UPDATE: West Seattle High School principal sends letters after ‘threatening statement’

ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:43 PM THURSDAY: Tonight we received a few inquiries about a report that a West Seattle High School student made a threat in a classroom during the school day. We contacted district spokesperson Kim Schmanke to ask if she had any information about this, and she just sent us the letter that WSHS principal Brian Vance sent to families tonight:

Dear West Seattle High School families,

Late in the school day, one of our students made a threatening statement. Upon learning about the comments, we contacted the district’s Safety and Security office and the Seattle Police Department.

We contacted the families whose students overheard the comments before sending a school-wide communication.

Please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of our students is our top priority.

I realize any talk of violence is a cause for concern and we will continue to investigate to assure you that we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe at school.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to speak with parents and guardians directly.

ADDED 8:03 PM: We asked if /how the student had been disciplined. Schmanke replied, “My understanding is we cannot disclose the specifics but yes, appropriate protocols were followed regarding the student.”

ADDED 8 AM FRIDAY: Thanks to the parent who forwarded us a second letter that they say was sent this morning:

Dear West Seattle High School families,

I wanted to follow up from my email last night regarding the threat that was made by one of our students yesterday afternoon. I received several emails with a variety of concerns. Unfortunately, I cannot share every detail from our investigation but I wanted to at least clarify a couple of things.

· The student who made the threat was identified immediately and will not be at school while we continue our investigation.

· In an abundance of caution, there will be additional security at school today.

· Both district security and Seattle Police Department are aware of the situation and are helping with our investigation.

· We are planning a normal school day today and plan to move forward with all the homecoming activities this weekend.

· If your student needs to talk with someone, our counselors will be available to do so.

As I said last night, please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of our students is our top priority. I realize any talk of violence is a cause for concern and we will continue to investigate to assure you that we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students safe at school. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Brian Vance, Principal
West Seattle High School

69 Replies to "UPDATE: West Seattle High School principal sends letters after 'threatening statement'"

  • Mmarie October 5, 2017 (8:05 pm)

    As a wshs parent I appreciate knowing but I wish more information would have been shared with us about the type of threat made. 

  • Alki Resident October 5, 2017 (8:39 pm)

    Maybe the student doing these threats should go visit a morgue and a prison. Then come back and apologize to their peers.

  • WSMom October 5, 2017 (9:02 pm)

    Hmmm. I heard that the kid was being bullied by two other kids. I had heard that west Seattle had a bad problem with bullying. Maybe the school should address that problem too. 

    • LameSanchezFan October 5, 2017 (10:02 pm)

      This is true. I have known this student for almost 14 years and I’ve been protecting him from bullies most of his life. I addressed the bullying issue back in 2014 and again until 2016 and wshs did NOTHING to help. The principal and vice principal said they would talk to the students that were bullying, but no one got any diciplining and it continued on until he was so scared to leave school that I had to ESCOURT HIM OUT OF THE BUILDING AFTER I TRANSFERRED TO A DIFFERENT SCHOOL (due to extreme bullying on my side also).

      • WSMom October 5, 2017 (10:20 pm)

        I would like to know what happened to the bullies?  My kids don’t go there (thank god!!) but I have heard for years about Madison and West Seattle. Can’t they control this?

      • yellow&blue true October 6, 2017 (3:21 pm)

        I understand your concerns with bullying, and totally agree that it can not be ignored. However, I am the teacher in the classroom when the incident happened, and it was not due to bullying. In fact, I am very proud of the students at WSHS and how they responded to the incident. I am also a concerned teacher for the student involved. I have worked with him for years, care for his safety and protection; the bullying in the past was not related to this incident. There were other factors involved, and it didn’t involve other kids.

    • Naomi October 5, 2017 (11:44 pm)

      This kid was not being bullied at the time he was making threatening statements to his class

      • P October 6, 2017 (12:14 am)

        Naomi – that doesn’t mean the bullying hasn’t caused psychological damage. 

        What he did isnt right or ethical but he obviously made the threat for a reason. 

