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Legislature holds bullying conferences

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The Education Committee will be holding a second oversight hearing this evening to hear what the Department of Education is doing to ensure kids in Guam's schools are protected from bullying.  Last night there was emotional testimony from parents of kids who were sexually harassed, physically abused and threatened by students. 

Many said their calls for action by school administrators went unanswered. FBLG parent Angela Aguigui says her daughter was sexually harassed by boys on campus three weeks ago. While the boys were suspended, the bullying escalated.

Aguigui says the school's administration failed to ensure her daughter's safety, saying, "What are we going to do to ensure her safety? She said, 'Ma'am, I can't give you a hundred percent safety for your daughter. I cannot assure you that.' I used to work for DOE and you don't tell a parent that. That you cannot assure the parent that their kid is going to be safe at school."

After hearing testimony from numerous individuals about the issue of bullying, Democrat senator Ben Pangelinan says the superintendent should be held accountable.  He said, "I hate to say it - the superintendent. This shouldn't even get to the Policy Board. These are operational problems and we always hear 'it's operational'. What is the superintendent doing about these kind of things? Isn't she being told? Does she care? All of these kind of problems and we hear no peep from the superintendent about this kind of problem."

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