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Parents appear before Sun Prairie school board with bullying concerns

Parents appear before Sun Prairie school board with bullying concerns

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. - A group of parents confronted the Board of Education for the Sun Prairie Area School District Monday night with a list of goals for addressing what they say are multiple unrelated bullying incidents in the district.

Kris Ganske said after her 14-year-old daughter was attacked during gym class, she decided enough was enough. She started a Facebook group asking other parents to share their children's experiences of bullying.

"(I was) hearing everyone's stories and just thinking to myself, 'Obviously, I'm not getting anywhere as one person. Obviously, these people are not getting anywhere as one person. We are not going to get anywhere until we come together as a community,'" Ganske said.

Her group now has more than 250 members. A group of parents met Sunday and outlined their requests for the district, which they planned to introduce during public comment at the school board meeting Monday. They want the schools to provide information on an ongoing basis about incidents of bullying, share their policies and steps on disciplining repeat offenders, among other goals.

"We want them to acknowledge that there is a problem," Ganske said.

Other parents have pushed for an anti-bullying ordinance in Sun Prairie, in which police could issue tickets to parents whose children are bullies.

Patti Lux-Weber, communications and engagement officer for the district, sent a statement to News 3 Now saying:

Every single day, the nearly 1,300 staff of the Sun Prairie Area School District work tirelessly to foster relationships with and among students, proactively enable the cultures within our schools to support teamwork and empathy with peers, and teach social-emotional strategies of self regulation. Our staff keep kids safe, remedy childhood and teenage conflict, and when needed work within our policies and procedures to bring closure to difficult situations. Our expectation is that our students treat each other with respect and consideration. 
Simply put: 
•    We do not accept or condone bullying, and in fact, we have many initiatives in place throughout the school year that help prevent and combat bullying.
•    Our policies and procedures are clear, and there are consequences for bullying. In almost all instances, consequences are not able to be shared with others in order to protect student privacy. This can be perceived as us "doing nothing about it."
•    Any family who has a student who is being bullied should contact the school principal and follow the procedures for reporting bullying immediately.

Lux-Weber said more information about bullying can be found on the district's website.

The school board president and vice president did not respond to requests for comment.

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