether that the threat was real or not or if it was dismissed. However, what I do know is that anti-Semitic bullying is not simply a ‘cyber incident’ or a ‘boys will be boys’ situation.   These are scary times we are living in – if a kid makes ‘dirty Jew’ comments and texts Adolph Hitler images at 12 years old, a simple “I’m sorry” does not cut it for me.

Besides the seriousness of the actual incident, in my opinion there is a significant problem with the fact that the other parents at the school were not notified by the school district.  Instead, the parents and the community learn about the anti-Semitic act from the Associated Press!  According to the news article, “School officials made no public announcement about the case, and other parents know only what they heard around town.”   Subsequent to the AP news release, various versions of the story are appearing on the major TV networks.

Why does it take the anti-Semitic story working its way through to AP news channels and publically broadcast coast to coast for us to learn about it?  To my knowledge and unless someone tells me differently, no letters were sent to the TE Middle School parents regarding the anti-Semitic situation.

The following statement is now on the TE School District website – I do not know when it first appeared or it it was specifically added as a result of this anti-Semitic incident as it is undated:

Response Protocol for Reported Threats

Since the February event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the District has received some questions about how TESD responds when information about a potential threat is shared with school officials.  The following is a short summary.

All reports involving threats are taken seriously. Once a report is received, the school opens an investigation.  Depending upon what is learned, District responses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Application of discipline consistent with District policy and school law
  • Police notification
  • Enhanced supervision and monitoring measures
  • Administration of risk assessment protocols involving mental health professionals to determine whether or not a student is a threat to self or others
  • Appropriate supports for involved students

Parents and students are encouraged to report potential threats to school administrators so the school may begin to investigate and implement appropriate measures.

It seems to me in the last few years we are hearing more and more of these anti-Semitic incidents.  A little investigation and I found that for the last 39 years, the Anti-Defamation League has conducted a yearly audit of anti-Semitic incidents. The 2017 survey reported there were nearly 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents – the highest number recorded since conducting the first survey in 1979 and an increase by 57% over the previous year. The annual audit tracks incidents of vandalism, harassment or assault reported to the Anti-Defamation League by police, media and victims. Only verifiable incidents are included in the survey.

In previous audits, the majority of reported anti-Semitic incidents occurred in public areas, like parks. However, the most frightening statistic to emerge from the 2017 report indicates that 457 incidents occurred in K-12 schools – an increase of 94 percent from the previous year!  And it is not geographic based – the anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2017 occurred in each of the 50 states, with Pennsylvania having the sixth highest number of incidents behind New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida.

Although I am not an educator, I am a parent and we are living in angry times. I know that there are two sides to every story and maybe I do not have all the facts but I know one thing for certain – hate-filled anti-Semitism has no place in our schools. The world should never forget that under Hitler’s leadership, some 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II.

All children need to feel safe at school. The school district went to great effort and expense to install fences around the schools. However, reflecting over the last several years, the threat has not come from outsiders (not to say that the District should not be prepared!) but rather internally – repeated assault of a female Conestoga student by a male District aide and assault of a learning disabled male student by a Conestoga aide and coach to name a couple.

Don’t sweep anti-Semitism under the carpet and turn a blind eye … use this as a teachable moment.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

112 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. As I read your recent blog post, my TV is on in the background reporting on the latest school shooting in TX, at least 8 dead. We have learned the shooter was a high school student going after his fellow students. In Parkland shooting it was a former student returning to his high school and going after staff and students. We are already learning that there was a history with this shooter as there was in Parkland. This makes the anti-semitic attitudes/threats of this TE middle schooler even more important to address. Tthese kinds of threats should not be taken lightly! Thank you Pattye for all that you do, it is important.

    [Reply]

  2. I read about the anti Semetic bullying at T/E Middle School, sadly cyberbullying continues. It is unacceptable to name, and revictimize, the girl while not naming the boy. Why only a 5 day suspension , not expulsion, and arrest? T/E has not taken this seriously enough, protected their students, and the community. This girl is a victim and should have been identified, and not have had to leave her school to feel safe. The school is required to provide a safe environment for each student. Why is this boy still attending? Thank you Pattye, this is most important.

    [Reply]

  3. The victim should NOT have been named. My correction.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Reply:

    I agree which is why I did not put her name in my blog post (although it appears in the AP news article).

    [Reply]

  4. 1) If the girl’s parents feel that there is apparently such a major unaddressed “risk,” then why is her brother still attending TEMS?

    2) It seems really self-centered to publicize their daughter’s picture and complaint on front pages at the national level by inviting the Associated Press to their house for an interview, especially if she is suffering from PTSD as they claim. I would think that this is not what you should do in the presence of an anxiety disorder such as PTSD! It would be interesting to hear an adolescent/teen mental health specialist weigh in on this…

    3) If District disciplinary actions and medical evaluations of a student are supposedly kept “confidential,” then how the hell did this wind up being disclosed in the APs article? If the District was responsible for providing this info, then it’s disgustingly shameful that they once again are engaging in heavy-handed tactics; if it was the girl’s parents pursuing disclosure of this information, then this just makes it all seem like retribution against a perceived inaction or insufficient action.

    [Reply]

    RL4life Reply:

    So do you believe that the school community should NOT have been notified about this?

    [Reply]

    Liz Reply:

    Victims of threats, bullying, and hate can choose to go public and/or face the threat.
    Victims as in the Cosby case found it therapeutic and cathartic.
    Every victim and their family should choose there own way of healing.
    In this case, I believe the family felt a need to share their story to protect their daughter and other victims.
    Please don’t blame the victim.
    When you suffer at the hands of another you handle it differently. But in this case the victim’s family chose what is best for them.

    [Reply]

    TE Parent Reply:

    Is it responsible to compare the antics of a 12 year old boy to the criminal actions of convicted rapists and murderers?

    Is it responsible for the Mother of the girl to publicly reveal her daughters medical status and picture to the AP?

  5. Hey whatever happened to that whole football team thing? All those accusations were totally accurate right? Ahhhh don’t worry about it, it’s way more fun to screech and moan without any facts to base it on.

    [Reply]

    RL4life Reply:

    What facts in this case are being debated? Did the boy send threatening text messages? Did he use anit-sematic language? Did he threaten 33 other individuals?

    [Reply]

  6. The adminitration is in a difficult situation as the article stated, “administrators must balance the safety of an alleged victim and other schoolmates with the accused’s right to an education”. The article goes on to say the accused’s class schedule was changed so the two didn’t meet in class. I wonder if the district offered to have an adult escort the victim from classroom to classroom to allay her fears. I’m guessing the victim has homebound instruction with a tutor supplied by the district for the last few weeks of the year.

