Indiana School Suicide Triggers Bullying Epidemic Concerns

Indiana School Suicide Triggers Bullying Epidemic Concerns

GREENFIELD, Ind. — Reports from experts in the area show that bullying is becoming more common in Indiana schools, and it seems to be happening more to younger kids.

A 10-year-old boy in Greenfield killed himself this week because his parents said he was being picked on at school.

“No parent in the world wants this to happen to their child,” said Sam Teusch, Sammy Teusch’s father, who killed himself on Sunday.

The Indiana Department of Education says that the number of bullying incidents rose by almost 7% between the two most recent school years (2021–2022) and 2022–2023. These are just the cases that were recorded.

Lawyer Catherine Michael, who focuses on education law, said, “In Indiana, we are seeing a huge rise in bullying, especially in elementary and middle schools.” Michael runs the law firm Connell Michael LLP as well. “That’s not just calling a child by name; they’re pushing, hitting, breaking their glasses, and throwing books at them…” What’s really making things worse is that school staff aren’t doing enough to stop it.

In 2023, politicians in the state passed a law against bullying. It says that school officials have to tell parents within five business days if their child is being bullied and to tell parents who the alleged bully is.

The 10-year-old’s parents said they weren’t always told when their son Sammy was being picked on. FOX59/CBS4 asked the Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation if staff had received and looked over any reports of bullying in this case. They said they couldn’t give a full answer because of privacy laws, but they did say that the matter is being looked into.

Chief of Schools Dr. Harold Olin said in an email, “We can’t fully answer this question because of privacy laws and an ongoing investigation.” “I can say that all reports of bullying are looked into and dealt with, and that Greenfield-Central takes bullying very seriously.” Every claim is looked at.

This person wrote the anti-bullying law that became law in July. Our FOX59/CBS4 team asked them if enough is being done.

Now, the Teusch family wants more to be done to keep young children safe at school.

Man, they need to report this, and I know Holcomb signed a law that says they have to report it. Sam Teusch said, “They have to report when things like this are done.”

A lot of other people in Indiana are also calling for more punishment in schools.

Michael said, “I think this case should make us very aware of how important it is to deal with bullying.” “That means punishing students who are bullying, separating students, and expulsion of students who are bullies, as well as offering counselling, therapy, and psychology services and, if a child is really struggling, finding them a new place to live. But that’s not what we’re seeing.” Schools don’t seem to be taking these problems seriously, which is why kids are still having a hard time with them.

An anti-bullying protest walk will be held next weekend in Greenfield, where Sammy used to live. At Greenfield-Central High School, the walk will begin. At the courthouse, it will stop. It will happen on May 18 at 11 a.m.

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