      • Anonymous October 6, 2017 (7:36 am)

        He was not being bullied but I’m not saying he hasn’t been bullied because I’ve seen it before I was in that class at the time and it was a verbal threat and he looks serious so I asked them are you serious about that and all he did was shrug his shoulders

      • LameSanchezFan October 6, 2017 (10:05 am)

        I am not excusing his behavior in any case whatsoever. 

        I just want the bullying to be addressed. I’ll be speaking with the principal on Monday about them ignoring his constant bullying for years. 

  • Mother of 4 October 5, 2017 (9:12 pm)

    I got the letter at 7:30pm tonight. I’m a little concerned that many parents will not see it until tomorrow and unwillingly send their children to school in the morning. 

  • SayYes October 5, 2017 (9:19 pm)

    My son was in the class when the threat was made. The ADULT who said it was a male student and he threatened to kill the administration/teachers at West Seattle high. I say adult because the student is 18 years old. I believe this is a valid threat and this student should never be allowed on WSHS grounds again.

  • Mmarie October 5, 2017 (9:34 pm)

    The safety of those in the school comes first and at the same time the student needs proper services/ help and to be held accountable.

  • Mom2boys October 5, 2017 (9:48 pm)

    Not surprised WS high enherited the Madison students that bullied my son so badly I had to remove him for his own safety after written death threats. He showed 3 teachers at Madison those death threats and all 3 told him to ignore and throw away . Seattle school have a long history of shrugging off real concerns and safety issues . 

    • Wsrez October 5, 2017 (10:40 pm)

      Hi. I remember your posts from a few years ago. Totally agree with your statements. I hope you and your child are in a good place now. We really had high hopes for Seattle Public Schools but after giving it a chance and seeing the dysfunction first hand on multiple levels for 8+ years, we decided to go private. I have heard of bullying issues at WSHS for years. Unfortunately it’s not new in the past 3 years. 

      • Mom2boyd October 5, 2017 (11:00 pm)

        My eldest who got the written death threats at Madison went to the center school for high school, had a great experience and is now 20 and working and deciding on which college . 2 years running start completed.

        my youngest also a Madison student who was bullied and caught his bully on camera a. Pushing a child in a wheel chair down a flight of stairs b . On camera chasing him with a tree branch not a stick but literally a large fallen branch. In May of his last year at Madison the bully beat him up one block off school property . We filed a police report for assault . The bully was never even suspended much less expelled . School advised I pull my son for his own safety and pick up / drop off his school work several times a week till middle school graduation so that’s what we did . Youngest is now a Jr. At Center school is having a great safe experience . 

        Both my boys on a regular basis refer to their Madison years as ” the hell years ” 

        • flimflam October 6, 2017 (9:52 am)

          wow, that is awful and pretty heartbreaking to read. nobody should have to endure that sort of treatment ever, but especially at school.

          • WSmom October 6, 2017 (2:08 pm)

            So glad I didn’t send my kiddo to Madison after hearing this! So sorry your sons went through that Momtoboyd! 😭

  • Alki Resident October 5, 2017 (9:50 pm)

    Ok since my last post, I’ve been in contact with other parents. This kid doing the threatening was in fact bullied but his behavior has been ” odd” for a long time. I called non emergency tonite as did many others apparently and they’re telling parents that police are handling the situation but it’s our job as parents to protect our kids and do what’s best for them. 

    This kid could snap next week or in two years from now. I will say this, if your child is a bully or you know of one, better make them stop NOW before it’s too late and we see casualties. Kids can only take so much before they lose it and how can you blame them. But as a parent I’m now debating whether to let my kid go to school tomorrow or homecoming, or Or or……. 

    • WSMom October 5, 2017 (10:26 pm)

      But is it okay for students to keep bullying kids at WSHS?  No. it’s not. The bullies need to be addressed too. 

      • Alki Resident October 5, 2017 (10:32 pm)

        Good lord, now go back and actually read what I said.

        • NorthofAdmiral October 6, 2017 (10:14 am)

          Alki Res, that was a good post. Too bad WSMOM skipped half of it. 

