Update February 12, 2012
An update. In chatting with news people, it was explained to me how the story is reported. Since the report from the Sheriff Department reported it as an accident, the news people felt that there really wasn’t a lot else to report. I can see where they would say that. And I agree with that. Since it is an accident, there was no real reason to think that our district was being inaccurate in their portrayal of bullying in our district as being something that happens 3 or 4 times a year.
I appreciate the news person for helping me understand how they work. I applaud them for their efforts at fair and accurate reporting.
Why Not Fathers
Our school district made the news.
So I wrote this response to the reporter. I stripped out some info like names…
Good Evening Ms. Gustin,
I am the father of the child who was injured last week and I feel the
need to clarify a few things in regards to your piece on the news this
The child in question is not in junior high school, she is a sophmore
in high school. She suffered a concussion and a contusion to the base
of her skull. At the time of the incident we had no idea what
happened. Given the history of bullying toward my daughter, we called
the Mclean County Sheriff Department and reported the incident. As a
result, a report was filed, and an investigation was completed.
The school offered to let me view the video, but I declined, as I
wanted the investigation to be completed by a third party, and not
influenced by me.
My daughter suffers now from headaches, bright lights give her a head
ache, as do loud noises.
During the course of the investigation the school conducted I asked
for updates. At first I was told that they had two witnesses, then I
was told that they had one witness. Then I was told that they didn’t have
any witnesses. I was also told that the video didn’t show anything
happening to my daughter. The high school principal told me that the
video shows her sitting in the hallway.
The school tried to blame me for what happened to her, they said that
I wouldn’t let them investigate our daughter’s allegations against
students in December 2011. In fact what I told the school is that
they couldn’t question my daughter without either my wife or I being
present. We also heard that the district tried to insinuate in a
staff meeting that she hit herself in the back of the head to get
In the end, it was determined that there were two boys who were rough
housing in the hallway. One pushed his buddy and he was pushed into
my daughter who then hit her on the locker. The deputy talked to me
and asked if I was comfortable with calling it an accident. After
considering what he told me, I agreed, with the caveat that the boys
in question apologize to my daughter. Which my daughter has told me
occurred this week.
I like that the news was reported. I just wanted to make sure that
you had all of the information about the incident. All is not as rosy
as Mr Brannan would have you believe. In this district there exists
an atmosphere of bullying. Student on Student, Administration on
Student, Parent to Administration, and Administration to faculty and
staff. I should also include that administration bullies some
parents. Students are allowed to intimidate staff, and no
consequences are given.
We have friends who work for the school district who have been told
that maintaining friendships with me and my family is detrimental to
This is North Dakota, not communist Russia at the height of the Cold War.
I welcome your questions.
Last week I was asked if a reporter could contact me. None ever did. I just think that the story needs to be reported accurately.