An Oregon school principal is being accused of “victim shaming” by some parents.
Some parents of children at Centennial Elementary School in Scio say recent remarks by the principal on bullying are offensive.
In a YouTube video, Luke Zedwick stated victims of bullying tend to provoke bullies and must be taught to be “less annoying.”
A viewer contacted FOX 12 about the video. Other parents spoke about being frustrated by the remarks.
On Thursday, Zedwick said he wanted to extend an olive branch to community members who were offended by his comments.
Zedwick has a YouTube channel full of parenting advice. On April 10, he acknowledged that what he was about to say was controversial, and then in a six-minute video he made statements including, “In my experience the kids who get bullied are not really good friends. They're not good at being a friend. They tend to annoy people, maybe without knowing it, but usually they do know it."
He then stated how parents should handle children who are being bullied.
“So if you find your kid being a target, one thing you could do to help them, separate from the bullying, is you can help them learn not to be annoying,” Zedwick said.
Zedwick told FOX 12 he may have come off a bit strong, but he insists parents should be aware there are instances that young children may describe as bullying, but they are actually simple conflicts for which they should take some responsibility.
Some parents don’t see it that way.
“It sends a message to them that it’s their fault and they’re not fun to hang out with,” said parent Nicole Loveberg.
Scio School District administrators declined to say if formal complaint has been made about the principal and superintendent Gary Tempel provided FOX 12 the following statement:
The Scio School District became aware on Thursday of a personal YouTube video posted by Luke Zedwick that contained his opinions related to bullying. The Scio School District has a robust antibullying program in place to emphasize positive behavior supports to prevent bullying from occurring and to stop it if it does occur. Mr. Zedwick's comments do not reflect the district's position on bullying prevention. The Scio School District remains committed to the creation and maintenance of a safe educational environment and appreciates the community's support of these efforts.
Zedwick posted a follow-up video in which he defends his views.
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