CHICESTER, Pa. – A local school district is responding to allegations from parents who say a worrying rise in bullying and fighting has made them concerned for their children’s safety.
Just days into the new school year, videos of brutal beatings at Chichester High School were shared on social media. One of the footage shows a ninth grader being beaten on a school bus, while other fights have broken out in school stairwells and classrooms.
A mother who spoke to FOX 29 claimed both of her daughters were being bullied. She said her daughter has to request a “Flash Pass” every day to raise her in the classroom when she’s being bullied.
Jennifer Frazier, a mother of two at Chichester High School, told FOX 29 that her daughters are currently being bullied by classmates. The agony is so bad that the girls say they are afraid to go to school.
She said her daughter has to request a “Flash Pass” every day to raise her in the classroom when she’s being bullied. Frazier believes the school’s lackluster means of combating the bullying inflicted on her daughter could lead to more problems.
The district superintendent refused to speak to FOX 29 after a Chichester School Board meeting on Tuesday, which focused on the issue of school safety. Days later, the district responded, saying it was aware of the videos circulating and claiming many were not from that year.
Despite the turmoil, school officials and students told FOX 29 they believe schools in the district are safe.
It seemed like all of those fights happened this year, which wasn’t fair. Post COVID, some students have struggled to adjust. We had fewer pre-Covid incidents. We had a spike last year, but we have policies and procedures like therapists and things like that
Borough officials say students who violate the borough’s policies on bullying, harassment and violence will be held accountable and punished. Chichester High School shared several policy initiatives to ensure school safety included in a statement:
Goal: Ensure a safe and positive educational experience for all students.
- Students in assigned and supervised areas at all times
- Monitor morning pre-class areas, hallways, lunch at our cafe, discharge areas with as many staff as possible
- Teach expectations consistently with HR classes, live video events, security drills (fire drills, armed intruder drills, etc.)
- Administration/counselling/social workers conduct student contacts including meditations/peer meditations parent contacts/parent meetings student group meetings
- Meditations/peer meditations
- Parent contacts/parent meetings
- Student group meeting
- Bullying/cyberbullying policies that are progressive Student counseling Can progress to building level consequences Restorative counseling Outside counseling Police referral, mediation
- Student Advisory Service
- May have consequences at building level
- Restorative Advice
- External advice
- Transfer to the police, mediation
- Safe 2 Say – tip line – see something – say something
- Campus-Wide Disciplinary Plan Progressive, including building-level consequences Expulsion from school 3 alternative ed in-house programs, including a cyber-school option External placements Exclusion
- Also progressive
- Consequences at building level
- expulsion from school
- 3 alternative in-school programs including a cyber school option
- External placements
- Form a team of our children, our parents and our staff: focus on academics and experiences
- Full time SRO from Upper Chichester Police Department on staff.
Student Services has worked to proactively support our students with behavioral and mental health issues. To this end, we have added social worker support, one full-time and one part-time, a full-time school mental health counselor, a restorative practices administrator, professional development with a focus on social emotional learning, and equity and diversity, all of our schools have nationally recognized positive behavior intervention and support programs, and last year we were involved in a mental health study with Penn Medicine that evaluated and supported students with HS disorders. Our board recently adopted a policy on therapy animals, so our plan is to have trained therapy dogs available for students with emotional issues. All of this is in addition to our contingent of school counsellors, social workers and school psychologists present at each school to support our students.
In summary, we understand that it’s difficult to hear all of the viewpoints in one condensed story on the 10 am news, but we felt compelled to set things straight and ensure the public is aware that this behavior is not is everyday experience. Bullying, harassment and violence of any kind are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Students who continue to violate our district policies will be held accountable and punished within the limits of the law. The District welcomes and values feedback from the community and will continue to strive to provide the best educational experience for our students and their families.