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Bullying concerns brought before Mattoon school board

Parent concerns about bullying at Mattoon schools were brought before the school board at their meeting Tuesday night. (WCCU)

Parent concerns about bullying at Mattoon schools were brought before the school board at their meeting Tuesday night.

The aunt of a Mattoon Middle School student, Tina Lee, spoke on behalf of a few other parents in the community when reading off a list of concerns to the board.

Mattoon Schools Superintendent Larry Lilly responded to Lee’s comments.

Lilly said in light of the September 20 shooting at the high school, the board has outlined four emerging trends for the district to focus on.

He said one of the focus areas addresses the issue of bullying.

“The social and emotional learning circular is what we are focusing on,” Lilly said. "If that’s not working then [we look at] then how do we get the appropriate adult involved in that situation.”

A Mattoon parent at the meeting, Sheri Feast, hoped the district would have a more detailed response to these concerns.

“I want to see them put something in place that’s not the zero-tolerance policy that nobody follows,” Feast said. “Maybe an investigative procedure. Is there something we can do that finds the base to each accusation?”

Lilly said Mattoon schools will continue to take every accusation of bullying seriously.

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