Matoaca parents protest against bullying at middle school

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Matoaca, Va (WRIC) — A few Matoaca Middle School parents said not enough is being done to stop bullying.

On Tuesday, they held a protest outside the school and said say they are simply trying to make a change.

This, all after one mother said she reached a breaking point last week when her daughter showed her what the bully had done.

“I looked at her hair and it actuality it was a chunk a 2-by-3 piece missing out of her hair,” said parent Dawn Driskill.

Dawn Driskill said her daughter has been bullied for weeks and the school wasn’t doing enough to stop it.

“I just kind of felt like administration tried to sweep it under the rug,” said Driskill.

Matoaca Middle School parent Candice Bowe said she’s had similar experiences.

“A lot of parents are made to feel that when they do approach administration with issues that they are the only person with that problem,” said Candice Bowe.

Now parents are hoping Tuesday’s protest will spark a change.

“We want to come together as a community, parents, students and even the educators to figure out what we can do to eliminate the bullying,” said Bowe. “Its a serious issue.”

Apparently, administration did notice. 8News received a copy of the voice message sent to parents. In it, Principal Gayle Hines outlined the school’s anti-bullying program and mentions that this month is actually bully prevention month.

“I’ve encouraged all of our students to remember what they have learned about and how to treat others with kindness and respect,” said Gayle Hines in the message. “They can change the world for the better. They need our support to do so.”

Going forward, Driskill and Bowe are hoping more parents will stand up against bullying.

“We’re not going to stand for our children to be in an environment that’s not conducive to learning,” said Bowe.

8News received the following response from Chesterfield County Schools:

“Our schools – including Matoaca Middle’s We Are One initiative – have a number of programs in place to affect student behavior and create a positive student climate. Matoaca Middle continues to focus students’ attention on problem-solving, conflict resolution and making good choices. Work with the “Words Hurt” program and with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports strategies continues to show a positive impact on the social, emotional and academic outcomes for our students.”

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