16 December 1999

Parents Want Officials To Stop Harassment

By Jon A. Brake
What do you do, when you feel your children are being harassed at school
and the school administration will not help?
And if you are a school administrator, what do you do, when parents are
asking for too much?
A group of parents are "going public" with their concerns about the
Manhattan High School East Campus. They feel their children are not safe in
school. They claim there have been death threats, children have been pushed
down a flight of stairs and there is constant verbal intimidation.
The school administration say that three students have been suspended,
school staff have been assigned to escort students between classes, and
School Safety Contract have been signed.
The parents are asking the public if others are having problems and not
getting help from the district. Here is a letter from the five concerned

Dear Community of Manhattan:
One of the benefits of living             in Manhattan used to be that
    parents could send their children to school every day to receive
     an education in a safe and              healthy environment.  That's
all changed.
Imagine your child calling you at work saying, "Daddy, Mommy, come quick;
they said they're going to kill me!

Apparently, there is a group of girls at the East Campus who have the
attitude of "We run this school.  If you're not with us, you're against
us!" That statement alone might not seem so serious; however, over the last
two months these girls have backed up their words with documented acts of
violence - slaps to the face, pushing one child down a flight of stairs and
constant verbal intimidation.
It is now obvious that the shoves, slaps and verbal abuse have escalated to
threats and plots of murder - not just killing the students, but talk of
killing the student's parents as well.  Are these just children boasting?
Perhaps, perhaps not.

If this happened to your child, wouldn't you expect the administration to
remove the offenders from the school?  It seems our administrators have
their hands tied.  These girls are still in school.  The children who are
the victims of their abuse are being investigated by the school

Last week this was my family's problem.  Monday morning it may become
yours. The nightly news is full of reports from other communities across
the nation where tragedy has struck because someone ignored the warning
signs of impending disaster.  Let's not let Manhattan become another

Concerned Parents: Jonathon Allen, 539-3979; Joe Smith, 537-4099; Wanda
Anderson, 587-1956; Mariithi Grace, 587-0075; Jan Bean, 770-8425