          My son went through 3 years at Madison and we decided no WSHS for him this year and he is now at a private high school. The lack of supervision by the Madison staff has only exasperated the problem of kids bullying and running wild. It’s not all the staff’s fault, but they don’t seem to do much to curtail it. Education isn’t a priority either. 

          I often asked my son about bullying at Madison and he said it occurs, but that he has never been bullied and wouldn’t bully anyone. He wasn’t bullied probably only because he is very tall and always looked older. Now those kids are heading into WSHS.

          Let’s hope the parents and the community are there for this child (who made the threats) in his time of need.

    • Ann Marie October 6, 2017 (7:59 am)

      My child is not going. 

      The school as a whole needs to address the emotional and social well being of every student. 

      Perhaps if enough do not go, the school and school district as a whole will clearly, honestly and openly address the needs of everyone.  At all schools. 

      Protocol letters give no assistance. 

      • Alki Resident October 6, 2017 (8:20 am)

        My daughter refuses to go today as does a few others. I agree with you Ann.

    • WSMom October 6, 2017 (3:23 pm)

      Whoops, you’re right Alki Resident.  I did miss the point.  Got sidetracked obviously.  Sorry!

  • sophomore at wshs October 5, 2017 (9:57 pm)

    as a student at west seattle high school, i am hopin he gets expelled and that the police and security will be at the school tomorrow. i want school to feel safe and be a place where i can LEARN and not be threatened for my LIFE. bullying was happening to the student but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t protect all students and faculty at all times. 

    • Sue October 12, 2017 (1:28 pm)

      Dear sophomore 

      Maybe you should spend more time learning proper english and grammar before you send anymore letters out to the public.

      But you’re right that school should be safe for everyone including the kid who made the threat. These things don’t come out of nowhere.

  • House of Pug October 5, 2017 (10:00 pm)

    Has the WSB talked to the police department?

    • WSB October 5, 2017 (10:26 pm)

      No, we have not.

  • Mariem October 5, 2017 (10:33 pm)

    If bullying has been part of what has gotten this student to where he is now the district is absolutely partly responsible for this situation.  The district needs to aggressively address this and bullying situations. My son was bullied at Madison and it caused him great distress. 

  • Sophomore at sealth October 5, 2017 (10:43 pm)

    Since I transferred from West Seattle last year, I know how bad their bullying problem is first hand. I get how the student feels when the bullies just keep relentlessly bullying him and he can’t get away from it. I understand that what he said was a bad thing, but he just needs help

  • Concerned October 5, 2017 (10:56 pm)

    The school did not notify us till 730 pm by email and I think they were not going to notify us till some of the parents started hearing from the parents of the kids that were in the class room at the time of the threat and started contacting the west seattle blog to see if they had heard anything and other teachers that had not even heard. They need to be more transparent!! Keeping quiet is not the answer. They should get the kid a ParaEducator to Shadow him to help him and also make sure he is not bullied. It sounds like the school system has let the bullying go on for many years for this kid. They also need to hold the 2 kids that were bullying him accountable and suspend them also. From what I heard they are only suspending him for one day. What is one day going to do? I am very concerned how the school handled this. 

    • Alumni October 6, 2017 (8:59 am)

      The school has a protocols they have to follow before publicly informing anyone of anything. And the school legal can only do so much to the student. Please keep in mind the principle is new this year but he is a principal who care about his students. I was lucky enough to have him at RHS before i transferred to WSHS. 

  • Curate October 5, 2017 (10:57 pm)

    Wow, I’m so sorry that this happened, for all involved. Also wanted to chime in to help to balance the profile of WSHS . . . our child has had a great experience there. He is not an uber jock or a wild child or a slacker or a trust fund guy — just a normal, friendly, open-minded kid, even a bit small for his age. He’s found others like himself there and has had a truly stellar academic experience.  He found great support and encouragement from several teachers there. And he’s never talked about bullying. I’m sad to learn that others have had a much more challenging time.

    • Madison/WSHS Mom October 6, 2017 (7:38 am)

      Thanks Curate. I’ll add as well that my son, who just graduated, had a positive experience there. He was punched at Madison and bullied a few times. I suspect the vast majority of kids in middle school are bullied at one time or another – it’s part of the middle school years, unfortunately. Madison handled it appropriately and within policy. It is not easy to navigate punishment in public schools. Have some empathy for these schools who have to deal with it fairly and equitably on all sides. Private schools have bullying and other problems. You cannot escape it. 

