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Mother alleges bullying at Baldwin-Woodville High School


BALDWIN, Wis (WSAU)   A mother wants a small western Wisconsin high school to review its policy against bullying, after her 15-year-old foster daughter was given a noose by a classmate.

Sarah Hitzeman told the Saint Paul Pioneer Press that the African-American freshman girl has dealt with bullying since “Day One” at Baldwin-Woodville High School. The worst incident was reported on December 20th, when Hitzeman said a white ninth-grade boy placed a noose on the girl’s desk in an art class – along with a white paper cone hat that resembled a hood of the Ku Klux Klan. Hitzeman said the girl quote, “shut down,” and she was afraid to return to school when classes resumed yesterday after the holidays.

The mother said it was apparently an uneducated juvenile prank. But her issue is with the school. Hitzeman claims the staff has tolerated other bullying incidents. Principal Eric Russell would not comment on that claim. But he says he’s trying to find out whether a larger bullying problem exists at Baldwin-Woodville High. So far, Russell says he has not seen a problem – and other minority students said they’ve not been bullied.

The boy who supplied the noose was suspended. He’s due back in school Monday, and Hitzeman said the two families will get together sometime before then. Hitzeman said the boy’s parents are also upset about the incident – and they’ve asked her how they can help.