    [Reply]

  7. The world won’t and shouldn’t forget that 6M Jews died in the holocaust. However, let’s not forget the 1.5M dead in the Armenian genocide, 2M dead at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, over a million dead in Rwandan genocide, let alone the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Darfur, the deaths during apartheid, war atrocities like Nanking. Sadly, just the tip of a long list. But I don’t hear anyone getting upset being called a dirty Cambodian, dirty Armenian, a dirty Tutsi, etc. Humans are horrible to each other and Jews do not have a monopoly on human suffering.

    [Reply]

  8. Despicable that some have posted comments questioning the motives & actions of the girl’s parents!

    The School District obviously verified her claim – hence the boy’s suspension. Her parents should do everything they can to see that their daughter is allowed to attend her own school without being subjected to hate-speech and religious-based harrassment.

    I applaud the family for publicizing this incident, since the District kept it from parents and taxpayers.

    “Retribution against a perceived inaction…” – damn straight!

    [Reply]

  9. The boy was wrong. The parents and the school addressed it. The boy was suspended from school and is being criminally charged. A psychological evaluation cleared the boy to go back to school. It’s a very sad unfortunate situation but if the Administration were to report on events like this, they would be filing reports practically every single day. This is not unique to TE. This happens frequently in every middle school in the country.

    [Reply]

    RL4life Reply:

    Ummm – no. No it doesn’t.

    [Reply]

  10. Most of us would be very disturbed to hear any of those things. Most of us stand up to bigotry and bullying no matter the victim.

    Perhaps you don’t hear anyone talking about the slurs you mention because they aren’t commonly used in the U.S. If there were active groups idolizing the perpetrators of those genocides in the U.S., and quite a number of people who took on their symbols and language, and there’d been marches, including one where someone was killed by a car, and there was widespread twitter harassment of those who shared ethnicity with the victims of those genocides, then maybe journalists would start writing articles about it. Fortunately, thank God, none of that is true. We don’t need any more hate than we already have.

    http://time.com/5267889/twitter-users-anti-semitic-messages/

    [Reply]

    Protection and equality for all Reply:

    First to clarify I signed the petition. I am all for more stringent methods to protect our children and hope to see better policies implemented.

    However It is offensive to dismiss the fact that hate exists towards other cultures and religions. To state that “none of that is true” is ignorant on every level.

    Please also do not quote or reference the ADL – they themselves have spread hate on so many different levels. They are anti back, anti people of color, to say the least.

    Let’s fight for the protection of all people and never dimish those who suffer regardless of their race or religion. There is so much hate and ignorance at our school towards so many minorities and it’s unacceptable to dismiss those.

    https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/concerns-about-adl-participating-in-starbucks-racial-bias-training/

    [Reply]

    Parent Reply:

    First – I signed the petition and I am for more stringent policies to protect our schools.

    With that said however, it is incredibly offensive for to dismiss the fact that others have and are suffering. To state “none of that is true” is ignorant on every level. Sorry to be so blunt.

    The ADL denies the Armenian genocide… just as quickly as you were to dismiss the hate against others. It is also very anti balck anti Muslim and anti so many other cultures and ethics backgrounds.

    To stop hate we need to be willing to stand up for the protection of all people and never dismiss the suffering of anyone. There is so much hatred in our schools against all minorities and all of them should be given that same attention. Please do not dismiss those so quickly.

    https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/concerns-about-adl-participating-in-starbucks-racial-bias-training/

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    You are absolutely right. Denial of the Armenian genocide is despicable. I wasn’t aware that the ADL had been involved in that, and it definitely lowers my opinion of them, but I am not and have not been involved with the ADL, so that has nothing to do with me.

    And I wasn’t doubting racism and other forms of hate besides anti-semitism exist in the U.S. To the contrary. I was responding to the earlier poster who suggested we should stop talking about the Holocaust because Jews don’t have a monopoly on suffering, and then cited the Khmer Rouge and the Armenian genocide as if those forms of bigotry (note:not racism) occur at anywhere near the rate of anti-semitism in our society today. It would be equally awful if the poster has said we shouldn’t talk so much about racism in the U.S. because of the Khmer Rouge. Anti-semitism, racism, and anti-immigrant bigotry are pervasive problems here and now, and to downplay them by saying oh, “why are you getting so upset” and “bad things happen everywhere” is unacceptable. In this particular case, the problem was anti-semitism. Nobody upset about it should have to hear someone say, well, Armenians were victims of a genocide too, what about the Khmer Rouge, why are we always talking about the Holocaust, any more than people upset about the racism at Starbucks last month should be told those things.

    [Reply]

    Concerned Reply:

    To set the record straight, the ADL has explicitly recognized the Armenian genocide. From Jonathan Green­blatt
    CEO of the Anti-Defamation League in a release on 5/13/2016:

    “What happened to the Armenian people was unequivocally genocide.

    We believe that remembering and educating about any genocide – Armenian, the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and others is a necessary tool to prevent future tragedies.”

    [Reply]

  11. As far as I’m concerned, students who can’t stop themselves from threatening to shoot others should be in alternative school environments. Period. If necessary, we should build more alternative schools to deal with this. Since no expert can say for sure which of these children will commit horrible crimes, how can we not do MORE rather than LESS to protect our children? I am not in any way suggesting a draconian zero-tolerance policy that prevents kids from playing cops and robbers–this was not that–it was an outright THREAT. At any workplace that would be an immediate fireable offense. Why must children be required to accept what no adult is forced to accept in their workplace? Why do we allow them to be treated worse than we would ever expect to be treated?

    And for those who didn’t read the article an expert is quoted as saying NO WAY should this kid be at the school with his victim while he is awaiting trial.

    And one final point: if he is in the school, HE should be the one with a support staff member following him around (and perhaps he is–we don’t know the details of what the school has done). HE is the one who should have his bags searched every morning, his joking around with his friends in the hallway interrupted, and his every move monitored. SHE should not have to be followed around by an adult like she did something wrong.

    [Reply]

  12. We don’t need to know the details of the child’s psychological evaluation that occurred during his 5 days of suspension but as a parent I am concerned about my own child’s safety. How do I know that this kid isn’t going to go after my child next? I feel like the school district is leaving us at risk in this situation.

    [Reply]

  13. Pre teen kids flirt with expression.

    Parents have expressed concern that their child may be the next target. I believe it would be wise to consider that your child may just as likely be the next perpetrator. After all, we need to remember these are children.

    The legal system acknowledges that children are held to a different standard. The community needs to do the same. Let’s model to our children how to put things in a proper and considered perspective.

