Parents, students confront Gallatin Co. school board about bullying

GALLATIN COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - Dozens of parents in Gallatin County said they've had enough of their children being bullied and they aren't taking it anymore. On Tuesday night, they packed into the School Board demanding change.

"Someone would point at me saying, 'she's a lesbian don't hang out with her,'" said Abby Kaiser a 6th Grader at Gallatin Middle School during the meeting.

"I had her in psych evals last year last because she tried to kill herself," said Jennifer Reed, her daughter is in the 8th grade.

Autumn Hollen is a 7th grader at the Gallatin Middle School. She said  nearly everyday she is harassed by a group of classmates.

"I've been told three times to go kill myself and I was asked why haven't I killed myself yet and my friends have been getting picked on," said Hollen.

Less than a year ago, her cousin committed suicide after being bullied so the remarks by her classmates hit deep.

"It make me feel really upset, really bad," said Hollen.

She said  that she has told her parents and teachers, but the issue hasn't been resolved.

"It makes you feel bad but there's nothing you can do. You send your kid to school to be protected. They need to be protected," said Col. Richard Crawford, who is Hollen's father.

Col. Crawford and many other students came to the school board meeting hoping school leaders will intervene to put a stop to the bullying. During the meeting several became teary eyed listening to the different stories including Abby Kaiser's.

She said she's been called just about everything.

"I was called lesbian. I was called wh***, a hoe and idiot and I was called worthless," said Kaiser.

Kaiser said she feels like garbage coming home from school each day. Other students said they were choked in the hallways, or were spit on.

One parent said she had to take her child out of the school because she was suicidal.

The school board members said they do have an zero bullying policy in place but on Tuesday night they agreed to do more to bring change.

"I want want to make a motion that the Board start a full investigation into this," said Hargis Davis. He is the Gallatin County School Board Chairperson. The motion calls for the Superintendent and the Sheriff's Office look into all of the incidents reported.

The School board also called a motion to start an anti-bullying program.

The students said it wasn't easy to share their stories but they knew it had to be done.

"Sometimes those kids out there are too scared to come forward and talk to an adult about it, but you really need to and it makes you feel better once you do," said Kaiser.

Several parents said that they are more hopeful that there will be a change after Tuesday's meeting.

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