Threatening calls and emails coming from people across the country.
WFMD News is first to learn that allegations of a sophomore being bullied at Brunswick High School are now coming at a price to other students. Parents have been sending in emails saying that they are afraid. "Unfortunately the spread of this one sided story has put the rest of us in a position where speaking up could actually be dangerous. Now that the story has hit the Yahoo and AOL news feeds, people from across the country are calling and emailing the school in a threatening manner. It’s not popular to stand up and say a teenager and mother is falsely representing the situation. Nobody is calling them a liar. But their perception of the situation does not fall in line with the reality of what occurred. So as much as I hate to sit silently, I will not jeopardize my daughter or our safety," said one parent. Michael Doerrer, the Director of Communications for Frederick County Public Schools says his office and Brunswick High School have been receiving threatening calls and emails from people across the country. "We're are definitely getting calls and emails that I would classify as threatening. What I can tell you is that our security folks are monitoring the situation very closely. We're investigating the ones that need to be, and following up on the ones that need to be followed up on," said Doerrer.
Tenth grader Preston Deener claimed he has been the victim of bullying for the past five years, and school staff have not stopped his alleged tormentors. "FCPS, we welcome the dialogue about bullying, about how to prevent it, and respond to it. We welcome anything that shines the spotlight on bullying and efforts to stop it, but at the same time, it becomes unfortunate when we're focused personally on specific students, parents and the community," continued Doerrer.
In light of this bullying incident, Cheryl Deener is planning an Anti-Bullying Homecoming dance Friday at the Brunswick City Park Building. In an email, one parent wrote to WFMD News saying: "The Deener Family has organized their dance at the same time as the Brunswick vs. Williamsport Pink Out Football game. In a small community like ours, “Friday Night Lights” is a big thing and will draw a huge portion of the student population as well as the community. My fear, as well as the fear of others, is that the Deener Family will say the low attendance of their function is proof of Preston being bullied and shunned by the school. But the low attendance will in fact be due to the poor planning on the part of the event organizers. They could have had a completely different event and turn-out by the community had planning been better," the email read.
"The folks in our schools are working everyday to do what's best for our kids," said Doerrer. Maryland law requires school staff to report bullying. "A lot of people, because of the way the media has been reporting this, think the impression that the school is not doing anything to respond to this incident, but nothing could be further from the truth."
According to the Maryland State Department of Education, there were 3,818 incidents of bullying in Maryland schools during the 2009-2010 school year, and reports of bullying have been increasing over the past three years.