    [Reply]

    Middle School Parent Reply:

    Sounds like you are drinking the kool-aid of the administration. The 17 yr. old in Texas that killed 10 of his classmates posted a photo of an overcoat with Nazism symbols and a t-shirt that said ‘born to kill’ on FB last month. Do you think he was flirting with expression? He didn’t just wake up at at 17 and decide to shoot his classmates, it starts somewhere. To dismiss the actions of a middle school as “flirting with expression” is unbelievable. It’s more like “handwriting on the wall”! And I don’t see how 5 day suspension and psychological evaluation fixed the problem.

    [Reply]

    TE Parent Reply:

    From ages 13 to 18 is adolescence He’s pre adolescent and likely pre pubescent.

    Abstract thinking develops during adolescence. As the child matures and is able to think in more complex ways, we expect more considerate behavior. He’s been identified and his development through adolescence will be monitored.

    [Reply]

    RL4life Reply:

    Hmmm – no I’m pretty sure that my child would not be the next perpetrator because I have modeled appropriate behavior to my children. I would question now the parents. How this boy came to flirt with Hitler and antisemitism and expression of such. Modeled at home perhaps?

    [Reply]

  14. I’m angered that I needed to hear about this incident via the news and not directly from the school. I would have appreciated a heads-up email so when my child came home from school yesterday he would’ve heard the facts from me, versus the “rumors” from his classmates. My child couldn’t understand how this boy wasn’t expelled for the content of his texts alone…much less the violent threats supposedly made to certain students. Some ZERO tolerance policy. He bullied her with awful inexcusable texts. He should be GONE! This boy sounds deeply troubled and his behavior is NOT NORMAL. Even if he “cleared” his psychological evaluation today, how are we to know if something won’t set him off tomorrow? Are we normalizing his terrible behavior? Chilling this came to light the same day of the Texas school shooting. I’m grateful the girl and her family shared their story, they’re incredibly brave. I stand with them – “if you see something; say something”.

    [Reply]

  15. Obviously the parents are not happy with the way the district handled the situation and is now bringing attention to the issue so that more severe consequences are put in place now and/or in the future, if this should happen again. People like you coming down on the victim exacerbate and make the situation even worse than it is. Shame on you.

    [Reply]

  16. The fact that the child is allowed back in school after being evaluated by healthcare professionals indicates it is within the boundaries of normal for his age. Again, he’s a child.

    Perspective is key. Given the unfortunate events in Texas, it’s easy to conflate the two, however this is a 12 year old, not a high school student.

    Let’s use experience and wisdom to break the cycle of fear, and refuse to indulge in false equivalences.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    And I’m sure the TE healthcare professionals can do no wrong.

    I had three children go through TEMS, and it is a very poorly run institution. Devon is fabulous–or at least was–and I’ve found the high school to be better than its scandals suggest. TEMS was atrocious. All three of my children–one of whom is now an adult–would tell you that.

    And we are dealing with the victim of a crime here. Unless the facts are reported inaccurately–which nobody seems to be suggesting–than she has a right to not have to deal on a daily basis with the perpertrator of what is in fact a criminal act against her.

    And you do know that middle schoolers have committed school shootings, right? (And that yesterday’s shooter’s first act was to kill his ex-girlfriend?)

    [Reply]

  17. Adolescence occurs between the ages of 13 and 18. It is likely that this child is not only pre adolescent but pre pubescent.

    Cognitive growth during adolescence includes abstract thinking and the consideration of multiple points of view. As we become capable of more complex thinking and decision making, more considerate behavior is expected.

    This child has been identified and his development will be monitored.

    [Reply]

  18. No child is born as an antisemite. That means the child must have gotten those ideas somewhere. This situation and the administration’s handling of it with the parents is very troubling.

    [Reply]

  19. As stated, he’s a child flirting with expression, not an adult with a developed cognitive capacity capable of comprehending the impact his words have on others. He’s simply too immature to be labeled.

    [Reply]

  20. 12 year olds are much more sophisticated (and social media savvy) than when I was their age. I find this anti-Semitic behavior unacceptable regardless of age. The girl shuns his advances and this is the response.

    Did anyone else see that one of the victims in the Texas shooting was killed because she turned down his advances. As reported in the LA Times —

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texas-shooter-20180519-story.html

    I am not saying that the VF Middle School boy’s use of antisemitism makes him headed in the direction of the Texas shooter but please don’t dismiss the actions of a 12 year because he’s just a child and will grow out of it. Yes, he’s a pre-teen but would it change the attitude of some who comment, if he was 13 and a teenager like the 17 year old Texas shooter. Do we set the age limit that those under 13 are not fully developed and therefore are not accountable for their actions?

    [Reply]

    Another parent Reply:

    Fully agree with your comment. 12 years, 13 years, 17 years, age is just that – an age, it doesn’t change the anti-Semitic attitude. Just the video of the Conestoga girls was not acceptable, this too is not acceptable.

    I think all TE Middle School parents should have received an email from the District on the day it happened. The administration could have left the child’s name out of it but tell the parents what happened so that they are prepared when their children come home with questions. And please tell the parents what the District is doing to educate on this topic and that words do matter!

    [Reply]

  21. For those who are outraged that the “parents at the school were not notified by the school district” or “TE Middle School parents should have received an email from the District on the day it happened”.

    We are all now looking at the situation in hindsight specifically after the girl’s parents invited AP reporters into their home to publicize the situation. Imagine the howls from those same parents if the administration unilaterally decided to publicize the incident with a letter to the parents. Sure, the names would have been withheld, but the identity of the victim and perpetrator would be easily unearthed. I can hear it now.

    “How dare you further traumatize my daughter by spreading her story across the community? This should be a private matter and a time for healing. She is now receiving unwanted attention by her peers at school. Does anyone in this administration have any compassion?”

    [Reply]

    Pattye Reply:

    Yes, always at least two ways of looking at situations. I guess I somewhere in the middle, thinking that the parents of children in the class or grade should have been notified of the incident with the boy and girl’s names redacted. Nothing worse than being blind-sighted by your own child’s questions or the ‘whisper down the lane’ between parents without the facts. Five years ago, I may not have had such strong feelings but we’re all living in a different world these days, and I think staying informed is critical to staying safe. As for the parents speaking out, my thought was they did so out of frustration – I doubt that their first call was to an AP reporter. Just my opinion.

    [Reply]

    Not so Fast Reply:

    Actually Keith, it seems that MANY students in the school knew many of the details at the time, including identities of both parties. The school and admin tried to keep in under wraps for reasons I cannot imagine… This was no secret that the admin kept out of respect or confidentiality to any victim. It was secret kept that created totally unacceptable risk and danger in the school. No logical reason whatsoever.

    I commend the courageousness of the victim and her family, and condemn the actions of the actor and his enablers, and also condemn the admin for doing exactly the wrong thing.

    And to the DA, who cannot “comment on pending cases”, is this a new rule for him??? He had no problem commenting (and calling a press conference with that sole purpose) regarding the charges brought, and subsequently dropped in the football farce, two years ago at Conestoga.

