High school freshman Hunter Boyd, 14, said she knows firsthand how difficult school can be when dealing with bullying, and she doesn’t want other students to endure what she did.
The former South Fayette student said her grades suffered until she transferred schools and escaped the bullying.
“It’s hard to cope with it and get your work done when you’re trying to feel OK,” she said.
Hunter and her mother, Nancy Boyd, attended the South Fayette school board meeting Tuesday night to show support for sophomore Christian Aaron True Stanfield, who has claimed ongoing harassment by classmates.
In February, school officials reported Christian, 15, to police, who charged him with disorderly conduct for making an iPad audio recording of his alleged bullies during a special-education math class.
A district judge found him guilty of the summary offense, but the Allegheny County district attorney's office withdrew the charge last week.
In a conversation after the board meeting, Hunter said school officials should work to prevent bullying.
“They should kill it at the root instead of letting it grow,” she said.
About 50 people attended the school board meeting, but the crowd — including parents, students and school staff — stayed silent on the recent bullying controversy that had drawn many of them to attend.
Several parents had addressed the issue at the board’s April 15 workshop meeting.
On Tuesday when board President Len Fornella announced the open forum, no one from the public offered a comment on bullying.
Seated in the audience were Shea Love, Christian’s mother, and some of her supporters.
After the meeting, Ms. Love said she and other parents were considering what actions to take next to help address bullying problems in the district.
“This is our community,” Ms. Love said. “What do we do? How do we fix it?”
School officials have issued a statement saying they treat reports of bullying seriously but can’t comment on the recent incident because it is a confidential student matter.
Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.