Parents of bullied student protest outside Campus High; students stage counterprotest

11/29/2012 5:18 PM

11/29/2012 5:18 PM

Parents of a Campus High School student protested outside the Haysville school Thursday afternoon, alleging their daughter was severely bullied and that school officials did not respond appropriately.

A group of about 50 Campus students staged a counterprotest along 55th Street South, holding signs that read “Honk if you love Campus” and “Campus is safe.”

Miranda Miller said two boys harassed her daughter, a freshman at Campus, and called her names. “They told her that she’s better off killing herself, that no one would miss her if she was gone,” she said.

Miranda Miller did not want her daughter’s name published. She said the girl is hospitalized under psychiatric care because she has threatened suicide.

She and her husband, Justin, and about 15 friends and family members staged the protest outside Campus on Thursday because they wanted to raise awareness of the bullying problem.

“We talked to the principal, talked to the superintendent, and nothing has happened. It’s like they don’t care,” Miranda Miller said.

Campus principal Myron Reiger on Thursday referred interview requests to the district office.

Liz Hames, spokeswoman for Haysville public schools, said she could not talk about any specific incidents or reports involving the Millers’ daughter because of student privacy concerns.

She said the district has “a zero-tolerance policy for bullying of any sort.”

“Our principals and counselors are trained to handle problems and investigate concerns,” Hames said. “As a school district we welcome comments from parents, students, staff and patrons. … We want to do everything we can to help students be successful.”

Miranda Miller disagreed.

“We’ve been contacted by hundreds of parents whose children go to Campus or to Haysville middle schools whose children are being bullied, and nothing’s being done about it,” she said.

“What I want to come out of this is stronger consequences for children that are bullying other children. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

During the Millers’ protest, a group of several dozen Campus High students stood down the street, waving at cars and chanting, “Campus is safe.”

“We have the best support systems here at Campus, and it’s a really safe school,” said Kolton Landreth, a sophomore.

Shelby Bettles, a senior in student government, said she doesn’t think bullying is a problem at the school. If a student ever has a problem or feels threatened, she said, there are safeguards in place.

“Our teachers, our counselors, our administrators, they all really care about students and want the best for them,” she said. “We’re out here because we want people to know we love our school.”

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