Parents Voice Concerns of Bullying in Columbia County


CATAWISSA, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Alleged bullying has been the center of a death of a student at Southern Columbia Area High School.

A freshman took her own life last week and parents of the district say it’s on the back of the administration. 

Parents are saying enough is enough. 

They believe the administration is not handling bullying as serious as they should and on Monday evening, they told the school board how they felt. 

“Don’t sit there and tell me you’re doing your best. Because you’re not doing a damn thing.”

Dozens of parents spoke at Monday night’s board meeting at Southern Columbia Area High School.  Addressing the board on reoccurring and mishandling bullying incidences in the district. 

“My children witnessed firsthand that Natalie was treated differently and she was treated meanly by certain students.”

Most recently, 14-year-old Natalie Bodners took her own life because of alleged bullying in the district. 

Parents and students like Clarissa Fox held signs that read “We are the voice you stole from her.”

“We’re taking a stance for Natalie, this is not about us in the long run. It’s about the millions of voices that were kept silent.”

Parents say, the district are taking the bullying claims and sweeping them under the rug.

Superintendent Paul Caputo declined an interview but says after hearing concerns Monday night, hes ready to take a hard look at the districts bullying policy.

 Parents like Jodie Levan, are saying one death is just too many.

“But to the extent that our kids are even thinking about taking their own lives is unacceptable.”

The district could not comment on Natalie’s death and it’s connection to the district as it’s under investigation. 

Parents ask teachers to keep their ears and eyes open. 

“Anywhere they just need to watch and listen and see it and not turn around and not ignore it.” Levan said.

Superintendent Caputo tells Eyewitness News students need to tell their teachers of such bullying and if nothing is done, take it up with the principle. 

A memorial and funeral was held for Natalie Bodners earlier on Monday. Students and administration attended the services. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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