    When will the School Board realize the Admin is a disaster? Do they have any competence or motivation to fix it???

    Let’s save some real money in TESD. Let’s get rid of the many ineffective and incompetent admins and use the funding saved on those salaries to put POLICE into the schools to protect the kids and institute effective measures to mitigate this terrifying risk.

    [Reply]

  22. It is appalling that so many in our community are willing to minimize or excuse behavior like this, and that we have a school district that is unwilling to be transparent and use events like this as learning opportunities for our community.

    The facts are indisputable. This young man sent vicious anti-Semitic texts (some of which are visible on the 6abc website) to a girl simply because she called him out for bullying her friends at a dance. This was not a single off-hand comment but rather a campaign of hate directed at her. After the conduct was reported to the school, the child reacted by threatening to bring a gun to school and target 33 people. He is now facing criminal charges for terroristic threats and harassment. None of the press accounts include any statements of apology or remorse from the child or his family, despite being contacted for comment.

    Given these undisputed facts, how in the world is this child still walking the halls of the school, while the victim is forced to finish out her school year at home? At a minimum, school district policy should mandate that students with pending criminal charges involving violence be kept out of school until the case is adjudicated.

    Moreover, the school district needs to realize that its privacy obligations extend only to the name of the perpetrator and the discipline that was given — there is absolutely no reason the school district cannot be transparent about incidents like these and use them as teachable moments….indeed, from the comments on this site it appears that many need a refresher on what happens when hate is not kept in check, when we excuse criminal conduct as “normal” child development, and start blaming the victim for speaking the truth.

    [Reply]

    TE are you listening? Reply:

    Thank you for your comment! I am a Beaumont parent and you put into words exactly how my husband and I are feeling.

    There are pending criminal charges against this kid (and NO, I don’t think that this is normal 12 year old behavior!) and he’s walking the halls. A 5-day suspension and a psych evaluation, and what he’s now cured? Or as a preteen (as someone commented) he is not fully developed. What????

    Administration should be required to inform parents of what’s going on in their schools!

    [Reply]

  23. I am a Beaumont and TEMS parent and find the lack of communication between the school district and residents concerning. The nature of the incident needs to be communicated to all parents and residents. My children found out about by a “whisper down the lane approach” which left me with many unanswered questions. What, if anything, is TE School District doing to address the underlying issues that seem to exist within this community? My family relocated here three years ago and have witnessed a nationally publicized hazing incident, two incidents involving school employees having inappropriate sexual relationships with students, a high school athlete using a racial slur and now this beyond horrific anti Semitic rant by a middle school student (which was followed by school violence threats). This district loves going on and on about being #1 on this site and being #1 on that list, but really fails where it matters most. We are relocating to the west coast in June and frankly I am thrilled. TESD has been disappointing on several levels….

    [Reply]

  24. The world is round. The sun will come up tomorrow. 12 years olds say crazy, threatening, insensitive things……every day. Ask a teacher.

    If your demands are met, expect a daily report.

    [Reply]

    TEMS Parent Reply:

    TE Parent: Respectfully, we’ll vastly agree to disagree.

    Thus far in 2018, according to data gleaned from U.S. military data & media reports of school shootings, more people have died in school shootings in the U.S. than in combat-related deaths from American military campaigns around the world.

    The difference? Those choosing to bravely serve in the military know the risks and proudly serve anyway. Our kids are just trying to go to school & get an education. When a TEMS 12-year old says “a crazy, threatening, insensitive thing” (AFTER texting horrible inexcusable anti-Semitic slurs) – some parents take these threats SERIOUSLY and want to protect our kids. However, if it’s just “locker room” talk – then may your kids (and mine) be spared.

    I have “asked a teacher” as you suggest. I have several friends & 2 close relatives that are teachers in T/E, Great Valley & Radnor school districts. We discussed this situation at length over the weekend. Privately they agree this is NOT NORMAL. This boy needs help. They may not be able to share concerns so publicly (or even privately), but this boy’s behavior should NOT be normalized.

    [Reply]

    LocalRes Reply:

    What this kid sent and said is not close to “normal ” behavior for a 12 yr old – this was some pretty nasty and serious stuff. Do you even know what he sent and said? If you think that is “boys will be boys”, well ….

    [Reply]

  25. The spectrum of what is considered normal behavior narrows as one develops. Pre adolescent children enjoy a very broad spectrum in which to explore and develop. To impose behavioral expectations that presume the maturation that occurs during adolescence would be by definition, expectation of abnormal behavior.

    [Reply]

  26. I just sent this email to the school board in response to all that has happened.

    To members of the TE School Board,
    Recent events in our school district as well as Texas have our community concerned. There are a lot of issues at play, so I am going to address just one in this letter.

    We have anti-bullying programs in our schools, which are great, but how are we teaching kids to cope with disappointment? We tell our kids what to do if they are being bullied or see someone who is being bullied, but what do we tell our kids to do if they are just disappointed? The incident at our middle school is prime example of this lack of coping skills – one person is not interested in another and the response is to intimidate and threaten to kill several innocent people. It is heartbreaking when we are refused a romantic interest, but most people realize that it is a temporary problem. This pain will pass. Somewhere there is disconnect. This is a concern I have had over the past few years -our young people today, not just in TE, but across our country are lacking coping skills.

    Middle school and high school years are difficult times for young people. Their bodies are changing, their brains are still developing and they are learning decision making skills among other things. Part of this growing up is that disappointments and heart breaks can feel permanent. They think they will never find anyone to love them or feel love again.

    It is not only the school’s responsibility to teach our kids healthy coping skills, it is the job of the parents. But the school district and certainly the larger community can help reinforce healthy coping skills to our young people.

    This should be part of the resiliency/anti-bullying programs we offer the students. Kids need techniques to help them cope with disappointment. Encourage kids to think about things they like to do, make a list, so when something disappointing happens they can refer to that list and do something that makes them happy: play a video game, read a book, draw, write something, go for a walk, throw a ball around, hang with friends, listen to music, bake something, etc.

    Young people do not have the ability to see the long term effects of their decisions. All they see is what is happening right there in the moment. As part of the life skills we teach kids we need to remind them that there are always going to be disappointments in life – they may not get into the college they want, get the internship they hope for, the scholarship they need or the dream job they have been training for. We need to do more than make sure our kids have the SAT/ACT scores they need to get into college, we have to give them the skills they need to move to plans B, C, D when A does not work out they want it to.

    Young people are seeking permanent solutions to very temporary problems. We have to find ways to help our kids stay focused on the bigger picture and give them the necessary tools to deal with life’s ups and downs and be there cheering them on when they succeed and encouraging them when they fail. We need to keep reminding them that there is another opportunity tomorrow.

