US School requires smiling in between classes, teen says — or students get sent to office

23:22  15 may  2018
23:22  15 may  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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Northern Lebanon School District Superintendent Erik Bentzel.© via norleb.org Northern Lebanon School District Superintendent Erik Bentzel.

LEBANON, Pa. — Northern Lebanon School District students are required to smile while walking the hallways between classes, while bullying incidents are being ignored by administrators, according to a student in the district and her parent.

Students who don’t have a smile on their face while in hallways between classes are allegedly told to either smile or see a guidance counselor to discuss their problems.

Fifteen-year-old Julianna Gundrum, a student at the school district, said students who didn’t smile faced the consequences. Her mother, Jean Gundrum, has since pulled her from the school and enrolled her in the district’s cyber school program.

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Nor should students be expected to refrain from speaking their native language during social settings at school (such as lunch time, between classes , field trips, etc.). does his diploma still get sent to universities and colleges if a student misses the graduation

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“If you don’t (smile) you get called to the office or down to see your guidance counselor,” she said. “You have to talk about your problems then. You have to or you get detention.”

Both also say Assistant High School Principal Benjamin Wenger and fellow administrators don't care enough about the bullying and harassment taking place in the school district, where Jean Gundrum said her 14-year-old daughter, Adreanna, experienced abuse.

Superintendent Erik Bentzel said any bullying incident reported in the school district is taken seriously.

"We fully investigate every report of bullying," he said. "But, we can't tell (both sets of parents) about the consequences — I can't talk to (a parent) about another (parent's) child."

State law required schools to adopt an anti-bullying policy by Jan. 1, 2009, which states that in cases of verified bullying a "building principal or his/her designee will inform the parents or guardians of the victim and also the parents or guardians of the accused."

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"Any staff member who receives a bullying complaint shall gather information or

seek administrative assistance to determine if bullying has occurred, the policy states.

During a May 8 school board meeting, one student spoke out and mentioned the bullying problem while defending the administrators amid a scandal.

“There are bigger issues in our school than what (the principals) did,” said Mark Tinto Jr., an 11th grade student. “There are students getting bullied, and they are trying to improve that with the new campus model.”

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