At a school board meeting held to discuss the tragic death of 13-year-old Emilie Olsen, who allegedly committed suicide due to bullying, concerned mother Joan Parrett explains to the board her own children’s issues with bullying. She tells parents and board members that her son is gay, and constantly gets ridiculed for it.
“I’m here because that could have been my son that decided to take his life,” she announced to the school board and parents attending the meeting. “I’m here to stick up for all of our kids.”
As Parrett continues to express her thoughts on bullying in schools, Board President and conservative Jerome Kearns rudely interrupts her saying, “You’ve exceeded your time, so if you could begin to wrap it up.”
Furious with the lack of respect from Kearns, parent Ray Schmitz angrily shouts at the school board president to give her more time, and to stop ignoring the problem (which is what conservatives are best at). Schmitz says:
“This is important. This is the only important thing we’ve talked about tonight. Quit hiding from it.”
The school board still would not acknowledge Parrett’s bullying concerns, so Schmitz initially lost his temper. He stands up, points at every school board member, and shouts:
“I can’t believe you guys would bury your heads in the sand like that! Shame on you guys!”
Schmitz was told by a board member to keep quiet or to leave and the passionate father replied:
“I want you to leave! You. Leave our district. Our kids deserve more than that. Our kids deserve better than you guys. We can vote you guys out the next election, but this guy needs to go.”
You can watch the discussion via YouTube, below:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm2r03VYs3o&w=560&h=315]
After Schmitz was instructed to leave for being “disruptive” during the meeting, several other audience members walked out of the room shouting at the board members, “Shame on you.”
Tempers from parents as well as the entire community raised when school Superintendent Paul Otten issued a letter stating that there was “no credible evidence that bullying was a factor” in Olsen’s death. However, this conservative school district was completely wrong after local media uncovered evidence of bullying being a huge role in Olsen’s suicide. But of course, school board members are oblivious to the fact that bullying does indeed exist and is a concern that needs to be properly addressed.
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