one, making reference to a ….
one, making reference to a recent school shooting incident that occurred in Knoxville, Tenn. He said the teacher responded and him he would need to talk with principal Dan Miller.
Parkinson continued, describing the email exchanges with Miller. He said he created an agenda with five items to discuss with Miller wanting the teacher present and to go line by line through the emails exchanged to have the teacher identify which things he wrote made her feel unsafe.
In response he said, the district administration became involved, with Miller and district administrator Pat Sullivan responding that they would meet with Parkinson at the district office without the teacher present to address his concerns.
Parkinson expressed concern with the meeting taking place at the district office and objected to having the reference to the “nutjob” who shot up the Knoxville school used in the emails. He said he did not trust the school district and said he wanted chief deputy Cory Dassow to be at the meeting also.
Dassow is also a school board member. Parkinson said administration responded saying that it was not appropriate for Dassow to be there unless the school board told him to be there, but they would have school liaison officer Nick Berger.
Parkinson objected to this, because he said Berger is employed in part by the school district and has arresting authority. He also said there would be no point in meeting without the teacher present. He said he felt the situation was being unnecessarily escalated.
“My safety matters too,” Parkinson said, raising objections to Sullivan sending emails or phoning his wife without including him in the conversation.
“I am being set up to be falsely accused,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson described the school administration’s actions as being a “pathetic disingenuous charade” suggesting it is retaliation about him being a vocal critic of the school district lacking in dealing with bullying.
He said his son has gotten punched in the ribs, and come home with a shiner and has been kicked in the head by other students. “It is not hyperbole, it is a cancer,” Parkinson said, noting he has volunteered to help the school solve the issue and that the methods being used “just don’t work.”
Parkinson punctuated his presentation with individual typed records requests and said there was “Clear evidence of systemic failure.”
At one point in the presentation, board member Brian Hallgren raised concern about the length of time being given to Parkinson to talk. While typically being loose in enforcement, board president Dave Fleegel asks the comments to be kept to under five minutes. Fleegel said the period of public comment is something offered to district residents and said he would allow him to say his piece.
Items raised during public comment are not considered action items by the board for that meeting. The bullying policy and report on bullying incidents for the past year under the revamped policy approved last June was already scheduled to be on the June 26 school board meeting and will be discussed at that time.
After the meeting, Sullivan said the district would review the requests as they do all open records requests and provide Parkinson with a response to the requests about the information he requested.
In addition to Parkinson, parent Jason Lynch spoke about the bullying he says his daughter is receiving from both classmates and staff.
“I am scared to death for my daughter,” he said. He said that if it wasn’t for counseling she is receiving he did not think his daughter would still be here.
He said there have been remarks from staff about his daughter leaving school frequently and he said that while they may not know the impact those comments have, he said it impacts her greatly.
He said he knows the policies and there is no tolerance for bullying. He said he knows there are people who are trying within the district, but there are others where it feels like “it is going in one ear and out the other.”
He said they had considered going to a different school to escape the bullying here. He said he told her there would be people at other schools too, but his daughter told him she wouldn’t have to deal with bullies here anymore.
Later in the meeting, student services director Joseph Greget gave a presentation and showed a video that is being shared statewide about the CARES (Counseling for All to Reach Emotional Success) Model and the efforts in the district to improve social and emotional learning and the partnership to bring therapy resources to students.
Greget said that as of April 25, there were 138 students receiving school based mental health counseling with an additional 154 students receiving ongoing support.
The district, will be hosting a CARES Conference on June 22 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Medford Area Elementary School.
From 2 to 5 p.m. there will be sections on Suicide Prevention, Social Emotional Learning, Mental Health, Community Resources 101, Parenting Love and Logic Way, ADHD, Wellness, and more. A dinner will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. with Charlie Appelstein, a nationally recognized speaker and author of “No Such Thing as a Bad Kid.”
The conference is being offered to educators, health care professionals, human services workers, parents and community members.
According to Greget, there is an opportunity for professionals attending to earn continuing education credits. To register go to: https://www.signupgenius.com/ go/30e0848adab29a4f58-cares#/.