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Fighting Back Against Bullies
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) For many young people in Iowa and across the county, dealing with bullies is as much a part of growing up as anything else.
For one corridor teen, her bullying problem got so bad that her mom decided to pull her out of school.
Meleya Martin was an 8th grader at Wilson Middle School before she and her mom decided that it was time to finish the school year at home. Now, theyre frustrated that it had to go this far.
Martin and her mom, Miranda Burgholzer, say cellphone video that passed around the school and spread through Facebook shows a fight between Meleya and a girl whos been bullying her over and over again.
"This year it's been non-stop, said Burgholzer
Several students gathered to watch the fight, some even recorded it. Miranda says earlier in the day, the same girl harassed Meleya and wasnt disciplined for it. When she came around later, mom and daughter say Meleya was just defending herself.
"The fight would have never occurred if they would have sent her home, pulled her in the office the rest of the day, done something more, said Burgholzer.
Miranda says thats what shes looking for, more help from the district to protect a bullys victim and not the bully.
She says its frustrating knowing the girl bothering her daughter is still in class while Meleya is the one out of school. The district says its more complicated than that.
"When parents see that the student is still in school, they think we've done nothing, but we have, said the Executive Director for Pre-Kindergarten 8th Grade in the Cedar Rapids Community School District Val Dolezal.
"Right or wrong, that alleged bully has rights too, so we can't go to the parent of the victim and say, 'here's what we're doing to this child, said Cedar Rapids Community School District Executive Manager of Learning Supports Paul Hayes.
The standard procedure is to minimize any contact between students having problems with one another, but Miranda says that doesnt mean something cant happen outside class or in common areas.
"It's pretty frustrating because there's fights every day and people would rather watch fights and video tape it than be at school and get an education, said Martin.
Now, Meleyas education continues at home. Her mom picks up her homework each week and shell stay away from Wilson until next year, when she starts at Jefferson High School
The district says they try not to relocated the alleged bullies from one school to another so that the same administrators and counselors can be the ones working with a student who is harassing others.
Instead, they say switching schools is a voluntary option for victims of those bullies.