    Sincerely,
    Kristine Adams
    Easttown Township resident, parent of a 9th grader

    [Reply]

  27. Never say never.
    There are reports of many child murderers.
    Is it genetic, social or a combination?
    Having worked with the forensic psychiatric population in Norristown State Hospital 20 minutes way from Berwyn, the jury is still out.
    I do think parents should be notified. Counselors should be available for all.
    I also think you are innocent until proven otherwise.
    Children do require various programs when identified as angry or depressed.
    If a child is deemed a danger to self or others then the Court can step in on a 302 to have a more intense evaluation by psychiatrist, psychologist and outside behavioral analysis.

    [Reply]

  28. Although I was not at the school board meeting tonight, I received multiple messages during the meeting. Major TV networks showed up with cameras rolling — guess T/E will make the 11 o’clock news again :(

    Many parents attended the meeting and commented on the recent anti-Semitic issue, including the parents of the female victim! Parents very upset about the handling of the situation and lack of communication from the school district, with statements regarding the Board’s failure to protect their kids and that they couldn’t tell right from wrong. Parents did not feel that the District handled the situation well.

    The parent of the victim said they daughter was afraid and worried that she had to be physically hurt before the kid would be removed. Parents saying that other districts do a better job — and that schools need to be leaders in condemning victimization and provide support for victims.

    District solicitor says that the situation is “legally challenging” — not sure what that is supposed to mean?

    It appears that after many parents spoke, administration admitted that the District could do better and that a community task force would be set up and new policies by next year.

    What is troubling, is that in the opening remarks at the start of the meeting neither the school board or the Superintendent stated any plan of action. It was only with the cameras rolling and major pushback from the parents that the idea of task forces and new policies would come into play. This appeared to exacerbate the problem for parents — the school board should have come to the meeting prepared with a “plan of action”, not wait until they were pushed into a corner and then forced to come up with a plan for the future. But maybe its not how the board and the administration came to the decision to ‘do something’ that matters … but that they are now going to act!

    I am proud of the parents, particularly the victim’s parents, for coming to the meeting and speaking out! Otherwise nothing is going to change!

    And it’s noted that [although not the agenda] — audience members were allowed to speak during the first comment period instead of having to wait until the end of the meeting. I believe that was a result of the TV cameras rolling! Perhaps going forward, this is a change in policy that could be permanent!

    [Reply]

    Ray Clarke Reply:

    A good summary, Pattye. Emotions ran very high indeed. One noteworthy addition: only at the very end of the meeting, when most parents had left, did some of the Board comment directly. Dr Hotinski has a child at TEMS and expressed her support for both the parents and also Principal Phillips and Supt Gusick. Mr Sweeney noted that very many child welfare authorities advise against the zero tolerance, immediate expulsion favored by many parents who spoke. Revd Dorsey also did not want to dismiss the opportunities for second chances, as he himself has received.

    My take-aways:
    – Policies could be examined to provide better guidance for situations like this (and perhaps others brought on in the new age of social media)
    – Federal law places specific constraints on school districts, but there may be different interpretations of some aspects
    – The District is committed to an inclusive process for that examination, and many qualified parents spoke up with offers to participate
    – Any revisions can be effective close to the start of the next school year

    And finally, a nice quote from Mr Sweeney: hard cases make bad laws.

    [Reply]

  29. There is NO LIST and the fact that this has spread through the public like this is extremely upsetting. Have you heard of an age old problem of gossip and ‘whisper down the lane”. That is a perfectly good reason to not have to notify the School District.

    Also, the anti-Semitic messages in the story are not the only ones that occur and continue to be made throughout social media and in person amongst children. I even hear it amongst elementary school aged kids talking and I personally know parents who have kept their own children, on the receiving end, out of the limelight to protect their emotions.

    It is a shame that this woman came out in such a public manner to get “her story’ out there and verbally attack an 11 year old boy through the media, school board and social media. Shame on all of you for judging a young boy who made one mistake and are perceiving this whole contrived story of a shooting threat to be true. Shame on you.

    My own child goes to TEMS and in the same grade and is unaffected, not afraid, and moving on. Maybe the adults in this community should move on as well. If this was a real threat, I am confident TE School District would let us know.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Reply:

    I appreciate your comment, especially since you are a parent at the school.

    I’m curious about something that you wrote, “Have you heard of an age old problem of gossip and ‘whisper down the lane’. That is a perfectly good reason to not have to notify the School District.” It would seem that the whisper down the lane problem could have been avoided if the District had communicated to the parents immediately. I’m suggesting high level information — not specifics, such as child’s name. All of us parent different — we live in scary times and people need to know that their children are safe.

    You are right — we all make mistakes, including this 12 year old boy. My suggestion is use it as a teachable moment that ‘words matter’, come up with policy for dealing with the situation in the future and then everyone moves forward. IMO

    [Reply]

    TE Parent Reply:

    THANK-YOU so much for the voice of reason. Your clarity rings as clear as a bell.

    [Reply]

    TESD Parent Reply:

    If this is all nothing, why is the DA prosecuting this child?

    Why should any child, whether in 1st grade, 6th grade or 10th grade have to deal with such treatment? Just because it happens does not make it right – at least to some. Not everyone is as brave enough to speak about it.

    [Reply]

    TESD Parent Reply:

    If nothing happened, why is the DA prosecuting?

    [Reply]

    name Reply:

    I have kids in TEMS as well, and it’s a ‘non-issue’ for them. This is a 12 year old boy who made stupid, improper and impulsive comments.
    If there was a true threat, I am sure the district would not permit this boy back in school. This boys young life is now ruined, and for what, so someone could use the AP to further an agenda? And what does this teach our kids? That every time they are insulted they need to call the police, then lawyer up?
    Let’s all get off the persecution band wagon. If any of us have such perfect children that they never say something stupid, wrongfully insult someone, say something rude or socially improper that they learn off the internet or from friends, then please stand up and let us all know. Otherwise, shut up because you probably don’t have young kids or else are living in a Mainline dream world.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    Courtney–if you hear elementary school kids making anti-semitic, racist, or other hateful remarks, I sure hope you say something–to their teachers, their parents, to someone. Thankfully I haven’t EVER heard such things from either my children or their friends. And I do mean EVER. And my kids are not perfect and I am a far from strict parent. As far as I am concerned, that is NOT normal behavior and should never be considered normal behavior. In fact, we are signalling to kids it is normal every time we DON’T confront it, or we have a “kids will be kids” attitude about it.

    I couldn’t be more disappointed in my community, and sadly I now realize why such hate has been expressed by the kids–it is tolerated by the adults.