      Let’s get something straight here though. It is the PARENT’S ROLE to prevent and stop this. The school isn’t to blame here. Parents need to bring their spawn up as caring, empathetic souls. If they are not, they need to be held accountable AT HOME. This is where it starts and ends. It is not the school’s responsibility to raise kind children – they can support this effort, but it must start at home. 

      • s October 6, 2017 (1:34 pm)

        No, it is the responsibility of the parents AND the school. It is the parents’ and the teachers’ roles to prevent and stop this.

  • Naomi October 5, 2017 (11:43 pm)

    For everyone saying that he was being bullied in his 6th period is lying and trying to blame anyone for what is going on. Nobody in that class was bullying him or making any offensive statements when this kid made these threats. Know what you are all talking about before you make rumors like the rest of the students that are making this situation harder and harder to deal with

    • NMT October 6, 2017 (6:25 am)

      Bullying isn’t something that magically ends the second a tormentor closes his mouth and walks away.  You are correct that I wasn’t there at the moment the incident happened, but you are incorrect to say he wasn’t being bullied just because there was no verbal interaction in that moment.

    • Truth be told October 6, 2017 (7:43 am)

      Naomi- while it sounded like you were present during this incident, so was my child and 2 others who were in the class. Assuming they are your classmates, stated he was being bullied by 2 other kids. I’m aure this is hard for you but please know this is very serious..

  • C October 6, 2017 (12:20 am)

    As a Junior at WSHS, never have I ever seen any bullying going on? I’ve seen people with short tempers acting up, but never have I seen someone purposefully hurt or anger another student. I’m not sure if the bullying is different for different grade levels, but being part of the Class of 2019 I can sincerely say I have not seen any bullying and hope that these are just rumors.

    Also, it was very irresponsible to not notify any students or parents about this threat until a few hours ago. If our safety is priority like said in the letter, we should have known as soon as possible. Students shouldn’t fear for their lives, and parents shouldn’t have to be concerned about their child’s safety. I believe this late communication is a big problem and hope they don’t do something like this in the future.

  • Kim October 6, 2017 (1:53 am)

    This incident is troubling and we need more information. The Principal and Administration needs to address these alleged rumors of “bullying” and persistent “behavioral issues” at the school. 

    As a parent, I want to ask questions and get answers in a public forum. Incidentally, the 1st PTSA General Meeting for WSHS will be held on October 11th at 7pm in the Library. I hope all those writing comments here and reading this blog post will attend the meeting, so that we can let the Administration know that we are involved and concerned parents and we intend to hold them accountable legally and publicly for unaddressed issues.

  • WSHSGRADMOM October 6, 2017 (7:06 am)

    Sorry to hear this happened. As a parent I feel the frustrations of the late email, but also understand that the administration probably waited for as many facts as possible before sending an email as this happened late in the school day. School ends late at WSHS. 

    Im disappointed in the WSHS bashing. My child graduated from there last year. He attended WSHS after attending private school from kindergarten though 8th grade. We chose WSHS over private high school as they were offering more AP classes at the time and in our opionion AP classes are the best path for college admission. It payed off. He was accepted at all colleges he applied to in state and out. A happy freshman now. He also had some incredible teachers, coaches and made wonderful friends. 

    Bullying is awful and I would hope that the school will work to make it better for families and students experiencing it. Work with the new principal and be part of the solution. 

  • Not impressed October 6, 2017 (7:56 am)

    Sadly I am not confident in SPS . I’m sure that there are bullying protocols in place that they are not following as in… zero tolerance. Too many stories like these over and over again. Admins are too concerned with budgets and keeping secrets 

  • Mariem October 6, 2017 (7:59 am)

    Principal Vance sent another email this morning to parents. I think it was very well done, informative,  and reassuring. The follow through is everything, but at this moment I feel better. 

    • WSB October 6, 2017 (8:03 am)

      Yes, I just received it from a parent and have added it to the story above.

