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School district mishandled allegations of abuse
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Dear  Editor,
I normally would not write a letter to the Editor, other than saying “Thank You” for people who put community or others first, and who I feel like a light should shine bright on their good deeds.
However that being said, the alleged incidences that happened in the Great Bend High School is just more than mind blowing. I feel for the families involved. I can’t image as a mom what these other families must be feeling. I feel most people who are aware of this situation feel the way I do.
But thanks for Brad Reed, not speaking out right when this incident happened, and squashed the rumors and misinformation that was swirling around Great Bend. I feel like it got way out of hand. Brad was too busy to leave his “conference” to deal with this situation. A situation that has rocked our community. Brad chose to have everyone else in that school system to pick up the pieces and handle it without getting to say a thing...because he couldn’t catch a next plane, train or automobile home from his all important “conference.”

I think the school board should not cop out on the “policy” excuse. Not to be able to say we recognized the situation, and we take this very seriously and we are dealing with this in a private matter. But they couldn’t and didn’t. They didn’t return phone calls, some  board members were smug that they were even bothered. I am positive if any one on that school board members had one of their children had that happen to them, like the three kids who were assaulted on that bus, I am sure the “policy” of not speaking would change in a heartbeat. I am sure they would be screaming from the roof tops “policy” of a abuse of a child, bullying will not be tolerated change must be done! That is not what I am hearing. I am hearing nothing from school board or superintendent. I am sure they would not have swept this matter under the rug if they were in this same situation if it had happened to any one of their children. What also is disturbing is knowing it happened not once but twice, in less than a week and a half.

I personally put full blame on the superintendent. The buck stops with him and he did nothing! I believe that he and he alone has made it be ok...bully kids, abuse kids..ohhh but don’t worry we will not say anything about it, or Great Bend USD 428 will not comment. Brad Reed needs to put in his resignation in, and the school board should review “policy” and take this matter more seriously than just a smug “No Comment” and come off as it is a more of a inconvenience of they were or are being bothered. We (the school board) cannot comment or do the right thing because of “Policy” that is set in place.

The school board needs to stand up and do the right thing. It is what they were elected to do. They need to say we will stand up for all children and rectify this and any situation and will stand up to anyone and all who would be harmful to any of our  children. Admit that the situation was not handled correctly. Make “policy” to protect all children and make sure that all parents know that in USD 428 school system our children are safe and families will be notified in warranted situations, with anonymously protecting the privacy rights of USD 428 children.

As for punishment for the kids involved? A five day suspension really? Those kids who participated should never be allowed back into any Great Bend District. Especially knowing not one but two different incidences in less than a week. Setting a great example there Brad Reed. I have no worries, they will swim, without consequences.

So thank you Brad Reed for giving Great Bend this huge black eye. Thank you for letting everyone in the state know that we will not take any action against children who commit horrid acts on others. Kids have a green light on bullying and abusing others. Good to know. Because we don’t comment on bullying, abuse of children or state how you are going to protect our children in the future at USD 428.
Diana Dawson
Great Bend