    And shame on anyone who blames victims for speaking up. The hateful speech and harassment is the responsibility only of the person who dishes it out, and nobody else.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    I should add that obviously if the threats did not occur, it is less concerning, though I think there should be reporting of hate incidents as well. Those of us whose children might be a target of such hate have a right to know, and if incidents are not shared, how would we the public know if we have a general problem that needs to be addressed? If students are frequently going around making anti-semitic slurs, I would want to know, in order to protect my children. And I would expect the school district to do something about it.

    But also, how can we know that the threats didn’t happen? It might be gossip and hearsay (to us, not necessarily the police or the administration), which means we can’t have confidence it’s true, but that doesn’t mean it’s false either. The police investigated and made a juvenile referral for something. Hate speech is legal, so it can’t be for that (though harassment is not). I certainly hope that we are not going to assume there were no threats simply because the family or the child or other children who like the child say there weren’t any. (If people commenting here know the family, then perhaps they should mention that fact–it goes to bias. For the record, I don’t know any of the families involved, so far as I know). Frankly, I’m sure the family would have denied the anti-semitic comments if there wasn’t incontrovertible proof, just as I’m sure the family of the high school kids who were videotaped making racist comments this past year would have denied it if the videotape didn’t exist.

    [Reply]

    Courtney Reply:

    Believe me the instances I have heard about have been reported and handled privately as they should.

    [Reply]

    Rl4life Reply:

    Courtney. If there was no list then where did the 30 or 33 number of other students come from? Was that completely fabricated? And as Pattye said if the school would have communicated there would not be a whisper down the lane effect.

    [Reply]

    Courtney Reply:

    I am done commenting on this situation and I prefer to stay out of internet back and forth….. I will leave this in the hands of the board and the officials imvolved.

    [Reply]

    Courtney Reply:

    If the school communicated every whisper down the lane story, then we would be living in a massive state of confusion that would impact our children gravely. I believe the school investigate threats often and it’s unfortnaute that this is the case…this is the world we live in.

    I wholeheartedly believe Andy Phillips has the safety of our children first and foremost in his mind. I appreciated his email home today and am comforted by that. I do not have any agenda except for a peaceful community. We need to concentrate on parenting.. Amen.

    [Reply]

  30. There was no “hit”list. Have you ever heard of “gossip”or “whisper down the lane” causing stories to manifest into complete fiction? This is what is going on here. This is an age old problem and the only person getting attacked now is an 11 year old boy who made a huge mistake in an online forum consisting of 11 and 12 year old who should not have been writing and saying the things that were said, including what he did. This has spun out of control.

    Now the TESD is being put under fire for something they handled appropriately. They investigated the “alleged threat” and determined there was not a threat. I believe that they would have notified everyone if it was in fact a credible threat.

    Now…once again, LIES are tearing our community apart and ruining precious lives. Shame on everyone for jumping to the wrong conclusions like the hazing incident a couple of years ago.
    STOP NOW before something horrible happens.

    This matter should have been handled privately as it was. Shame on everyone for persecuting an 11 year old boy who made a huge mistake in a cyber forum. The forum itself was not a proud one for any parent of kids involved. I check my son’s phone and every parent should. The press, social media and forums like this should be left out of it.

    [Reply]

  31. I am saddened by what has happened to our community. Anti-Semitic remarks at any age are wrong whether its a 12 year old, 18 year old or 70 year old. And to hear the topic bantered about and marginalized is painful.

    Although I would probably have handled the situation differently than the parents of the victim (and would not have thrust her into the limelight) as a parent we try to do the best we can to protect our children.

    If, as some have stated, that this kind of talk goes on regularly with children, including in T/E, than I have to ask when did things so drastically change? I have older children (one in college and the other out of college and working) and both went through our T/E schools. I cannot imagine either one of them or their friends using these hurtful words. When there was a problem, we didn’t expect resolution from the school district. Because as parents our consequences for bad behavior were far worse than anything that the school may have done.

    We live in different times now and parenting is much more challenging. We cannot control the actions of others but we must take responsibility for our own. Blaming others is not the answer.

    [Reply]

    Pat Reply:

    Nothing has changed over the years.

    The difference is social media has exposed it, school shootings have ignited it, and parents have engaged it.

    [Reply]

  32. First time writer, and wow….people have to calm down.

    The public does not know the facts, and jumping to conclusions is wrong despite any good intention or emotional feelings on the topic. (Either side mind you).

    The School District investigated the matter pursuant to its rules and procedures, came to a conclusion, and issued punishment which the boy paid.

    My understanding is the District Attorney has not pressed charges and is still investigating the matter. But even if charges were (or will be) filed, the case is going nowhere. He’s 12, and it’s Chester County. Stop watching “Law and Order”.

    If the girl brings a civil action against the boy, then that’s her decision and facts will be established through the discovery process and trial. Perhaps we will be surprised with what the facts are, and what damages are proved. What is said or stated on television, social media, or at the School Board is one thing, testifying under oath is another. I hope the girl’s attorney was aware of the family’s intentions on making public comments; those words will not help her one bit but perhaps could be construed against them on cross examination.

    Ironically the actions of some community members – including but not limited to the rude lady cursing at the School Board meeting and an online petition demanding a retroactive change in school policy – likely results in those in the community not engaged in the issue to remain unengaged.

    Stop being ridiculous, people! If you trust the judgment and actions of the School Board, the District Attorney, and the American legal system, then what’s the concern? And if you don’t have this trust, what’s your alternative?

    [Reply]

    RL4life Reply:

    Then please, tell us the facts. That’s all people want. Lay it out. Exactly what did the boy say/do? I’m sure there are screeenshots somewhere.

    If charges are filed, why would it go nowhere?

    “If you trust the judgment and actions of the School Board, the District Attorney, and the American legal system, then what’s the concern? And if you don’t have this trust, what’s your alternative?”

    I think it’s pretty evident that the locals do not trust the school board or the DA. The alternative is to to raise a fuss. Stand up and be heard. Seems like that is what’s going on.

    [Reply]

    T/E Anonymous Parent Reply:

    I don’t know the facts – that’s the point – as nobody does (including you). Hard to understand how the locals don’t trust the School Board, as there were quite a few newly elected this past November. This is a diverse School Board as well. As for not trusting the DA, then I would think you have larger issues.

    [Reply]

    Tosin Reply:

    I started the online petition. My name is Tosin Omolewu and I am posting this comment as myself, not as an anonymous TE parent.
    1. I will not calm down where it comes to my child’s safety
    2. I do not trust the school board anymore. Not after the last few days.
    3. I heard about the incident through a local online article, not the school district. Strike 1. I reached out to the school superintendent for information and got nothing back. Strike 2. I began my research on what security measures existed for violent threats and found nothing specific (look on tesd.net under procedures and policies and go to section 5401). Strike 3.
    4. Even with enough to lash out, I didn’t. I started a petition that stayed clear away from assumptions, gun laws, politics, and existing incidents. I stayed neutral and objective even though I have my opinions. The petition is asking for changes to the decade old security policies that exist in T/E in light of the increases in school violence – notification, prevention, care and ramifications. I don’t understand how that is “ridiculous”.

