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Child Receives Possible Permanent Damage From School Bully

by Deborah Kalisz
(Palm Beach County Florida)

Please click links below these are all stories about my son and what happened to him. He's a 6th Grade Honor Roll Student at H.L.WATKINS MIDDLE SCHOOL. My son is in a "Choice program for Math, Science and Robotics". This is NOT our home school they put this program in a Title One school target the "smart white students to get them into these schools to bring up the schools" letter grade and bring the number of "white" students up in a predominately black school. They demography profile students like my son. Smart white honor roll kids from upper class neighborhoods to get there numbers up and at what risk?

The school administration hides these issues. They do not report them to their superiors; they try to "handle them in house". I went to the media because of my sons injuries he received and even after the school principal and school police officers were given the doctors written documentation of my son's injuries they still did nothing because the student that attacked my son was an ESE student... not till I hired an attorney and got the media involved did they start to do anything!

It took 4 months after the attack to have the student that attacked my son removed from the school BUT the kid attacked 2 more students before he was removed. My son's school is located In PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL. IN PALM BEACH COUNTY FL. My son didn't even see the attack coming. He didn't have a chance. I can say I am thankful though he has no memory whatsoever of the attack at all.

He was hit so hard on the right side of his head and face that not only was his hearing effected, he received a hair-line fracture to his cheekbone and blunt force trauma to his jaw causing blunt force TMJ. My son is having surgery on his ear in July to try to restore the hearing loss that was caused from the attack.




www.cbs12.com to read more.... type in the box "Alleged Death Threat on school campus"
Heres the story below:

Alleged Death Threat On School Campus
January 25, 2010 11:28 PM

(Palm Beach Gardens, FL) -- A local mother is outraged after she says her child's life was threatened at HL Watkins middle school in Palm Beach Gardens. She says more needs to be done to protect her boy and all the student at the school. Her 11 year old son was beat up on campus by another student in November. He shared his story with us two weeks ago and the very next day after our story aired, he says he received a death threat while in band class.

Michael Kalisz says two other boys came up to him and told him they were going to beat him up. He says one 8th grader told him he was going to quote "pop him" and one boy put his hand on his head in the shape of a gun. Michael says he quickly texted his mother, but says the boys tried to steal his phone also. He says he went into a bathroom and hid.

His mother is concerned for his safety and is not happy with the response she had gotten from the school which is why she decided to hire an attorney and contact the media.

The school tells us the principal is working with family. Michael says he's being escorted to and from class, but his mother wants more. She believes the boy who made the threat should be expelled.

We checked the student handbook for policy and it says that a "threat of violence" that is criminal could mean expulsion, but the school district takes each situation on a case by case basis. We should point out, however, that student with disabilities cannot be expelled.

HL Watkins says that it's doing everything possible to make sure all students are safe on campus. The school district says it cannot comment about this case specifically because there is a lawsuit pending. They also tell us they can't talk about what disciplinary actions have been taken against each student because of privacy laws.

Deborah Kalisz, Michael's mother, wants any parents or teachers with any questions to email her at dmgates@gmail.com. Tara Cardoso, CBS 12 News

Florida Mother Fed Up With Bullying
January 11, 2010

Here’s a story out of Palm Beach County, Florida (still asking why so many bullying stories are coming out of Florida). A mother is fed up with her son being bullied at his school and is threatening to sue the school.... See More

According to a story from the NBC affiliate there, WPTV, the mother says the school is dangerous and something needs to be done about it. The story goes on to say…

6th grader Michael Kalisz may have permanent hearing damage after he was jumped on his way to band class at H.L. Watkins Middle School…

And violent fights continuously break out on school grounds…Witnesses say he was punched so hard he nearly lost consciousness.

“I want to keep my son and all the children at HL Watkins safe,” Kalisz (the boys mother) said.

“I just don’t want to be afraid anymore,” Michael Kalisz said.

Kalisz says the entire incident was caught on school surveillance video. The problem she alleges there isn’t enough money to hire someone to actually monitor the security video. That is something she is hoping to change.

