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Residents demand end to school bullying

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The issue of bullying has prompted the Guam Legislature to hold an oversight hearing on the matter. Some parents say they're fed up with the situation and want the Department of Education to take action now.

F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School student Tyana Rosal is a victim of bullying. The threats and the abuse have made her afraid to even go to school.  "I want to have my fun back in school, hanging out with my friends," she said. "Just not having to worry about being beaten up at school. Not having to be scared and cry to my mom. Not having to actually have people watch me because these people just want to beat me up. I'm just terrified for my life."

Tyana's mother, Mae Quidachay, has been pushing for some action at the campus and even shadowed her daughter for several weeks. She says action hasn't even been taken to punish the bullies. "I've been dealing with this bullying issue for two years now. Since my children stepped foot at FBLG, I've been dealing with this needs to stop. I need my life back," she said.

Her father, Jerry Alconaba, says it's been far too long that these bullying cases are swept under the rug. He says it's now time for the kids to get some justice, adding, "Right now, there's not justice being done to them, how can you tell them to go to school and tell them 'Don't worry. Nothing is going to happen to you'? But nothing is being done about it. they're terrified."

The question is whether DOE is doing what is necessary to keep the kids safe. Alconaba says employees need to be properly trained to handle such cases. "When a child gets bullied, she's getting bullied in the hallway, in the bathroom, during lunchtime and if there's overcrowding, who's going to know?" he added.

Tyana's brother Fred also attends the Yigo middle school and says he's also afraid for his life. He says all he wants is for the school administration to protect them, telling KUAM News, "I want a principal who does what he says he's going to do instead of cover his actions."

A petition was also circulated to remove the administration at the school altogether. Parent Bernice Borja signed this petition and will also attend tonight's oversight hearing, adding, "They want to address the issue at tonight's meeting with anti-bullying amongst the students. There's a deeper issue going on within FBLG. And I attended the last board meeting, which was last month at Ordot Elementary. The parents never got a chance to step up at the forum and speak. There are a lot of concerns I have."

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