FAIRFIELD — The superintendent of the Fairfield-Suisun School District spoke Thursday about being bullied as a seventh-grader, said misinformed people from around the country have emailed the district and that a court order is not the answer the extremely serious issue of bullying.
“The key to stopping bullying is not a restraining order,” Kris Corey said. “It is education.”
Her remarks during the superintendent’s report at the school board meeting came after national media attention to the Fairfield-based district. The father of a Rolling Hills Elementary student obtained a temporary restraining order against a 9-year-old that requires the youth stay at least 2 yards away from the man’s son at Rolling Hills.
Corey said her family moved to a small farming community when she was in the seventh grade and as the new, dorky kid with long, stringy hair she heard students on a school bus chant “AKO” – which she learned stood for the “Anti-Kris Organization.”
She begged her parents not to have to attend school, but Corey said, “My story has a happy ending.”
“This isn’t always the typical outcome,” the superintendent said.
Adult intervention ended the aggressive behavior and in high school she become great friends with her former tormentors – and she is still in touch with them today, Corey said.
She read one email – written in response to national media coverage about the father of the Rolling Hills student getting a restraining order – that read, “You’ve got a bunch of thugs and gangsters for a school board.”
That was very sad, said the superintendent, who added that such people “have only one side of the story.”
Some people demanded that the district expel any student who bullies, she said, but that isn’t how public education works.
“We do not exclude children,” Corey said. “We include children.”
The Fairfield-Suisun district also addresses bullying, but sometimes people choose not to work with the school and take matters into their own hands, she said.
Children recommended for expulsion are provided with rights that include confidentiality, Corey said. The school board meets in closed session about such matters and doesn’t disclose names, the superintendent said.
David Isom, president of the school board, said after Corey’s remarks that he looks to the day when fair and balanced reporting replaces the need to sell newspapers.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.