While she addressed the Vandalia Board of Education on the issue of bullying, the parent of a student in the local school system said it will take the entire community to address that issue.
And after Megan Wilson finished reading a written statement prepared for last Tuesday’s meeting, Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well said that Wilson had been invited to join the district’s student discipline committee.
“I am a mother who has recently been introduced to this victimization, and can’t stand by and let it happen anymore,” said Wilson, who accepted the district’s invitation for her involvement.
“I want to change this,” she said. “I want to help everyone find a way to successfully defuse the issues at hand.
“The community has stood silent long enough. I am standing up for my child, your child, your grandchild, your family, in general,” Wilson said.
After reading the statement, she said, “It’s not just the schools – it’s the whole community that needs to get involved.
“It needs to be addressed everywhere, and it starts a lot at home with the parents.
“If we can lend out a hand, to lead them the right way, we can make a difference,” Wilson said.
Well said that Wilson had been invited to join the student discipline committee “because of the passion she has shown for the matter.”
After her address, School Board President Chris Palmer encouraged parents to be involved in their children’s schools.
“Instead of being the ones who complain, we could all do something about it,” he said, noting that people don’t get involed until there’s a problem.
“This is the first time we’ve had 12 extra people here that I can remember,” he said, encouraging local residents to attend school board meetings at any time, not just when they see a problem.
When one of the parents in the group who accompanied Wilson to the meeting said, “And most of us don’t feel like we have enough of a voice to come here and talk to you,” Palmer said, “Oh, you have a voice; you’ve just got to be here.”
Well added, “(Attending) a meeting is one thing; getting involved in the schools is where it’s at, that’s where change happens.”
The issue of bullying, Well said, “is not unique to Vandalia; administrators are talking about it everywhere.”
Also at the meeting:
• Well reported that instead of building a house this year, the building trades class at the Okaw Area Vocational Center is remodeling a home.
That, he said, is giving the students a different type of construction experience and that “it’s a positive experience for them.
“It’s a lot of real world experiences for these kids,” he said. “They are learning some good life skills.”
• The board approved the retirement of junior high physical education teacher Carl Shreve on June 30, 2022.
• The board approved activity accounts for the baseball and softball teams at the junior high and the high school girls golf team.
• In discussing the bills, Well emphasized that “we try to use local (businesses) every time we can.
“There are 16 businesses in town this month (on the bills list), and we will use different ones next month,” Well said.