    (I don’t want names, I just want facts so I don’t have to rely on rumor mill. Schools should not be shrouded in secrecy. It’s dangerous).

    That said, I’d like to take the opportunity to ask for “anonymous” parents to stop trolling my efforts as a concerned parent via email and in public forums and blogs. If you want to really talk, I’m available and very approachable. Let’s have a constructive, fair, open, and impactful conversation and keep keep schools safe!

    Thank you
    Tosin. Omolewu

    [Reply]

    T/E Anonymous Parent Reply:

    I’m actually exercising my First Amendment rights, just like you Tosin. Being anonymous protects me and my family from backlash by those who disagree with my opinions. Sorry it irritates you.

    I will give you credit though – at least you are willing to state you want the facts – which if you’re able to read my initial comment was what I was writing about. It’s not ridiculous to be upset about the situation, but it’s ridiculous to jump to conclusions about what happened, which is what I believe many have done.

    Good luck with your petition.

    [Reply]

  33. Kids do say stupid things, things they don’t even believe themselves half the time. However, there is a line, and the line was crossed this time. Words take a second to come out of your mouth, cutting and pasting pictures of concentration camp victims and Hitler smoking take more thought and time.

    Anti-Semitism is alive and well and sadly on the rise in much of the world today, in our country and even in our little bubble of a community. Yes, it never went away and social media has exposed it but studies show the rise in incidents unfortunately . Sadly all three of my children have experienced it at some point in their lives, in school, in work, in college, travelling etc. We continue the dialogue with them at home, we try to understand together why someone may have said something or “inferred” something. We are sensitive to it but but we also understand we are a minority group. My older kids have told us that some friends in the colleges they went to never even meet a Jewish person before meeting my kid. Education about other cultures, religions etc is the key and no, it’s not the school’s responsibility, the responsibly lies within the home, the parents, their peer groups.

    My high school student has had things said to her “as a joke” by “friends” and not so nice things said to her by co-workers (just recently as a matter of fact). We deal with it as a family. Everyone parents differently. I don’t think I would go to the press with what happened in the middle school but I would have gone to the school administration for sure. Parenting is a tough job, especially today, so who can say what you would or would not do if this happened to your child and/or the culture/religion you identify with.

    I’m glad Courtney’s(?) child has “moved past it”, my daughter, the last one at CHS, has not. She was very upset and concerned when she heard about the whole thing. The pictures, the list (whether it was a rumour or not). She asked if the list, real or not, was of just Jewish kids and jokingly, because that’s how we deal with some things in our family, she stated that she doesn’t think there are even 30 Jewish kids in TEMS. Then seriously she wondered out loud if this was something to really worry about, if there are others around her that really feel this way. It’s sad that she has to ponder this at her age, to see pictures of concentration camp victims texted about while she looks at pictures of relatives in our dining room who perished in the holocaust.

    I’m very disappointed with the administration. This is another notch in their belt with doing too little too late. The “whisper down the lane” would have stopped a lot sooner if they had just done the right thing and made the public aware. I personally would have appreciated it so I could have talked to my child sooner then have to see it on the news and hear it from my daughter who had already been privy to the TE rumour mill.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I agree that kids say stupid things, things they don’t mean, but I disagree that there is a line and that the line was crossed. What about women, African Americans, Indians, Asians, Mexicans and Hispanics? Who should be designated the line police? Who decides when the line has been crossed? Do some groups take precedence over others?

    If we condemn every person who “crossed the line” in the Middle School, the place would be an empty shell.

    Stop letting the stupid words of an impulsive 12 year old have this much power over our community. This is ridiculous.

    If the school or the DA had any concern, they would act on it immediately. The boy has been interviewed at the police station, suspended, psychologically evaluated and has a juvenile complaint currently pending with the DA.

    The school and the DA have acted appropriately. The community needs to do the same.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    Seriously, anonymous–there is no line? None at all? How absolutely ridiculous. And frankly offensive. So kids should be alowed to say whatever racist stuff they want? Are they also allowed to harass and bully with their racist comments? And the kids being targeted should just suck it up? TE would be sued right and left as a hostile school environment if we followed that suggestion.

    Nobody said that some groups take precedence over others–nobody. that’s perilously close to anti-semitic dog whistle. I don’t tolerate any hate, ever. Against any ethnic group, any religion, any sex, any sexuality, and any level of ability. And neither do my kids. I have heard them correct other people when they use anti-gay or anti-mentally disabled slurs, both of which are sadly still commonly used by kids. It wasn’t that hard to teach them to be that way, either. There are three simple steps: 1) Don’t be bigoted. 2) Discuss bigotry with your kids. 3) If your kids say something they shouldn’t, take it seriously, don’t downplay it, and thoughtfully discuss with them why it is wrong to speak that way. 4) If someone else says something bigoted in your presence, whether a kid or an adult, confront them and tell them you find their words unacceptable. Especially if it is a relative the kids look up to, and always if your child is there watching how you respond. That’s all it takes. Oh, and 5) teach your kids to be generally respectful and most especially kind. For many kids that last rule might be ALL that is required.

    And if there were strong, visible lines the schools would not be empty. My kids would still be there. They don’t say unkind, hateful things.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    One further note: on purely practical grounds, the schools aren’t be preparing kids for the real world if they don’t address this. It’s frankly the only responsible things to do–because it’s a fact that you can destroy your life by being caught using such language. You say bigoted or hateful things nowadays, and it goes viral. Even if it is not on social media you might get videotaped by someone. You can lose your scholarship (as happened to the young woman at Conestoga this year), and become almost unemployable. Nobody is doing their kids any favors by telling them “there is no line.”

  34. Are you seriously this naive to believe that the other school districts where the shootings took place acted inappropriately?
    Those school districts also did what they felt was right and appropriate at that Time. It did not prevent mass shootings.

    There is something seriously wrong with you if you think sending anti Semitic messages and threatening to shoot people is just run of the mill “impulsive” 12 year old behavior and should be regarded as such

    And I’ll tell you exactly where the line needs to be drawn. In this day and age when there have been 22 shooting to date in schools this year, with countless innocent lives lost and no one accountable, You have to draw the line when there is talk of guns and senseless shootings with no real motive

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    The mass shootings were from trench coat wearing 17 to 19 year olds not snot nosed little bratty 12 year olds.

    Happens all the time in Middle School. I suggest you home school your kid because that’s the only way to avoid this.