  • LK October 6, 2017 (8:00 am)

    A quote from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel:

    In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.

  • Gene October 6, 2017 (9:01 am)

    It looks to me as though some commenters & their kids had a positive experience at WSHS & some didn’t – I don’t think it’s “ bashing” for those that didn’t to say so. If your child is having a fun, inclusive, rewarding high school experience – awesome- but if your child is being bullied, harassed , excluded – it’s a nightmare. Yes encourage & celebrate the positive- but also shine a light  on the negative so there is awareness & change can happen.

  • k October 6, 2017 (9:10 am)

    reading these posts is triggering the PTSD i have from attending violent public schools in CA in the 70s. we have made progress since then but it’s still a huge problem.

    the roots of bullying are very human – let’s have compassion for all involved (compassion is also a human potential).

    i can attest that the issues caused by bullying are deep and are often are not noticed until later in life.

    – parent of a chief sealth student

    • newnative October 6, 2017 (10:00 am)

      yeah, and it’s triggering mine as a parent of a special-needs child who was bullied during his primary grades by classmates AND teachers.  We had to fight really hard for him when he couldn’t verbalize what was happening to him at the time. I was sure then, that parents were being warned about my kid as if he were the problem. 

      The back and forth about this incident just shows that there is a story behind the scenes that is a lot more involved than originally told.  

  • Old guy October 6, 2017 (9:14 am)

    This is troubling for sure. And it does start at home with the parents.  BUT, if the school is going to allow the bullies to stay, it is their responsibility to deal with them.  Or just get them out of there!

  • flimflam October 6, 2017 (9:58 am)

    schools need to take the bullying incidents much more seriously. its pretty easy to see who the bullies are and who the bullied are – school officials need to be more observant and also present real consequences. this can be difficult, especially with parents unwilling to accept/believe that their child is being accused of bullying. no child should be made to change schools to get away from the everyday torment as described by a few previous posters…

  • NorthofAdmiral October 6, 2017 (10:27 am)

    K is spot on. I was a tall kid in school yet was still bullied by one small group of kids. One of them was my neighbor and even outside of school he would shoot me with a bb-rifle, steal my bike and threaten me. It wasn’t until I started working out and pushed back that they stopped.

    Note that bullying doesn’t always happen in the open, where the non-bullied will see. It often occurs between class when a kid gets punched next to the lockers, in the lunchroom when their food is taken, on the bus when the kids behind them punch them in the back of the head repeatedly. I’ve seen it all and felt so bad for those poor kids.

    Bullying isn’t always so apparent and it can have devastating effect. As K said, it can trigger the PTSD feeling.

    This child’s threats are wrong and he needs help. I hope he has a supportive family.

    Just remember, just because you don’t see the bullying doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

  • JC October 6, 2017 (10:34 am)

    Seattle Public Schools is a joke. My oldest was bullied and I even witnessed it and called this jerk out on it and reported it to the principle.  The Principle’s reaction was to sit down and let’s talk about it.  My reaction was to suspend this bully and get his parents involved.   Since SPS failed me several times with my kids, I ended up pulling them out and putting them into a better school.  

  • JR October 6, 2017 (11:10 am)

    To each, their own, and that’s as it should be.  My daughter and I talked about it, and there was no doubt I was sending her to WSHS today.  She would have looked at me funny if I suggested otherwise anyway.

    Lots of great ideas and thoughts on this thread, but I’ll add one more: regardless of anyone’s philosophy, a student who commits “bad act” x, y, or z still has a legal right to an education, and the school system has to deal w/ that.  Even if he’s expelled from WSHS, he’ll land somewhere, and the question becomes, has the situation improved for him or his new classmates?

    I sure cannot answer that one, but I wonder about a mandatory period of  home-schooling/on-line ed if he was judged to be a threat.

    BTW, heard the threat was against staff, not students.  If so, there may be a deeper narrative than the bullying that’s been talked about.

    • Jennifer hall October 6, 2017 (5:38 pm)

      Thank you, JR, for your pragmatic and thoughtful response.

