DENVER – Jeanette Velasquez wants Bruce Randolph School officials to put their words into action.
Bullies are targeting Velasquez’s daughter Heaven because she’s homeless, and it’s now gotten to the point that the girl’s enemies are scheduling fights with her on Facebook and soliciting classmates to record the altercations, Fox 31 reports.
“It started with girls just talking about her to exchanging words back and forth to actually the physical altercation,” Velasquez said. “This is my fourth time coming to the school to speak with them about it.”
Denver Public Schools spokesman Will Jones issued a statement that contends the district “takes concerns about bullying extremely seriously.
“We want to ensure that incidents of bullying are addressed quickly; that victims of bullying receive support and that perpetrators of bullying understand the harm done and learn alternative behavior strategies,” the statement read.
Heaven was most recently attacked at school in a recorded fight Wednesday and she fought back. Velasquez provided Fox 31 with screen shots of Facebook posts advertising the fight beforehand, including a post from one student soliciting a camera person to cover it.
“It was a planned out attack,” she said.
“She doesn’t feel safe,” Velasquez said. “She feels like the school doesn’t take her seriously.”
The district statement pointed to “a variety of bully prevention resources including the Olweus Bully Prevention that is available district-wide as an online curriculum.
“We recommend that parents check in with their children often to ensure that they are feeling safe and supported in school,” it read. “If a child is experiencing bullying behavior, we advise parents to be supportive toward him/her and to try to get specific information about what’s happening.”
The statement directed parents to talk with their child’s teacher, or the principal if that doesn’t resolve the problem. It also provided contact information to the district Office of Family & Community Engagement as a last resort.
Velazequez believes officials should take a more proactive approach, pointing to obvious warning signs on social media.
“I know we can’t stop it. It’s going to happen. But at least we can be vocal about it,” she said. “I feel like (the school) won’t take it seriously until something happens to my daughter where it involves her health, her safety, her life.”
Heaven received a two day suspension and a ticket from the Denver Police for the fight Wednesday.
It’s not the first time parents and teachers have complained about fighting and bullying at Bruce Randolph School. A Colorado Public Radio report in 2013 documented rampant verbal and physical violence in numerous schools, including Bruce Randolph, tied to the new restorative justice type of approach to student discipline President Obama has imposed on numerous large city school districts.
The system is designed to reduce suspensions of minority students by keeping them in class at all costs, and teachers in numerous districts – from Los Angeles to St. Paul, Minn. to Denver – contend disrespectful and violent punks now rule the schools with impunity.
Obama singled out Bruce Randolph as a shining example of academic excellence in his 2011 State of the Union speech, according to the Denver Post.
A Denver News Channel report in 2014 documented how Bruce Randolph and other Denver schools are under-reporting violence with “inaccurate or misleading school violence reports” made possible by “a system plagued with loopholes, vague requirements, and lax oversight.”