A New Hampshire fifth-grader went before the school board that oversees her elementary school and pleaded for help with bullying so severe that she said she had been threatened with being “shot in the head by an AK-47 and buried in my back yard.”
A video of Delanie Marcotte, who attends Pollard Elementary School in the Timberlane Regional School District, went viral on social media after her father wrote on Facebook about what happened at the June 7 School Board meeting.
Here’s what she said, tearfully, after identifying herself:
I’m here to talk about a problem that means a lot to me: bullying. Bullying is a problem in our school. I am a victim of it. My parents have contacted the school about it, but it continues. It happened to me and my classmates. I have been asked by the mother of my bully during a school field trip why I tried to get her son in trouble. I have been threatened to get shot in the head by an AK-47 and buried in my back yard, and many other things. I ask you: What are you going to do to protect me and my classmates against bullying? I am here to stand up for every kid that gets bullied.
When she was done, people in the room applauded, and a member of the eight-person School Board said he was proud of her.
The board released a statement saying:
At their June 7th board meeting, the Timberlane Regional School Board received a report of alleged bullying at one of the district elementary schools. The matter was immediately forwarded to District administrators and is currently under review by way of the established process for addressing bullying complaints, as defined by state law and school district policy. The Superintendent is also monitoring the process.
This notice is to inform Timberlane parents as well as members of the public that the School Board, the Superintendent of Schools, and District administrators take reports of bullying seriously. The District is committed to promoting anti-bullying preventative strategies to ensure that each student is provided a safe learning environment and, to that end, has sponsored numerous anti-bullying initiatives. Staff members undergo anti-bullying training, students receive instruction on anti-bullying, and community awareness measures are undertaken as evidenced by a recent anti-bullying presentation by the Timberlane Parents Advisory Forum
“I encourage students to speak to their teachers, guidance counselors or building principals with any questions or concerns they might have about bullying or harassment, as our educational team is ready and prepared to assist our students in a variety of areas.”
— Sue Sherman, School Board Chair
Asked what the school district was doing about the girl’s plea, Superintendent Earl F. Metzler said in an email:
The Timberlane Regional School District supports “student voice.” Student voice is one of my Goals posted on the web site for 17/18 and a powerful way for students to tell us what we need to hear. We will continue to encourage all students to speak up when they see, hear or experience something that makes them uncomfortable. The same holds true for parents and community members. There are many vehicles at Timberlane to share your concerns including, but not limited to, the public comment portion of our School Board agenda. We take all of our stakeholders’ concerns seriously and will give her concerns our undivided attention.
We have a process defined by the law and SB policy to follow. I am monitoring the process and will participate when appropriate.