      Jennifer Hall

      Proud West Seattle High School Teacher

      • Elle Nell October 6, 2017 (7:32 pm)

        I also thank you JR— we as a community are responsible for our community.. you must find the reality in the situation and deal with a level head.. imagine if this was your child. Just imagine. 

        I am a proud WSHS parent whom also sent my child as a regular day. One because that’s what we do and two, because I trust the smart and conscious folks I send to teach my child everyday would let us know if there was a danger. Simple as that.

        Life happens everyday and what this child needs is help— not a hysterical community.

        I’ve been reading these signs that say, “Love Trumps Hate”..

  • Jim October 6, 2017 (12:48 pm)

    To parents of boys not yet at Madison or WSHS – get your boys into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. The way they will begin to carry themselves will preempt most bullying and whatever is left will be put to rest when your boys don’t back down in the moment.  This is the only way to effectively and finally deal with bullying and I would say this whether you boy is going to WSHS or Mercer Island or Blanchett. The school can’t do much about it but if your boy goes nose-to-nose with a bully once then it’s over for good. If you think it’s about size go down to Gracie Barra in SODO and watch what some of the small guys are doing to the larger ones.

    Do this if you want to avoid the bully drama. It’s been a massive success for my three teenage boys.

  • Canton October 6, 2017 (12:55 pm)

    What ever happened to in- house suspension? In the late 80’s at Denny ms, they would have you report to a room across from the lunchroom. They had desks with dividers, no talking rule, and for an entire week or two, you got your assignments delivered from your teachers. You would eat lunch at the same desk, while you could hear all the other kids having fun at lunch. It seemed to work a lot better than getting sent home.

  • zark00 October 6, 2017 (2:26 pm)

    Parents of bully kids should be held accountable.  Show me a bully and I’ll show you parents failing at the job of raising their child.  The police should also check the homes of any student making these threats for guns.  If guns exist in the home the student should not be allowed back on school grounds period.  If police found bomb making materials in the home of a student who made threats it would be a huge deal.  But that same kid could have access to a stockpile of semi-automatic weapons in his/her home and nothing would be done at all – up to an including no other parent would be informed that the kid who made death threats also has access to AR-15’s.  Personally, I think you should be required to disclose gun ownership when registering your child for public school.  Owning a gun makes your household a more dangerous place for anyone in our even near it, and makes your child a potentially more dangerous student.

  • Ws parent October 6, 2017 (5:29 pm)

    Let’s see, where to start. No one on this thread know this kids background. He has no friends, because he has autism and doesn’t know how to make friends. 

    All the WSHS crap about how every student is important is just that, crap. I’ve watched this kid for years and he’s a great kid but no one will even sit with him at lunch.  The link crew, which purports to make all students feel connected is **llsh*t.this kid was never connected to anyone. No body approach ‘s the shy quiet kid and says”hey do you want to sit with us at lunch”?it really frustrates me that there is nothing for these kids at WSHS. They are lonely and sad and sometimes they say things.

    • Bonnie October 7, 2017 (6:44 am)

      This makes me both sad and angry. As a parent of an autistic teen my wish is for him to be accepted. This does not seem like the case with this boy. I hope the school addresses this problem

       of bullying kids who are different head on from here on out  this is unacceptable  

  • bcs123 October 6, 2017 (8:09 pm)

    This is a very complicated subject with a lot of different angles.  One thing I would like to do us praise the leaders and teachers at the Seattle School District, Madison Middle School, and WSHS.  My son went to a private school up through 7th grade.  During seventh grade bullying started which lead my sons life in to a dark hole of anxiety and depression.  My once very active kid withdrew from all of school and all of the extracurricular activities.  We were fortunate enough to get him help from doctors and counselors.  We changed from the private school to Madison.  Everyone at Madison was extremely helpful in accommodating the issues and supporting our son as he worked himself out of this difficult situation.  Moving on to WSHS has been a similar experience.  He is now fully returned to school live getting decent grades and participating in school activities.  Thank you again.

    The circumstances in what is going on with this current issue sound like they may be complicated and not easily resolved.  This sounds like a situation that is complicated and something that is not going to be resolved by a simple disciplinary action.  It is certainly very important to take any required action to make sure everyone remains safe – that should be number one.

