Parental Opinions of Strong Bullying


In response to a post on Facebook asking for community opinions on the Strong Middle School cyber-bullying issue, many parents came forward to share their children’s experiences in Strong. 

 There have been various accounts of cyber-bullying at Strong Middle School. On October 5th, 2021, the Board of Education’s Wellness Committee discussed this issue in their meeting, where they detailed the issue and offered solutions. The Board heard a public comment from a parent in town about the events occurring at Strong on October 13th. 

From parents of Facebook, there is an overwhelming consensus that there is not just cyber-bullying but actual bullying as well. 

  An anonymous parent commented, in a private Durham and Middlefield Facebook group, that her child had received “verbal abuse and notes to kill herself” and the prior Strong principal, Scott Sadinsky “didn’t even tell the parents of the child bullying [her] child because he didn’t have enough proof.”

Another anonymous parent commented, in the same private group, that her child was “being bullied on the bus” and “[told] two guidance counselors and a teacher and nothing is being done.” Then adding that, “the new principal [Cheryl Gonzalaz] does seem to be trying to get a handle on it, it’s the rest of the staff that seem to do nothing about it.”

Other parents shared what they think would be beneficial to help the situation at Strong.

Maygan Morello, a parent in town, said “parents need to have a more active role in their children’s social media footprint, instead of blaming it on the school.” She then goes on to say that “teachers can’t monitor your child’s public TikTok account.”

Another parent, Kim Westcote Watts, said that that school should ¨model what John Lyman School has done: foster a sense of community, inclusion, responsibility…¨ in a middle school way. She also says that she, “really [does] believe in the power of parental expectation.” 

She notes that “management and responsibility” of a child’s social media platform is not easy, especially during and after the Covid-19 pandemic and “these years [at Strong School] are crucial for adolescents, forming identities, bonds and the beginning of navigating some higher brain power.” Furthering that issue is important and should continue to be discussed and shared.

On Thursday, December 9th, there is an “Internet Safety Concept” presentation at the Coginchaug Regional High School auditorium, with guest speaker, Scott Driscoll, who “spent most of his 29 year career in law enforcement as a youth officer” according to his website.