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Bullying Claims to Be Heard by Mediator

Saturday, December, 16, 2017

A mediator will oversee a dispute between Springfield school officials and a student’s mother who claims her daughter was bullied.  The two sides were ordered to mediation by US District Judge Claire C.  Cecchi after the mother sued the school district in federal court.


According to the mother, her fourth grade student was affected by bullying due to the practice of looping.  Looping keeps students together from one grade to the next and was criticized by a number of parents in the district.  The child’s mother has been very vocal about her claims of bullying against her daughter Emma, who stopped attending class at the end of September.


In addition to the claims made by the child’s mother, there is also concern that the school retaliated against here after she made her opinion public about looping.  Her lawyer claims this retaliation violated her First Amendment rights.  The lawsuit against the district is asking for Emma to be reassigned to a different class at her school.


According to Emma’s mom, the request to change her class assignment is due to bullying that occurred during the 2015-2016 school year.  The incidents were not reported until the start of the following year, when the family discovered that looping would mean Emma remained in the same class as her bully.  According to Emma and her family, the bullying was committed against her by several classmates and eventually included two other girls.  The actions of the bullies included taunts about Emma and the other girls’ physical appearance, as well as name calling and stealing of school supplies.