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Metro Parents Say Teacher Bullied Their Son

SHAWNEE, Kan. -- A Kansas couple says that their son, who has special needs, was bullied in the classroom by his teacher. Now they are sharing their son's experience in hopes of changing the state's anti-bullying law.

Lisa and Blake Wendelburg say it took several years for their son, Loren, to get over the mental and emotional scars they say he suffered after being bullied by his elementary school teacher. They say that Loren, then 10 years old, was bullied both physically and verbally on several different occasions by his fifth grade teacher at Rising Star Elementary School in Lenexa.

"She singled him out daily for months," said Lisa Wendelburg. "She made fun of him when he answered questions inappropriately or incorrectly. She pulled the desk out from under him."

"She was just plain mean," said Loren Wendelburg, now in ninth grade. "I felt miserable. I felt depressed. I didn't want to go to school."

The family removed their son from the school, and are now home-schooling him. Lisa Wendelburg says that the Kansas Department of Social Services determined that her son was the victim of bullying. But she says that while state law protects teachers and staff from being bullied by students, that protection doesn't go the other way to protect students from bullying teachers.

"We want to make it so teachers cannot do this again, that there's something in the law that protects children," said Lisa Wendelburg.

Studies show that bullying teachers can act by using degrading words and physical abuse, and it may go unreported for fear of retribution. Researchers also say that teachers who bully students can often also bully other teachers or staff.

State officials would not discuss Loren Wendelburg's case, but say that local school districts are responsible for adopting and enforcing their own anti-bullying policies. A spokesperson for the Shawnee Mission School District says that they do not tolerate bullying, and take all reported incidents very seriously.

Meanwhile, the Wendelburg's - who say that they are taking their concerns about the anti-bullying law to the Kansas legislature - say that their son is doing better now both emotionally and academically.

"I do feel better now," said Loren Wendelburg. "I do."

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1 Comment

  • garbo

    This story resonated with me, all too well. Our son was the target/victim of a bullying campaign sponsored and fully endorsed by a principal in SMSD (Karen Faucher, Belinder Elementary) when he was just 5-6 years of age and in kindergarten/first grade. Hard to imagine, huh? And– she is still with the district, too. No punishment, whatsoever, was ever handed down to her or her cronies for any of her/their horrific abuse. It was a shameful crime! She was ABSOLUTELY relentless in her efforts to destroy that poor kid… yet none of it was easily proved, as this woman had almost her entire staff (and even a few parents) ganging up on this autistic five-year-old. He still, to this day, remembers all the shame and horrific abuse he was forced to face every single day. When we finally had the US Dept of Education for Civil Rights get involved she instantly and ‘anonymously’ phoned SRS/child protective services, in retaliation– with false allegations of abuse on ‘our part’ (to deliberately deflect from her actions.. and to further inflict intentional disstress upon our family). Unreal! Her goal was to get this special needs kid out of her school (as she felt we had forced him on her and her ‘blue ribbon’ school). Sadly, the abuse did not end once we removed him– this principal made sure her lies and slander followed him onto the next school(s) he attened. This was many years ago– he is a delightful and successful young man now, but he WILL NEVER EVER FORGET her–or the hell she put him through. I often wonder how many others she has tormented/destroyed, as I have seen several suicides in SMSD as well as lawsuits against the district.