Officials: Red-haired students at middle school bullied

26 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alleged attacks made on MVMMS red-headed students.

The seventh grade students at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School were attacking redheads, and authorities only intervened after nurses treated injuries. “We are outraged by the behavior and poor decisions made by a group of students and we are concerned for both the victims and the aggressors for the impact that this will have them,” the school said in a statement. The administration has been investigating the reports since the end of last week and have made sure that “students are safe and particular students are not involved with each other” while the investigations continue. According to a statement from Principal Brent Conway that was sent to the families of middle school students on Monday, students called it “Kick a Ginger Day,” influenced by a 2005 episode of the cartoon show “South Park.” “[I]n most cases, students were subject to mild leg taps and comments from the students involved, but in several cases, students were physically kicked by students who were acting aggressively, and some students were injured as a result,” Conway wrote. The school has reviewed surveillance tapes of the incident and has contacted police about the possibility of “appropriate action” being taken against the children who were involved.

No staff or faculty witnessed students being kicked in the halls, but the administration became aware of the incidents when injured students went to the nurse, according to the statement. Conway said in his statement that this did not appear to be a “criminal situation,” though the district has been passing along infomation to the Melrose Police Department. The statement said that the behavior could be considered assault, and that the school would involve police if necessary. “At the Melrose Public Schools we take the safety of all our students very seriously. We take many opportunities during the school year in assemblies, in small groups and in the classroom to teach our students to be kind and respectful to each other.

At the middle school, the administration and staff have identified a list of six personal qualities, including responsibility, respect, and self-management, that we emphasize with the students. We appreciate the families and students who have been willing to provide detailed information and work with the administration to address this incident. Additionally, we are collaborating with some of our outside partners, including MAAV and the Middlesex Partnership for Youth, to find appropriate resources to address concerns about being an active bystander and responding to bullying and aggression. Thank you to our parents and staff, members of the School Committee, and Chief Lyle for working with us to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

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