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Louisville, KY (WDRB) Serious! That's how local leaders describe the bullying problems in our community.
A rally Thursday night could change the way bullying is addressed in the JCPS school district.
A local group estimates 300 people will be there. The JCPS superintendent is also expected to discuss the district's comprehensive plan to address bullying.
Tammy Jeffries, a grandmother of a bullied student says she plans to attend the rally. She says her granddaughter became such a sad girl after she was bullied last school year. "It was two 13 year old girls on the bus and they was picking at her, and knick knacking, hit her in the eye."
Jeffries says her 8-year-old granddaughter was a victim of constant bullying. During the last school year, she says the bus driver even dropped off her granddaughter off at a different bus stop to try and get her away from the bullies.
Chris Kolb, the CLOUT Co-President says, "That clearly shows that bus driver had not received training on how to deal with that productively and appropriately."
CLOUT stands for Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together. Kolb says his group has been working with JCPS to come up with a more comprehensive anti-bullying plan for the district, hoping to avoid bullying cases like this that we've seen on buses.
He says JCPS also lacked a good definition of bullying. "It lacked ongoing training for everybody and how to deal with bullying. It lacked a sufficient reporting and tracking system. We found from our research that the number of bullying cases was severely underreported in JCPS and it lacked evidence based interventions to address bullying."
Hugh Ella Robinson, the CLOUT Co-President says, "The members of the faculty, the principals, the bus drivers, the workers in the cafeteria, all of them should have this necessary training."
JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens is expected to address CLOUT and the community at a the rally going over the implementation of a new anti-bullying plan.
CLOUT says the meeting will also talk about "Restorative Justice Louisville" which is a pilot project to deal with juvenile crime more effectively.
Kolb says, "They have a district wide bullying prevention committee that is meeting every other week to review the data and review their strategies. They've trained all the Asst. Superintendents and they've trained all the top school administrators."
The rally is at St. Pius Catholic Church on Goldsmith Lane from 6:30 to 8:30 Thursday night.