Certainly something needs to change. Money should not be a factor in the safety of children. If one child is permanently injured or killed due to bullying, what is the price of that? You can’t put a price on it, can you. It is sad that a mother feels she must file a lawsuit in order to have a school or county take action that creates a safe environment for students. Come on, Florida, start to notice that there is an issue and take some action to correct it now, before you pay more in lawsuits than you would have in a program to make bully-free schools.


What's Being Done About School Bullying?
January 12, 2010 10:12 PM...

(Palm Beach Gardens) -- An 11 year old student at H.L. Watkins middle school says he hasn't felt safe at school since he was beaten up on campus in November. His mother says she has put the school district on notice that she plans to sue them for not keeping her child safe. Another student allegedly came up to him in the hallway after he left band and punched him so hard in the face that he does not remember most of the attack. His mother Deborah Kalisz says the sixth grader is now suffering hearing damage that may become permanent from this attack. She wants to know why the alleged attacker was not expelled from school. She says the same student who attacked her son also attacked another student about a month later.

The school cannot talk with us about the individual student involved in the attack because of privacy laws that protect juveniles and they also cannot comment on pending litigation. However, the principal, Gerald Riopell assured parents at a meeting about bullying that the school is safe. He says teachers and administrators are doing everything to make sure that behavior does not escalate to this level of violence. He says the school has hall monitors and teachers that watch the children during and between classes. There is a bullying box where students can leave anonymous notes about what is going on and there is also a hotline where students or parents can call in information. That hotline is: 561-336-6109. The principal says the number of problems at his school are actually going down, but parents still want more done. Many claim their children do not feel safe and the principal says he has listened to their concerns and plans to talk with his staff and his superiors to see what else can be done. Tara Cardoso, CBS 12 News.
Please feel free to contact me directly at dmgates@gmail.com I will be more than happy to hear from any of u. Thank u

~ Debbie Kalisz

Comments for Child Receives Possible Permanent Damage From School Bully

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You are one brave young man, Thank you for coming forward
by: Anonymous

Keep this in the news as much as u can your son is a hero for alot of kids being bullyed, his story has helped our child come forward about being bullyedin our school. thank you and your son for this. I want u to know that u have not only given our child the strenth to come forward your have given myself the strenth to stand up for my childs rights. Best of luck to your son and i hope all will be fine with his hearing. Michael thank you for coming forward with your story you truly donrt know what good you have dome for other children that have and are going threw what you had to. I am sorry that you were hurt. Stay strong young man. I know one day I will read great things about you.
Mrs. Stevens
Palm Beach Gardens Fl. 33410

I agree with the above, AND...
by: Anonymous

...I can tell from your post that you are a good writer.

I am under the impression that your son is white and his assailant(s) is not.

So I suggest you do some research on the type of bullying that went on against black children in your area - or a famous case that is well documented - and write an article outlining the similarities between a black child's experience and your son's situation.

These types of articles are often picked up by local AND national media, so be sure to send it out widely.

Best of luck, and best wishes to your brave young son. There are many anti-bullying sites where kids share their stories. It helps them to feel less alone.

Victoria, BC

Making the school do something
by: Holly Beck, author Revenge of the Dorkoids- bully discussion book

You must make the school accountable. You began to do this when you called an attorney.

I assume your attorney has you keeping every piece of paper.

You can create more of a paper trail. Take a letter in with you when you meet with the school. Have 2 copies one for them one for you. Have them sign the letter stating they met with you on this date.

Ask to record the meeting. Get a signature on a permission slip.

Mail letters with your concerns, experiences to the school and the school board and the school district. Put on the bottom of the letter that they are being sent to all those reciepients. If your school, district office, and school board are not legally required to keep and file the letters send them registered mail.

Tell the school that you are keeping a detailed record of all communication. Having them sign letters about your meetings will let them know.

Keep a diary.

When they can't expel a student legally ask them what they can do. Record the choices. Ask them what it will take to get them to take those actions. Get their signature on that and hold them to it.

If there are legal problems about expelling a student ask what they are doing about making your son safe. Ask about training. If money is an issue, ask them to commit if you raise the money.

Make them account for your sons safety and their responsibility and choices specifically. Things can be done. Don't take no for an answer.

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