Parent claims local school district slow to address death threats

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 11 at 7:41 AM

DE SOTO, Mo (KMOV) - A report of bullying involving a first grader is raising questions about how quickly the school district acted in response.

The father of two Vineland Elementary students says his two girls were threatened by a 7-year-old who is accused of saying he would kill both sisters. The bullying reportedly took place inside Vineland Elementary. The De Soto School District's interim superindent says school officials are dealing with the bullying and are trying to get to the bottom of it.

"I think they've been on it all along trying to observe the behaviors," said Dr. Trish Burkeen. "They haven't witnessed all the behaviors reported."

Burkeen says there seem to be discrepancies in the story the district is hearing. The parent of the two students who were allegedly threatened claim the school's counselor heard it but nothing was done. By the time News 4 arrived, school officials say they punished the seven-year-old behind the bullying.

"We take all threats and actions seriously and try to talk through appropriately at all age levels how we should handle that and deal with it," Burkeen said.

School officials say they are still talking with the students involved and want everyone to feel safe. October 8-12 is Anti-Bullying week in the De Soto School District.

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