Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 31, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 05/31/2012

Bullying is serious

Yesterday my eight-year-old autistic son Alex was bullied at school (he was the subject of a Record-Eagle 1A story April 17, 2011).

He was pushed into a fence and onto the ground by two classmates. His shoes were taken from him and he was ordered by the bullies to perform various acts, such as jumping up and down, to get his shoes back. He was teased and humiliated.

As the parent of a special-needs child, words are insufficient to express my feelings of outrage and sadness.

But I feel blessed to express another emotion that is equally intense, and that emotion is gratitude.

First, to the student who witnessed this appalling event and hastily reported it to school staff.

Second, to the school staff at Courtade Elementary School. Principal Caroline Wacker immediately interviewed all involved and instantly informed my wife and me of all that was going on. Her response was prompt, professional and heartfelt.

Today Alex is in school and feeling safe.

Bullying is a serious issue and we are fortunate to have educators who work to put an end to bullying with a zero-tolerance approach.

Rob Hentschel

Traverse City

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