Digging deeper into bullying allegations at Laurens schools

Bullying allegations in Laurens County schools

Bullying allegations in Laurens County schools have stirred up quite the conversation.

Gabrielle Dawkins spoke to a woman who says her grandchild was a victim of bullying, along with the Laurens County Superintendent to hear her take on bullying in the district.

Teresa Paul says that her granddaughter was a fifth grade student at East Laurens Elementary School and was bullied back in 2015.

"I don't think it's right for any child to have to go through what my granddaughter had to go through," said Paul.

She says that a student teased her 10-year-old granddaughter saying she was too fat.

"I didn't really notice it until Christmastime. She was not eating or nothing. We had to take her to the doctor. She had lost so much weight," said Paul.

"She didn't really want to go to school or anything. She would never come and tell us, and I've always told her that you can talk to me," she continued.

Juli Alligood, the Laurens County School Superintendent, says that bullying is anything that makes a child feel small.

Laurens County Bullying Policy by 13WMAZ on Scribd

Below is a Facebook post from a parent concerned that their child is being bullied.

Alligood said she doesn't think Laurens County schools have more bullying than any other Georgia schools but they look into each complaint.

"Each incident is looked into and thoroughly investigated and at that point it's put on the continual of where it falls as far as the punishment is concerned," said Alligood.

She said during her time there she hasn't heard of a lot of complaints on bullying.

"I've maybe heard three parents complain about bullying situations," said Alligood.

In the end, Paul says her granddaughter lost 30 pounds and became withdrawn, but she said the former principal at East Laurens Elementary School, Melanie McLemore, nipped the problem in the bud.

"They got it settled right then, and now, her and the girl is friends now, so I'm thankful for that," said Paul.

Alligood could not comment on those two cases posted above. However, she says that the school system is aware of the issue and is currently fixing the problem.

The town hall meeting to address bullying is scheduled for April 8th at the Dudley Retreat. It starts at 10 a.m.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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