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'Teach your kids to be kind': Family upset with Killeen ISD response after child allegedly bullied

Posted at 7:06 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 20:06:10-04

One Killeen family is speaking out after they said their daughter has been being severely bullied in school. The family said things have gotten so bad they are considering leaving the city of Killeen.

For the past year, Harlie Dunn said she has been targeted at Eastern Hills Middle School.

“It's pretty much a lot of the kids just tell me to like go kill myself and I don’t belong here you’re too big to fit in the school and like it’s just a lot," said Harlie.

From the bus stop to the schoolyard Harlie said the bullies have taken a toll on her mental health. When asked how she felt about the things said to her she responded, “Maybe sometimes like maybe I don’t belong here. I know that's not good but yeah.”

After posting about his concerns on social media, Harlie's dad Devin Sutton said dozens of parents have reached out saying they are having the same issues, whit their child being bullied in schools within KISD.

Sutton and Mallorie Dunn, Harlie's mom said they have been communicating through emails and phone calls with the administration at Eastern Hills but have seen no improvements.

Sutton said, “Every kid that goes through bullying every parent has notified somebody and nothing gets done about it. We’ve contacted the principal and the assistant principal; we’ve contacted the counselor numerous times they say they’re going to look into it and it continues.”

“She’s upset! It’s an everyday thing, she’s upset all the time. I’ve got her on antidepressants and taken her to the doctor. I’ve contacted the school, we’ve done our part as far as what we need to do as contacting,” said Mrs. Dunn.

Tiana Maya the District's Chief Communication Officer says KISD has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying of all forms. She said the district investigates every claim of bullying.

"That campus has two principles," said Maya. "I’ve checked with both, and this is the first time that this has been brought to their attention. We want to make sure we’re having those conversations at the appropriate level. Sometimes it goes to AP or counselor, but a parent's first point of contact should be the principal."

Maya explains bullying has been accelerated with cyberbullying. Maya said the district has several protocols in place to address bullying and even concerns if a child is suicidal. She encourages the family to reach out so they can solve the issue. 

Maya said, "If they feel as though something is not being met or that the district did not respond appropriately, I would invite that family to have a conversation with the principal the executive director. Let's us bring in our executive services personnel because this is not acceptable in KISD or any school environment."

Harlie said she just wants to be heard.

“I’ve been to the counselor numerous times this year's sometimes I feel like they don’t care. I mean every time I go to the principal, they’re like oh well it’s hearsay it’s this we can’t do anything about it we can’t change the way that these kids act," Harlie said.

The family hopes something can be done before it’s too late and encourages other parents to teach their kids to be kind.

“If I’m giving you an entire year now it’s time to figure this out because we can work together. Teach your kids to be kind," Mallorie said.