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Mother is satisfied by policy on bullying

After meeting with district officials, a mother who said she pulled her son from Sweet Home Middle School after he was repeatedly victimized by school bullies now says she is satisfied with steps the district has taken to curb violence.

However, the woman, who met privately with district officials Thursday, she said she has no plans to re-enroll her son.

The boy, who required stitches after another pupil slammed his head into a locker at Sweet Home Middle School, had been choked previously by the same classmate and stabbed with pencils by that classmate and others, she said during a recent School Board meeting.

The mother, who was not identified, was concerned the district was not taking the issue of bullying seriously.

The meeting was with Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks, Middle School Principal Greg Smorol and Craig Allwes, the district's assistant superintendent of human resources and planning.

"The meeting far exceeded my expectations," she said. "They took full responsibility for what happened with my kid. They can really see how big of a problem this is and they are going to address it."

Hicks, who said he could not comment on specifics of the incident because of confidentiality, said he was able to more fully explain regulations and enforcement policies to ease the mother's concerns.

"Principal Smorol is in the process of instituting an anti-bullying program, similar to one he created with great success when he was at Hoover Middle School in Kenmore," Hicks said. "It's not necessarily a reaction to this student getting hurt since the program is something he was already starting to implement, but it will be able to prevent future incidents."

The mother said she learned that under the program, victims of bullies or those who witness bullying will be able to anonymously report the incidents.

"That's really what I wanted," she said. "I just don't want to see this happen to any other kids."

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