Schenectady School District assesses bullying after community forum

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Earlier this week, Schenectady's Superintendent listened as parents in the district voiced concerns about bullying, reckless behavior, and so-called “fight clubs.”

It was a community forum that was well-attended and filled with emotion.

Vickie Salvo told the story of how she says her daughter was physically bullied in a school bathroom, the incident recorded on a smartphone.

“It's incredibly frustrating,” says Salvo. “At times I sound like I want to cry. It's more frustration than actual sad tears. It's like something should be done.”

Dr. Spring says the challenge is not just with the students.

“Sometimes it's trying to convince a parent that that kind of behavior is not okay and help them understand why that behavior is not okay,” he says.

Dr. Spring says he knows it's not easy work to do, but it's work that he says he takes very seriously, because of what he calls the callous nature of the fights.

“It's never a pleasant situation when kids engage in that kind of behavior,” says Dr. Spring.

Salvo says her daughter has not returned to school in 11 days and the next step is to homeschool.

But Salvo says she's not stepping down.

“Even though my daughter may not go back there, there's still a lot of innocent kids there that deserve our attention,” she says.

“There are some incidents, when we look back we can see, we didn't have supervision where it needed to be,” says Dr. Spring. “We need to improve our practices in making that happen and that's the way we can improve as an organization.”

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