BELLEVILLE -- An anti-bullying program Tuesday night at Belleville West High School drew parents from outside the district who joined local residents in voicing concerns about bullying in schools and suggested approaches toward solutions.
Tuesday night marked the first parent meeting of Belleville West's Students and Teachers Offering Protection (STOP) program.
"They (students) are counting on us and we cannot bury our heads in the sand about this," said Laura Amenn, of O'Fallon.
Amenn said she attended the meeting because of her experience in dealing with her own district after her son was disciplined for intimidating another student. He did so in reaction to being bullied, she said.
"You should not come to school and feel like your life is threatened," Amenn said.
Principal Bob Dahm has said the program, which began in January 2007, was originally expected to take two to three years to fully develop. However, the Sept. 14 attack of one student by two others during a morning bus ride has been a catalyst in moving process along. Police said the attack was an instance of bullying after interviewing witnesses.
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