A school is meant to be a haven for students, however, for one student, it has become a living nightmare he cannot escape from. Noah Jette, 13, of Chicopee, Massachusetts has been experiencing torturous and relentless bullying since he was 6 years old. Jette is often tripped, hit, kicked, punched, laughed at, and cyberbullied. One would ask about the schools’ involvement and how they are handling this. Jette’s mother who is a psychologist who specializes in adolescent behaviors and bullying, Sheena Jette states, “the school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, so why does my son continue to be tortured with no consequence to the other students?”
According to Massachusetts laws MGL c.71 § 37O, schools must develop and adhere a plan to address bullying and its’ intervention. The plan must be consulted with all who work within the school system as well and parents and students. They are to update this plan at least twice a year. Noah experienced a situation where the bullies created a hostile environment for him to succeed in school. The Massachusetts law defines “hostile environment” as “a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.”
According to Sheena Jette, these bullies have created a “hostile environment” for her son and it is causing him to lose focus in classes. She has been fighting the school system for years on her sons bullying and to no avail, has been unsuccessful in getting it to stop. She was once told her son was a target because of his level of intelligence, his skill in sports, and unfortunately, his size. Sheena has involved police and lawyers in her sons’ bullying cases between the two schools he has been bullied in. According to Noah, the bullying is only getting worse as time goes on.
School has begun for the year roughly one month ago and Noah has come home with bruising, a large gash in his head, a concussion, and his first failing grade of the school year. No child should experience this type of abuse. Noah has seemingly become an expert due to his own bullying. He has experienced it all first hand and is continuing to be a target. His mother, who has her PhD in psychology cannot understand why her son is the target of such cruelty. She sees children for behavioral issues due to being bullied daily. Yet, she still cannot comprehend why the school, who has a zero-tolerance policy, cannot intervene knowing Noah’s history and can clearly see the physical markings on his body.
This leaves the question that most parents ask, “Are schools really doing enough to prevent bullying?” Schools have policies in place but when a child is a consistent target of every day bullying, one must wonder where those policies take effect. In Noah’s case, it seems that the school system is failing him.
For information on how to help students like Noah, visit Stopbullying.gov for answers.