One Mayville Mom Questions Schools Stance on Bullies and Her Aut - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

One Mayville Mom Questions Schools Stance on Bullies and Her Autistic Child

Posted: Updated:

While most kids deal with bullying at one point or another. One mom came to Valley News Live for help after she says the school wasn't doing enough. Her third grade daughter, who is autistic and has down syndrome, is being picked-on at school and on the bus according to the mother.

The Mayville mother sat down with Valley News team's Eric Crest not to complain about the school, but to be sure other kids know how bullying takes a huge toll on any child.

Kathryne Schriefer says it was a few weeks back when her daughter was having trouble at school. Prior to that, the night before school was filled with talk of the following day. "Every night she picks out her outfit lays it on the table and she's like we gonna go to school tomorrow? Yeah you're going to school tomorrow!" Says Schriefer.

This proud mom has a daughter with special needs. Her third grader has autism and down syndrome. While her daughter typically loves school she recently lost her passion after what her mom calls a case of bullying.

"If the student takes out of the conversation or interaction (with a fellow student) a negative feeling ... It's bullying. Especially if their disabled because she can't differentiate kinda bullying... and this is mean." Says Schriefer.

At the school district level this kind of behavior according to Superintendent Michael Bradner doesn't go unnoticed. "We take bullying or allegations of bullying very seriously." Says Bradner.

The Superintendent in Mayville says after looking into the case it wasn't so black and white as to whether the other students were bullying Schriefer's daughter. The Mayport C G School District's definition of bullying is a little different than the average moms definition.

"It's any behavior that could be classified as so severe, abrasive, or objectionably defensive that it substantially interferes with a students educational opportunities." Explains Bradner.

School officials did talk with both parents involved and today Katheryn's daughter is happy to go to school again. But that doesn't mean she's happy with the school's approach at a solution.

"I'm more worried about things not changing than about a situation." Says Schriefer.

The district plans on giving her a list of talking points for her daughter that other kids find interesting. In turn making her daughter less of a target for bullying. That's part of the problem, not a solid solution according to Schriefer,"that wasn't ok with me I said no this isn't going to happen. I don't believe in this. I don't think blaming my daughter and telling her to change herself is a way to fix the problem. It's not her fault she has down syndrome or autism."

Kathryne has an idea of her own: bring in an expert in to talk to kids. 1 in 88 children today have a form of autism, but most classmates don't know much about it. Kathryn says this is one way to help kids understand what other kids have to deal with and not just a list to correct her daughters social skills.

"That's not a way to stop bullying. The bullying needs to stop by other kids understanding why she does it." Says Schriefer.

The North Dakota Autism Center already said they're on board with bringing in an expert to speak to the student body. But Mayville's Superintendent didn't say whether they would incorporate that into next year's curriculum. He did say it's a priority to make sure no one is bullied at any of his schools.

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNowAll content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Valley News Live. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.