Mother, daughter urge board action against bullying
The Corydon student who had a noose placed in her locker last month and that student’s mother were backed by about 30 people and spoke for nearly a half-hour Nov. 13 at South Central Junior-Senior High School for the monthly meeting of the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees.
Kitana Beauchamp and her mother, Mica, urged Superintendent Dr. Neyland Clark and the board members to reaffirm their stance on bullying.
On Oct. 4, a noose made out of dental floss was found in a locker Kitana shared with two friends at CCHS. The noose was made by a boy and placed in the locker by a girl.
According to Mica Beauchamp, the girl received a one-day suspension and the boy was suspended for three days. Neither suspension was enough, she said.
‘No tolerance to me means no tolerance. Bullying, whether it’s racism, calling some kid a fag, nigger, fat boy, it’s all bullying and it should all be treated the same,’ Mica Beauchamp said. ‘I was told by Dr. Clark that our guidelines are just that, guidelines. If every student was treated according to the guidelines, I’d have nothing to complain about. But, to me, this was not only a racial threat on my daughter’s life, but a hate crime that the school took as a joke.
‘Suspend students and let students know that you take this for real. If a student calls another student a racial slur, suspend them and make an example of that student and let them know in the school system that we’re not going to tolerate it. My mom dealt with this 40 years ago, I dealt with it 20 years ago … and my officials didn’t deal with it. I don’t feel officials in our school system now are dealing with it. Harrison County, please grow up. We need to stand up and take this seriously.’
Mica Beauchamp held up a folder that contained 500 signatures, and said another 350 signatures are online, of those who support a no-tolerance stance on bullying.
‘When I left the school on Oct. 5, I thought the school would do the proper thing. I think they wanted to push it under the rug and never thought I’d be back,’ she said. ‘It’s a noose, and it ain’t the first time this has happened at Corydon Central High School. I know for a fact last year a student had a noose put in his locker. Deer (urine) was also placed in this African-American student’s locker and the school done nothing about it.’
‘Do I look black? No. They only relate me to being black because of my last name. If Beauchamp wasn’t my last name, would any of this be happening? If I’d done this, I’d have received a more severe punishment,’ Kitana Beauchamp said. ‘Everybody is equal in the eyes of God. Why is not everybody (in the school system) treated equal?’
After the Beauchamps spoke their peace, they and their supporters walked out of the meeting. Clark got up and caught up to Mica Beauchamp, speaking to her briefly. According to Beauchamp’s Facebook page, the two were supposed to have met Monday.
‘When I came on this board, I said there was a problem in our schools and no one listened to me,’ school trustee Karen Lopp told the audience.
In another matter, bids were opened for repairs of the weight-room floor at Corydon Central High School: EH Construction, $29,811; Harter Co. LLC, $8,900; James L. Shireman, $18,915; and Upton Frye, $39,930. The board took the bids under advisement.
In another matter, a motion to appoint transportation director Steve Duley as school safety specialist passed unanimously; however, a motion for compensation increase for Duley died for a lack of a second.