200 students show support for suspended Metro-East bullying victim

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by Sharon Reed/ KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 8:10 PM

(KMOV.com) -- About 200 students in Granite City, Illinois, attended an anti-bullying protest Friday outside of Coolidge Junior High School.

Some students skipped school under the threat of detention and suspensions to show support for 13-year-old Taylor Allen, a victim of bullying.

Taylor Allen was suspended from school until next Wednesday because she stood up to a bully and slapped her.

“She told me to kill myself,” said Taylor, “She’s told me tons of things.”

Taylor said she was very shocked that so many people showed up.

“It’s amazing this many people actually care,” Taylor said, “And want bullying to stop.”

Taylor suffers from Alopecia, an immune system problem that caused her hair to fall out and that started seven years ago.

Taylor’s mother, Angie, said she encouraged her to stand-up for herself.

“She’s strong, beautiful. She’s always been a straight A student,” said Angie, “Never had any disciplinary action.”

Angie said Taylor told her about how the bullying happened on the bus Monday.

“She said, ‘Mom, I had enough. I’m not gonna take it no more,’” Angie said, “She popped her right in the mouth, well right on the cheek.”

Taylor was suspended for 5 days and her mother understands why.

“I do not deny she should be suspended whatsoever, she put her hands on another child,” Angie said, “But that child should receive the same punishment.”

Angie said the girl bullying her daughter was not suspended.

Granite City Schools Superintendent Jim Greenwald said the district handled the situation before it escalated and by the book, but he did not say if the other girl was also suspended.

“We dealt with the situation in a very proper manner,” said Greenwald, “I just want to reiterate we handled this in an appropriate manner.”

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