Report Finds Bullying Was a Problem At Cheyenne School
Bullying and tensions among various groups of students were problems at Cheyenne's McCormick Junior High School around and before the time that some racist and anti-gay flyers were posted at the school in March of 2019, according to a report stemming from an investigation at the school.
A redacted version of the report was released by Laramie County School District #1 on Monday. The report was compiled after an investigation that featured interviews with almost 30 staff members, 17 students and three parents affiliated with the school. A representative of Wyoming Equality was also interviewed.
In regard to the flyers, the report found that
''Flyers were found posted at MJHS on March 27, 2019. The flyers were anti-gay and included a racist statement. The bottom of the flyer said KKK, Konfederate Kids Klub.''
But the report also said there had been bullying and hate speech directed at members of the McCormick Gay-Straight Alliance since the start of the school year in September of 2018.
But the report said that following the posting of the flyers on March 27:
-Kids were bullying more on Thursday and Friday (3-28 and 3-29)
• Derogatory comments increased toward the GSA students after 3/27, the date of the posting of the flyer.
• It has been substantiated that, after 3/27, the GSA students were flipping off non-GSA students, waving the pride flags in faces, and making derogatory comments.
The report came to the following conclusions and recommendations:
"After reviewing information gained through the investigative process, by a preponderance of the evidence, the conclusion is, that there are confirmed instances of discriminatory harassment that have continued over a period of time and continue.
The following are conclusions to that effect:
• There is conclusive evidence of: 1) reoccurring derogatory and/or insensitive language (failure to use student desired pronouns, "your kind" in reference to an African American student) used by staff; and, 2) intermittent use of hate speech such as "nigger", "fag" etc. being used by students prior to March 27, 2019, the date of the flyer incident.
• There is evidence of derogatory comments made by students toward students with disabilities along with concerns regarding indifferent treatment.
• There is evidence to suggest the building administration, at times, responds to some staff in an intimidating manner.
• There is no evidence to support the existence of white supremist or a Konfederate Kids Klub at MJHS. However there is evidence of reciprocal tension between 3 — 5 students and the GSA, which has escalated over the last two months.
• There is limited use of district prescribed processes for reporting, documenting, and resolving behavioral referrals and reports of bullying, harassment, and intimidation.
• The school-wide Olweus anti-bullying program lessons and reporting processes are implemented with limited fidelity and commitment by some staff. • The flyer incident was orchestrated by one student who was identified through an investigation by . There were 4 confirmed flyers which were posted prior to the start of the school day. All flyers were removed prior to the start of the school day. There is no evidence to support the allegations that flyers were handed out to students at any time. However, a flyer was given to an which was then returned to the student.
• Continue providing counseling and support for students. • Act prior to the end of the school year to address the climate of MJHS for all students and staff. • In addition to above, provide sensitivity training - to support both staff and student cultural awareness, greater understanding of cultural differences, enhancing cultural sensitivity,
and training in effectively working with the LGBTQ community, minorities and students with disabilities.
• Implement the established reporting process for both bullying and discipline referrals and provide necessary training for application of already established policy, procedures, and regulations.
• Ensure Olweus program is implemented with quality, fidelity, integrity, and consistency for all staff and students.
• Examine collaboration with Olweus and Title IX investigations into bullying, harassment.
• Examine opportunities to build better relationships amongst staff at MJHS.
• Establish at MJHS and reaffirm District-wide commitment to a multi-tiered approach to social, emotional and behavior support.''
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