    [Reply]

  35. I support the online petition of T/E parent Tosin Omolewu and have added my name. In a comment regarding the petition, he wrote, “I started a petition that stayed clear away from assumptions, gun laws, politics, and existing incidents. I stayed neutral and objective even though I have my opinions. The petition is asking for changes to the decade old security policies that exist in T/E in light of the increases in school violence – notification, prevention, care and ramifications.”

    I signed the petition because our children’s safety must come first — when there is a threat, parents deserve immediate notification. The school district needs to review and update its policy.

    Here is the link for the petition:
    https://www.change.org/p/te-parents-and-friends-let-s-change-tredyffrin-easttown-response-protocol-to-reported-threats?recruiter=9901905&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

    [Reply]

  36. Let’s not let fear define us. Micromanagement may make us feel more in control but will almost certainly result in unintended consequences. The actions that this administration took in this instance—suspension, psychological evaluation —are adequate and appropriate.

    The administration handles situations similar to this one on an ongoing basis. Let’s let them do their job.

    [Reply]

  37. LocalRes

    Go to the Middle School and ask to see the text messages on every phone in the building. You’ll see what 6abc has and more. Half of them will have pornography on them too.

    [Reply]

  38. The school district reacted after the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook with fences at the District’s school — the school board believed that this would improve the safety of children. Sadly, this country continues to see a rise in school shootings with many committed by students ‘on the inside’.

    If a review of safety protocol and improved policies for dealing with reported threats in the school district would improve safety for our children, could we all agree that this would be a good thing. It’s not just about this recent situation but about policy updates for the handling of future incidents.

    Regarding T/E parent Tosin Omolewu’s online petition, titled “Let’s change Tredyffrin/Easttown response protocol to reported threats” — here it is below.

    TE has a response protocol to reported threats BUT the guidelines do not protect our children nor do these guidelines prevent a horrific school shooting.

    I am asking for your support to push changes to the TE threat response protocol to include (but not limited to) the following:

    Immediate Notification to TE parents that a threat has occurred. If we can be notified of lice, we can be notified of death threats
    Immediate “extended suspension” of the student that made the death threat. The suspension should only be reversed after credible proof that the child has undergone intensive mental health counseling to address emotional and/or mental issues. and that the child will remain in counseling for at least 1 year.
    Immediate administrative support that TE can take to prevent death threats and emotional and mental terrorism/bullying such as but not limited to active monitoring of students that have sudden behavioral changes.
    In light of the increase in school shootings across the country, we request to make these changes retroactive. They should apply to any threats made within the last 1 year.

    Please note that this change request is not intended to ostracize students that are emotionally or mentally troubled. It is actually intended to PROTECT them from criminal charges, regretful acts and degradation of their mental health. This request is taking an active role in protecting both the victims and the bullies. We need to ensure the latter group get the help and support they need. These are all OUR children and we as parents should take an active role in ensuring their well being at all times. I hope we can come together and make this happen!

    [Reply]

  39. Let’s be responsible. Let’s be reasonable. I would like to know how many millions of irresponsible statements have been made by 12 year olds in the 20 year span your 4 examples take place.

    [Reply]

    RL4life Reply:

    and from today – just another kid “flirting with expression”

    Am I right TE parent?

    http://fox59.com/2018/05/25/breaking-two-patients-taken-to-hospital-after-noblesville-west-middle-school-shooting-suspect-in-custody/

    [Reply]

  40. This afternoon T/E School Board President Scott Dorsey sent me an email with a link from Monday’s School Board meeting for the statements on District Safety Initiatives and Protocols on Risk Assessment made by T/E Superintendent Dr. Gusick and District Solicitor Michael Kristofco.

    Included in Dr. Gusick’s statement is — “I have asked Mr. Cataldi to schedule an additional set of focus groups that will allow parents to continue this dialogue with the District. We expect to have these arrangements completed by the end of the week, and we will place more information about how to participate on our District’s website and in our weekly email to parents. We plan to complete these sessions by the end of the school year.”

    Here is the link to the statements:

    https://www.tesd.net/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=2466&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=33146&PageID=1

    [Reply]

  41. This stuff DOES NOT happen all the time, you obviously did not take the time to see what this kid sent – it was way over any line, even for a snot nosed little bratty 12 yr old. You must be related to this kid or friends with the family to think what was sent was “kids being kids”.

    [Reply]

  42. This relates to the current situation involving a Tredyffrin-Easttown Middle School 12 year old student who received death threats by text from a male student who said he would kill her in a school shooting. He has been allowed back into the classroom while she is suffering from PTSD and has been forced into home schooling.

    I contacted the school board and other district officials including state legislative representatives to make them aware of observations from an outside concern. My children are adults and that is not my reason for my comment. I am an independent advocate in various local, state, and national agendas to make a difference whenever I can.

    In 2016 I contacted the Philadelphia School District Superintendent concerning similar instances in June 2015 and January 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. As in the T/ESD situation, the victims in both instances had to transfer and disrupt their family’s situation while the alleged perpetrators continued going to the same schools!

    Perhaps the administrators can use the information from 2016 and from other instances to do something now to change the way students interact with each other and how the school administration rearranges its philosophy.

    The administrators can stand out as leaders for the country in helping prevent bullying, intimidation, and other actions by a young student so that the behavior exhibited can be nipped in the bud and removed or dismantled from existence, thereby changing the lives of so many young people as they develop and mature into properly functioning members of society.

    Everyone concerned needs to research the incident, take time to review school codes of operation to be familiar with the administration’s responsibility in protecting its students (AS INFO, Student Discipline T/ESD Policy 5401 notes: In order to maintain a safe school climate that encourages learning for all students, teachers and administrators shall respond to actions or situations that disrupt this learning process. Discipline measures may include warnings, detentions, suspensions, expulsions or other appropriate responses to the circumstances). You can also contact the appropriate authorities, including your legislative representatives, and address your concerns.

    Taking time to do something is very important. DON’T BE MAD, JUST MAD (MAKE A DIFFERENCE)

    [Reply]

  43. It happens all the the time. And social media plays a big role.

    Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids. They’re simply too immature to use it wisely.

    I don’t know either child and I’m not friends with either family.

    [Reply]

    Grandparent of T/E Student Reply:

    All threats need to be taken seriously and those responsible should be held accountable, regardless of age. This morning another shooting, middle school in Indiana and the shooter was a middle school student!

    [Reply]

  44. John,

    Administrators can’t change the way students interact with each other.

    Administrators took the disciplinary actions you mention in your comment. They suspended the boy and required him to take a psychological evaluation. I don’t believe the Administration or law enforcement would allow the child back in the school if they had a safetlty concern.

    The appropriate authorities were contacted, an investigation was conducted, and he experienced the consequences of his actions.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Community Matters © 2017 Frontier Theme