A different view of bullying at John Robson
A parent’s claim the administration at John Robson elementary does nothing about bullying has been disputed by the grandfather of another student at the school.
On Jan. 9, Shannon Hecker organized a rally outside Robson to protest inaction being taken on her eight-year-old daughter being verbally bullied and tormented by a classmate. Hecker said at the rally the administration does nothing and closes the blinds when dealing with bullying.
“That hasn’t been my experience there,” said Jean Lamoureux, who helps to organize after-school ball hockey games in Robson’s playground.
In his case, he said, the school responded promptly when they reported a problem.
Lamoureux is a guardian for his Grade 2 grandson who told him before Christmas what another boy was doing to him. Lamoureux talked to vice-principal Paul Manville, who Lamoureux said immediately went out to the schoolyard and got the offender to apologize.
But after the Christmas break there was another incident over control of the hockey area with the same boy. Lamoureux said once again Manville handled it well by having the boy apologize and telling him to only speak to his classmates in a respectful way, and if he didn’t they would be dealt with by the principal. Later Lamoureux and his grandson, at Manville’s urging, talked to the kid and told him they were happy he was behaving properly and they shook hands.
“It ended up in a good situation. No one was heavy handed in any way. Everybody got the message including the kids on the playground,” said Lamoureux. “I think they got the message that bullying isn’t OK.”
That’s why Lamoureux took exception to Hecker’s accusation the school does nothing when bullying is reported.
“I didn’t think [the criticism] would apply to John Robson saying they tolerate bullying because in my experience that hasn’t been the case,” said Lamoureux, whose granddaughter also attended Robson from Grade 3 to 7.
“I just wanted to show my support for the school. It’s been a good school for me and my grandchildren. I can’t speak for everybody, but I can for myself,” said Lamoureux.
Meanwhile, Hecker said she is in the process of filing an appeal regarding the school’s handling of her daughter’s situation.