Mother Prompted By Suicide Of 11-Year-Old Launches Effort To Stop Bullying In London Schools


UPDATED: Tuesday January 29, 2013 7:48 AM

A mother said that the suicide of a young girl earlier this week hit close to home.

Melissa Davis said the death of 11-year-old Hailey Petee, a fifth-grader at London Elementary School, has prompted her to call for change.

“I couldn’t believe that somebody that age would do that,” Davis said.

Davis, whose son Korbyn attends London Middle School across the street from where Petee was a student, said that her son also has been a victim of bullies. She said that she especially worries because he is a bilateral amputee who sometimes requires the use of prosthetic legs.

“We have had pushing in the bathroom, kind of bickering with other kids,” Davis said. “He falls enough on his own. He doesn’t need kids pushing him around, picking on him, taunting him.”

The mother said that she has reported the bullying but is confused by the district’s bullying policy.

The district states in its online handbook that if an instance of bullying is found, it will result in “prompt and appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action.”

The book states that the action could include up to expulsion for students.

Davis said that she believes to punishment policy is too vague.

“The biggest thing right now is I feel like there should be some rules and some guidelines to, say that if you do this, you get punished this way,” Davis said.

Davis said that she is starting a petition to pressure the district to change its policy. She said that she is encouraging parents to attend an upcoming board of education meeting to voice their concerns.

The mother said that she hopes the steps will prevent another child from taking his or her life.

“I don’t want to see my child in that situation,” Davis said. “I don’t want to be that parent.”

The next London City Schools Board of Education meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Feb. 12.

The London City Schools superintendent declined to speak on camera with 10TV News on Monday. He said that he is respecting Petee’s family and will not address the bullying issue at the current time.

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