Linden students question efforts of bullying hotline
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LINDEN, MI (WNEM) -
A local school district is taking another look at their bullying policy.
Linden Community Schools set up a bullying hotline following the tragic suicide of one of their students, but some students in the school say the hotline isn't doing its job.
"Our child is not coming back. We've come to that realization," said an emotional Mike Capehart as he sat next to his wife Lynnette.
The Capeharts live a parent's worst nightmare every day. Their son Josh Pacheco committed suicide less than three months ago. The Capeharts blame his death on bullying.
"We kind of feel it's up to us to do everything we can so other people don't have to go through it," said Mike Capehart.
They've pushed for Linden to crack down on bullying since his death. The district has implemented a bullying hotline to give students a chance to report bullying happening in the school.
"That policy went into effect the week after our son passed away, and we haven't heard one good thing," said Lynette Capehart.
At the school board meeting Wednesday night, a student raised concerns about problems with the hotline.
"It's not working. They're not hearing us," Michael Emington said.
Emington, a sophomore at Linden, said he watched his best friend Alec get bullied by a group of older students.
"They reached into the car, and they said, 'He's scared,' and they felt his heart. And they pulled down the mirror and told him to look at himself. It was like nothing I've ever seen. It was like out of a movie," said Emington.
Emington said Alec text-messaged the hotline number to report the incident but never heard back.
According to the Linden Student Handbook, the district has a policy for bullying. The minimum penalty is a three-day suspension, and the maximum penalty is expulsion.
"They shouldn't even have a policy in place. They shouldn't have even written the words on bullying," said Kimberly Ball, Alec's mother.
Ball said she's disgusted the district hasn't disciplined anybody involved. She also wonders what good the hotline is if the concerns go unanswered.
"Nothing's being done. It's frustrating. It's very frustrating," Ball said.
Ball has kept her son, Alec, out of Linden High School since last Wednesday because she said she's concerned about his safety.
We attempted to contact school officials after hours Thursday night, and we did not get a response. Stay with WNEM TV5 as we continue to follow this story.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 06:54:01 GMT
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:02 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:02:36 GMT
Sherry Lakey said her 32-year-old son, Scott, would probably be dead if it wasn't for a group of quick thinking neighbors. "He's doing ok," she said. "Thankfully, because he has two little girls to thinkMore >
Sherry Lakey said her 32-year-old son, Scott, would probably be dead if it wasn't for a group of quick-thinking neighbors.More >
An online beauty contest created by teenage boys is causing a controversy at Newberg High School, but the school can't do much to stop it. It's called May Madness, a bracket contest that ranks high schoolMore >
A "May Madness" bracket at Newberg High School ranks high school girls on their "hotness."More >
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 11:00 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:00:58 GMT
A masked man barged into a local marijuana dispensary and robbed two people at gunpoint. It happened at 10:45 a.m. Thursday morning at the Relief Medical Marijuana Facility on Southeast 122nd near Glisan.More >
An armed robber held a gun to the back of a woman's head and threatened to shoot her if he didn't get marijuana. More >
One of Alaska's most restless volcanoes has shot an ash cloud 15,000 feet into the air in an ongoing eruption that has drawn attention from a nearby community but isn't expected to threaten air traffic.More >
One of Alaska's most restless volcanoes shot an ash cloud 15,000 feet into the air Friday in an ongoing eruption that is visible for miles when the weather allows.More >