Bullying in the Stateline: One Student's Story

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some local teachers will apply those anti-bullying techniques when kids return to the classroom, but some parents feel that may not be enough to stop the abuse.

23 News talked to one Rockford parent about her struggle to keep her child safe in school.

"She came up behind her, getting on the bus, and smacked her in the head," District 205 parent Brenda Shleeter said.

She has watched her 13-year-old daughter Karrigan get bullied for a year.

She said, "The kid just stabbed her with a pencil."

The bullying started last year at Kennedy Middle School and Karrigan doesn't know why.

"Why are these kids bullying me, I haven't done anything wrong," she said.

School leaders even put Karrigan in detention at one point just to keep her safe.

Brenda said, "I about went off the wall because Karrigan had a 4.0 grade point average."

She doesn’t anymore. The bullying forced Karrigan to drop classes and miss more than a week of school.

"They told me to keep Karrigan home because they couldn't keep her safe."

Removing her from class didn't erase her fears.

Karrigan said, "I really wanted to end my life because I thought it would be better than being alive because everything is messed up."

"The bullying has gotten so bad that Schlueter wants to take her daughter out of Kennedy and put her into Eisenhower."

However that request has been denied by the board of education since the move would put Karrigan out of her attendance school zone.

"They said you have to file an appeal. I filed the appeal [and] they denied the appeal."

Now Shleeter doesn't know what to do.

She sad, "I can’t live with my daughter killing herself."

23 News just spoke with Shleeter today when she just learned the district is officially denying her transfer. The district tells me they believe they can keep Karrigan safe this year. They say there will only be one student at Kennedy who bullied her last year and they're not putting the two in any of the same classes.

The district also says it did take action when Karrigan was bullied.

School leaders say they issued out of school suspensions and had meetings with some bullies' parents.

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