Imagine no one, not even your parents, believing you after you claimed you were bullied at school.
That’s what one student at Bankbridge Regional School in Gloucester County, N.J., says happened to him. So he decided to take things into his own hands and videotape the bully who happened to hold an important position; he was his teacher.
“It makes me feel like I’m trash,” said 15-year-old Julio Artuz.
- UPDATE: The school board voted on December 5, 2011 to terminate the teacher, Steve Roth. He has 120 days to appeal the decision and is on leave without pay, effective immediately.
The NBC10 Investigators showed Artuz’s cellphone video to David Arnold. Arnold represents parents of children with special needs when they have problems with school districts. After watching the video, Arnold said that situations like Julio’s should be handled in private. He also stressed that students should feel comfortable in their classroom, so that they can ask questions. In one part of the tape, you can see other students at their desks clearly hearing the entire exchange. Hairston contacted the school district who said that they put the teacher on administrative leave pending board of education action. After the story aired, the school district emailed us this additional statement from Superintendent Michael Dicken:
Our school district takes all bullying, harassment, and intimidation allegations seriously. We do not tolerate it. The safety and well being of our students is our first and foremost concern. It is of particular concern when an allegation is made against a teacher. We take great pride in maintaining a healthy, safe and secure educational environment for our students. Immediately, upon notification of a complaint we followed the steps as established by the Board of Education policy for HIB. The actions depicted on the video do not reflect the mission or culture of our school. My comments are constrained by policy regarding personnel and student records.
What should you do if you feel that you’re being bullied?
Dr. Nicole Lipkin, a psychologist who has written books about the “Y” generation has some helpful advice for children who are the victims of bullying.
“Don’t wait to tell someone,” said Lipkin. “There is help out there”. Lipkin also says that it’s important for kids to understand that bullying is happening more frequently than they think.
If you need help with bullying, visit the following websites:
You can also call the following numbers:
- Philadelphia’s Bully Hotline: (215)400-SAFE
- Nationwide Bullying Hotline: 1-855-86-BULLY
- Bullying Lifeline: 1-800-262-9800
- Garden State Equality's Anti-Bullying Hotline: 1-877-NJ-BULLY or text NJBULLY to 66746
- Delaware Attorney General’s School Crime and Bullying Hotline: 1-800-220-5414