Alton Central School Board Still Dragging Its Heel On Major Bullying Issue Brought To Its Attention On March 1, 2013.


Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> ACS 8th Grader Claims That Bullying Is Alive And Well At ACS
>>Apr. 5, 2013.

The crux of the issue here is very simple as I pointed out in my original post 45 days ago.

This young lady is not trying to name names, cause trouble for anyone, or asking for any special treatment for herself or her friends. What she is trying to do, selflessly, is something for the betterment of the whole school when it comes to the very damaging and dangerous issue of bullying.

What she is requesting, partly in her official capacity as Student Council President but also as a deeply caring 8th Grader who will soon be departing ACS, is that the school provide an open forum where kids can talk about bullying in public and together agree on the steps that they can all take to put an end to it. It is basically asking that the  ACS kids be empowered to put an end to bullying on a peer-to-peer basis. It seems laudatory.

If nothing else this bona fide request needs to be discussed in public so that concerned citizens of Alton too can have a say in what is a very crucial issue. We home school Devanee because of the incessant bullying she suffered at ACS. So we sure have skin in this game, which is the reason that I will champion this until we see an equitable resolution.

As I pointed out in my April 5, 2013 post the U.S. Government, www.stop website advocates exactly this type of proactive student involvement. Here is what they say, which is exactly what this young lady is asking for at ACS.


Click to access ‘’.

As I also pointed out, with images and links, other schools around the country promote such forums.

But, the ACS administration and School Board, with the ever conscientious and diligent Steve Miller the exception, does not want to even discuss it. There is something wrong here.

The mother of the young lady, an indefatigable PTSA member, in sheer frustration at how ACS was treating her daughter’s request, wrote to the Board on May 6. On the envelope she clearly stated that she wanted this matter to be discussed in PUBLIC at the next School Board meeting. That was the May 13, 2013 meeting that took place last Monday. We were at that meeting. The Board mentioned that there was a letter that had to be discussed. I knew what it was. It was also mentioned that the parent had indicated that the letter should be discussed in Public. A number of Board members claimed that they were not comfortable with that. So a vote was taken as to whether the letter should be discussed in public. Only Steve Miller voted for the public discussion — and he did so stating that he wanted to honor the parent’s request. The other 4 members voted against. 4-1 against a simple request for transparency by a parent (plus one heck of a taxpayer). Take note. So much by the people, for the people. As Steve Miller pointed, as ever correctly, this issue was being pushed out and pushed out so that it would not come up while the school was still in session — and this young lady still at ACS.

It is very obvious that this has been the administration’s and Board’s (bar Mr. Miller) strategy all along. Drag it into July and then claim that it was no longer relevant because the young lady had left!

This is wrong.

I have, right here in front of me, as scanned PDFs, all three letters: the original to the Board by the 14-year old young lady, the Board’s totally non sequitur response and the mother’s letter to the Board in May. Yes, I also have explicit permission, from the mother, to publish all the letters. I have spoken with the mother quite a few times over the last few days.

She is, understandably, furious.

I have been told that a reporter from the ‘Laconia Daily Sun‘ spoke with the Principal about this issue today. So at least the media has been made aware of it.

The two letters to the Board contain some very disturbing phrases to do with harassment and substance abuse. I have also heard of some telling incidents that have taken place at ACS of late. That some of this is not public knowledge is disconcerting since I am sure other parents would like to know.

So, this, for now, is just a heads up. Tomorrow is another day. I just wanted Alton to know that we are not giving up on this issue. Stay tuned.

P.S., Bullying is not restricted to kids bullying other kids. Bear that in mind.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my blog.

4 responses to “Alton Central School Board Still Dragging Its Heel On Major Bullying Issue Brought To Its Attention On March 1, 2013.”

  1. Edie Miller says :

    So by stalling until after school is out they (the board -except Steve) think they can bury the issue by claiming the student is no longer in ACS. However, the student will now be at PMHS (same school board) and who’s to say the issue won’t follow her there. Also, who’s to say it won’t happen to another student, or YOUR OWN child at ACS!! How ludicrous!! They still think by playing stupid (or are they playing?) this will go away. How many other students are dealing with this bullying issue and because of the way this board is burying their heads in the sand are afraid to speak out. If the school board doesn’t think the issue is important enough, what message are they sending to the students? Wake up people, this is the real world and this needs to be stopped. It is NOT something that will go away if it is ignored. This school board has always said the kids come first. Well, once again, only when it is convenient for them (except Steve) or when they are getting something or some mileage out of it! So it’s bullying today, what will it be tomorrow that they will ignore? The parents in Alton should be totally outraged at this nonchalant attitude.
    Signed by a concerned and angry Alton mother…..Edie Miller

    • aguruge says :

      Thank you. Deanna has ranted about this on her Facebook page, but I don’t want to include what she says here because she brings up another very serious issue and I don’t want to muddy these waters by bringing in that emotive isue into this discussion. We have had one e-mail from another mother talking about how her daughter (Devanee’s age) and son (8th grader) are being constantly bullied. We knew about this because she had told us of it earlier in the year. What is scary here is that the 6th grader is being bullied about sexual orientation! I gather that a lot of this, directed at both boys and girls, are happening right now which amazes me since I would not have thought that orientation was something that raised its head when kids are that young. But, as Deanna points out in her FB post many mother’s are scared of retaliation by ‘the administration’ if they say anything about these issues. Thanks Edie. If we could get more people to have their voice heard. I, as ever, thank Steve for being on the side of the kids. I just wish we could find just two others on the board who would always put the interest of the kids ahead of their own personal interest. But, in this issue I know that we will prevail. Bullying has to be stopped. Cheers, Anura

  2. Steve M says :

    If we want a new result we need a new board. Elections next year are as important as ever. This should have been done in public session. It should have been addressed immediately. Rest of board is probably waiting for the school year to end and let time take care of this problem. If parents wish to see a macro effort to eliminate this type of behavior then parents should become more involved. I will be happy to see that this does not get buried at the next meeting.

    • aguruge says :

      Steve, as ever thanks. I sure hope it does not get buried at the next meeting. I am HOPING that the parents will show up. I am just going through the response to a ‘Right to Know’ request re. bullying that the mother submitted to the SAU last week. She got a response Friday. As far as I can see, so far, the response does not address the crux of the issue, ‘student meetings re. bullying’. I will work on that. JUST TAKING a breather. Just, and that I mean in the last 5 minutes, published my 18th sole author book, this time on an asteroid 4 Vesta. Big book. 75,000 words. I was working on it for over a year. It’s title is: “Matthew’s Book on 4 Vesta the Would Be Planet”. Matthew is my son (the wannabe lawyer (emulating your son)) who turns 21 on Tuesday. Since I, like our common ‘friend’ Tevye, ‘am not a rich man’, this is my birthday present to him — SINCE 2 years ago he stated, semi-jokingly, “where is MY book?” when he saw that I had done a book called “Devanee’s Book on Dwarf Planets” after she complained when I did (as a trial) a book called “Teischan’s ABC Book of Great Artists”. So this is how my time goes. REALLY am going to cut back on the time I spend on writing. Last 15 months I have been writing like a man possessed. So going to go and have my breakfast at 1:45pm! This is my life. THANKS STEVE. Have a great holiday w/e.

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