The Lindbergh Schools Board of Education’s final meeting of the school year ended Tuesday night with parents airing a litany of concerns about in-school bullying and the provision of services for students with dyslexia and other reading problems.
Robert Vogel, the father of four Lindbergh students, called on the school board to do more to include anti-bullying education in the school district curriculum. After the meeting, Vogel, who co-founded a group called the Lindbergh Upstanders Anti-Bullying Collaborative, said the district can’t pay lip service to the topic.
“We don’t have the content, the curriculum,” said Vogel, whose oldest child, a sixth-grade student at Sperreng Middle School, has endured bullying throughout his school career.
Renee McDonnell, also a member of the Lindbergh Upstanders Anti-Bullying Collaborative, asked the board why certain students were being disciplined differently.
“My goal for the district in the next school year is to come up with a consistent discipline schedule,” said McDonnell, who added the district needs to find a way to identify and track students who are repeatedly caught bullying others.
“We need to know that kids who are repeatedly tormenting other kids can’t continue,” she said.
Several other parents complained about inadequate services for children with severe reading challenges. Diane Dragan has taken an unusual step of filing a complaint against the Special School District of St. Louis County with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The reason for her complaint: The Special School District’s alleged failure to provide specialized reading services to her son, who is a first-grader at Crestwood Elementary School. Dragan said she has a simple explanation for why her son isn’t getting the services he needs: “Because it costs money.”
Dragan said she has met with school board members and school administrators to seek more services for her son.
“I’ve done everything I can,” she said. “It’s time for someone else to stand up.”
As is practice, school board members listened, but did not respond directly to the parent comments.