Bullies get free ride in Central Butte, families claim
Three families remove children from local school in recent months
A number of families in Central Butte, Sask., have taken their children out of the local school claiming not enough has been done to deal with bullying among students.
"I moved out of my Mom's house so I could get my education," Dakota Songer told CBC News about her family's decision two years ago to have her attend school in Moose Jaw.
Songer, 18, explained she was a victim of bullying and, despite complaints and an informative talk by RCMP who visited the school, the behaviour did not end.
"I walked into class late one day and the students had put a picture of me up on the board and were defacing me in front of my whole entire class," Songer said, adding the teacher appeared to be condoning the activity. "My teacher was laughing along with them. And that was the last day I was at school."
An examination of the goings-on in Central Butte has revealed three other families with similar stories.
In the last few months the families have pulled nine youngsters out of the school. Six are being driven 40 kilometres every day to attend school in Chaplin.
The others are taking part in home schooling.
Bobby Torrie said her 13-year-old son, who has epilepsy, was taunted and physically assaulted prior to them pulling him out of the school.
Torrie said when they took their concerns to officials at the school and the division, they were not taken seriously.
"We'd get answers like, 'We're dealing with these kids. We're talking to the kids,'" Torrie said. "But they're not. I don't see it."
CBC News requested an interview with officials from the Prairie South School Division, however they declined.
They issued a written statement saying allegations about bullying have been investigated and addressed.
"We put in place supports such as .... counsellors, educational psychologists and individualized plans for students," the statement said, in part.
However, one parent told CBC News she did not receive any support from the division when she removed her three children from the school, in February.
Tasha Jordan said her children's lives have been uprooted, but their tormentors continue on.
"The bullies suffer no repercussions and just stay at the school," Jordan said. "That, to me, doesn't make any sense at all."
The parents, however, said they are relieved their children are no longer the victims of bullying and learning in a safer environment.
Central Butte is about 140 kilometres west of Regina.
With files from CBC's Lachlan Madill