Medford School Districts discusses bullying in open forum

MEDFORD, Ore. — Parents, teachers, Medford school board members and students came out to Hedrick Middle School on Tuesday to express their concerns over the growing issue of bullying in our region and across the country.

The Medford school district took the time to share what policies they have in place, and the resources they have to try and put an end to bullying.

In turn, parents were asked to give their input on where they feel the district is lacking and ideas on how to solve the problem.

Many parents spoke out sharing their own stories of their children being bullied, and all of them expressed their disappointed on how the schools have handled bullying incidents.

They say the schools have had a lack of accountability, disciplinary actions, and communication.

“Parents are coming to principals and to administrative figures explaining that this is what’s going on with their child, being victimized in this way or this way and your response is continuously, in different circumstances, have been that you’re not aware of the issue but you’re going to be aware of the issue,” one parent at the forum said.

Natalie Hurd with the Medford School District says they’re going to review everything they heard at Tuesday nights meeting and they’ll start working on way to implement suggestions for the next school year.

“I think what’s really important and something that we’ve heard here today is that we need to communicate that progress as it’s happening so that people don’t feel like their voices fell on deaf ears,” Hurd said.

Some ideas that were suggested include getting more teachers properly trained as well as making a clear chain of command for parents.

Hurd says the training will take more time but creating a chain of command is something that can be done immediately.

Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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