Others echo bullying concerns that mom, student shared about Westridge Middle School

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — FOX 4 told you last week about a parent having to enroll her daughter in a different Shawnee Mission school after she said the bullying problems at Westridge Middle School got out of hand.

Now more people are coming forward with the same issue after hearing that story.

“Westridge Middle School is a dangerous school for the children,” said Donna Locke, whose granddaughter, in seventh grade, is having issues with bullying.

“There was a little boy that said some obscenities to my granddaughter and pulled her hair,” Locke added.

She says people always say to stand up for yourself and the bullying will stop, but when her granddaughter defended herself, she says she got suspended for three days.

“She`s getting reprimanded for standing up, for defending herself,” Locke said.

The Shawnee Mission School District says every bullying report is taken seriously and investigated. There are various ways to report bullying, and disciplinary action is taken when appropriate.

“They say they handle it across the board the same for every student, and that`s not true,” said Locke.

“They may investigate it, but investigating is one thing, letting them know that they care, letting them know that we`re here to support you, letting the kids know you can tell us,” said parent Jim Holmes, who says his daughter was bullied so badly at Westridge she tried to commit suicide.

“It got so bad that she didn’t see another way out,” Holmes said.

He says she’s been physically and verbally assaulted at school, and ended up in an emergency room after overdosing on pills she took trying to end her life.

“I don`t think they’re doing anything to combat the bullying at this school… and it seems to be getting worse every day,” Holmes said.

Locke said a conversation with the school’s principal wasn’t fruitful.

“She made me feel like she didn’t have time to talk to me and she wasn’t interested in what I had to say,” Locke said.

Both Locke and Holmes feel there has to be a better solution.

“I feel that their policies need to be revisited and something needs to be done to assure that the kids are safe,” Locke said.

The school district maintains it deals with every bullying complaint, but disciplinary actions against each student are private.

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