      

  • shannon October 7, 2017 (9:44 am)

    I removed my child from Madison due to her being kicked down the stairs, her notebook thrashed on by other students and her peers treating her like an outsider constantly.  I sent letters, emails and spoke with staff, counselors and they just talk and don’t act. She would go to see her counselor there and her counselor would say I have alot of kids that go through this, WELL DO SOMETHING…… my daughter would tell me these kids are the rich kids, if you don’t have the new phone or wear the clothes that they wear you will be a target. The parents are to blame, not involved and don’t give a hoot. It’s time to do something about this before we lose our kids to drugs or suicide. My daughters years at Madison were the worse and I failed as a parent to keep her in there as long as I did. She changed to another school in West Seattle and it was like night and day. Kinda funny that in the higher income area of West Seattle the school kids treat others like dirt, but in the lower income area school this problem has not yet occured and the kids rally together. Maybe the principle over here needs to train the staff over there…. 

  • Another WS Parent October 7, 2017 (1:19 pm)

    This incident is scary and anxiety provoking not just for WSHS, but for our greater WS community, especially days after Las Vegas.

    We need to rally together. The blaming of staff at Madison & WSHS doesn’t help the situation in going forward.  I would imagine the staff would have much to say about the situation, if they could. It’s complex and we all need to find a way to cooperate.  Our state has been underfunding education for decades.

    Even bullies are children in need of help, as that underlying behavior often represents their own self-esteem issues. So rather than play the blame game we need to find solutions.  And that is not to support bullying behavior, but to help all children affected by it.

    It’s easy in a public forum when we are posting anonymously to say things that may instigate trouble. Please keep in mind that this kid and his family are also likely reading these posts. 

    To all of those directly involved; how can we help? Obviously, we can do better. 

  • Janine Fleming October 9, 2017 (12:28 pm)

    My daughter just told me last night that the student who made the threatening statement is a special needs student and has been a victim of severe bullying. Two girls made an Intagram account to post pictures of this student. They think it’s funny to post pictures of a special needs student. My daughter also told me two male students chased and hit this special needs student with sticks. Please give this information to the appropriate person. The principal knows what is going on and does nothing. Not just in this case. It makes me sick that this student is being so bullied that he is lashing out and then he is the one being punished. 

    • Parent of a bullied child October 12, 2017 (10:34 am)

      I cannot even begin to tell you how sad this makes me.

    • Sueb October 12, 2017 (2:29 pm)

      Janine

      hello

      i am one of the parents of the affected student. Would you be willing to forward the things your daughter told you about what happened to my son to mr Vance at Wshs?they had not heard about this and neither had we. 

      Thank you

  • Laura October 13, 2017 (12:41 am)

    Perhaps the schools need to institute a bully reporting system, in addition to their discipline policies).  Maybe a text line to report or  anonymously  report incidents/concerns that could be filtered thru by the administration.  They could then look for patterns…  bullying isn’t a one-time thing (that would be someone having a bad day).  Bullying behavior is one-sided, and leaves the victim feeling threatened, unsafe, or unwelcomed.  And, it keeps happening. If teachers & kids made a practice out of reporting, the admins would be able to intervene with both bullies and victims, and could identify physical spaces and times where increased supervision is needed, making for a safe environment conducive to learning.  

  • AdmiralMom October 13, 2017 (1:39 pm)

    We must do a better job of looking out for our neighbors and
    speaking up when we think something is wrong. 
    It seems like most news stories this week are an example of a problem many
    people knew about but often didn’t report. 
    For example, the Kierra Ward story. 
    HORRIBLE what she did but how many comments were made of,  “yes, I know her, I saw her sleeping in the park
    for years” or the Harvey W issues?  Or
    this kid being bullied for years and the parent just finding out about some of
    the incidents on the blog?  We need to
    stop thinking, “I need to mind my own business”.  This is our business.  It’s our community, our families, the physical
    and mental health of the people we call friends and neighbors. BTW, this is a
    call to action to myself as well; I can do better.

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