Friday, September 16, 2016

Frustrated residents demand answers from school board on bullying

Ernest Wiker

An assault at Columbia High School on September 8, 2016 was recorded and a firestorm of outrage was ignited after that video surfaced on social media.

At Thursday's school board meeting, over 100 residents filled the room looking for answers.  One by one they lined up to comment and ask questions.  At times, comments were heated.

Ernest Wiker, whose daughter was attacked, was first to take the podium:

"I wanted to address the board tonight about violence in our schools.  About disrespect of the teachers, the bullying that's happening in our classrooms not being addressed. Our school claims to have zero tolerance policy and we do, but we're not enforcing it.

There is behavior happening in those classrooms everyday that is totally unacceptable. The teachers are to the point where they don't even report it anymore, and I think that's the fault of the administration, that they haven't supported.

I've witnessed incident after incident going back 30 years to when I was in school there, and things that I witness in those classrooms that should never have occurred, and over the years this has been allowed to go on, where the teachers don't even recognize what's happening in front of them anymore.

My daughter was assaulted in that school, and I think most of you probably saw that video, and that was an assault.  But within minutes of it happening, I received a phone call telling me that my daughter was being suspended from school and being cited for disorderly conduct."

Board President Cole Knighton interrupted Wiker at this point:

"Mr. Wiker I have to interrupt you for a second, we can't discuss any school..."

Wiker:  "I'm not going to go into that, I'm just feeding you this as in general. I'm not going into my daughter's suspension. I think that's something we can address individually.

I got that call telling me that my daughter was being suspended and she was being cited for disorderly conduct my daughter. If you saw that video - I don't think there's a person in this room that can tell me that was a fight. That wasn't a fight; that was an assault. The things that led up to that should have been addressed long before it got to that point.  I'm sorry I've got a lot I want to say and I know I gotta be careful how I say it, because I don't want to get into addressing students names and stuff. I have no intention on going there."

"The administration here is not supporting our teachers."  When I called and I spoke to officials at the school, spoke to the principal on Friday, I was told we don't have that problem here. No one has ever been assaulted in this school in the three years I've worked here.   That's wrong. Just because we label them as fights doesn't mean they're not assaults.  What happened to my daughter was an assault, it wasn't a fight, but the rush to label that as a fight and rush her out the door and treat her as part of the problem.

My daughter couldn't come to this meeting because she's prohibited from school functions right now. She's still suspended for what happened on Thursday.  That's wrong, it shouldn't be happening.  My daughter is being treated as part of the problem. She was the victim of a crime in that school.  It never should have occurred."

Wiker's remarks were met with enthusiastic applause.



  1. The board and administration has got to stop burying their heads in the sand if these allegations are true.The video showed signs of aggression. That is true. Again, as mentioned in numerous posts by various posters, the public is fed up and want action. The parents must also exercise discipline on their children also. It is not just the school's fault,but society in general is lax.

  2. I'm thinking,something was said,or did to that girl,that caused her to strike the girl,as unfair and cruel as it sounds.Something was said or did that provoked that girl to act the way she did.I honestly feel there's more to the story here.But we as regular citizens will never really know what happened,we will only be told what the media wants to tell us.
    There's two sides to every story,I think we need to hear bothsides of the story,Before we rush to rash decisions that made after viewing the video clip,we must further look into,what transpired before the incident happened.I'm willing to bet,something else was said or done.
    As sorry as I feel for Mr.Wiker and his daughter,simpathy must also be givin to the young lady who struck her.She needs help!!

    1. Something was said. Something the the lady should have listened to. She was bullying, threatening, and harassing my daughter and my daughter responded by telling her, "Instead of acting like this, you should be worried about doing your work. Be a rold model for your child."

      She repeated that plea to the girl that assaulted her several times. The girl however, was not interested in being a good person, a good parent. Instead she was a little thug and decided to tell my daughter don't you tell me how to raise my child and attacked her.

    2. Who the Heck gives a crap WHAT was said if ANYTHING!!!! Quit raising pansies who think it's ok to assault someone because their poor little feelings get hurt!! You acting like words are a valid argument for attacking another person is exactly the reason that school is so screwed up in the first place!!!! Get a freaking clue!!

    3. No,Schools are so screwed up,because pansies who baby there kids to the point they can't defend themselves.If you keep sticking your finger in an electrical outlet,sooner or later you gonna get shocked.As far as the bullying thing,thats been going on since the dawn of time.I'm not saying Mr.Wiker's kid was in this position of not being able to defend herself,or that he did anything wrong in raising his kid.He seems to be a good man and cares about his Child and the state of the school.As far as raising "Pansies who hit because there feelings get hurt",You must of been one of those people who were bottle fed until you were 15.It's the real world out there,If you offend somebody to the point they strike you,You must of been doing the Bullying yourself.

  3. Disruptive students need to be removed from the classroom, it's a nuisance for the kids that want to learn. It's not fair the kids that want to learn have to put up with this type of behavior surrounding them. When I was in school they were escorted immediately. We wonder why these kids no longer want to go to school, you never know if you will be the next one being "jumped" . Going to school is supposed to be a fun, educated experience, it's an exploration towards your future. We wonder why the numbers attending school is low its because of the bullying. Im sure it is now not only worrying about fights at school but it's now probably a fight between child and parent at home, because 1. Of course what parent doesnt want their child to have an education so we say "your going to school". 2. The parent is now forcing their child to go to school everyday not knowing will this happen to my child, will he/or she be next? So sad we as parents have to tell our children suck it up "you must go to school AND remember 2 wrongs don't make a right, don't even think about fighting back 3. Its the law! Now its a war in the home between parents and children and a war at school, its no wonder these kids sometimes take their fate into their own hands because now there is no where else to turn. The 2 places you are to be happy, safe and loved you have to go until you are 18 is now like a miniature war zone.we as parents shouldn't be at home fighting with our kids about going to school with the reason being that they are scared. Home is is supposed to be HAPPY family time...not fighting. School is supposed to be a safe haven for both students and the administartion to teach/learn, make friends/inspire students,and of course have fun too!

  4. Any person can only take so much abuse and harassment.
    Seems when harrassment starts it needs to be addressed and documented by those in authority.
    Mr Wilkers daughter seems to be in that very position. It's sad that the abused are the ones to suffer.

  5. That school has had bullying and otger problems as lomg as I can remember and I got out of that school in 2003. They really need to take care of the problem in that school.

  6. Sadly, not going to happen at CHS! The coaches are just as nasty, bullying the kids, saying sexually explicit things etc. They can barely field a football team. These kids deserve so much more than what they are getting. It is not just the administration. The classrooms are wild, the halls and cafeteria worse. Merge these schools with another district and give the kids a chance as it should be!

  7. The absentee parents need to be adressed. EXPELL THE TROUBLEMAKER, LET THE PARENTS TAKE IT FROM THERE.
    Harrassment is also a behavior common between trouble makers and their parents. Monkey see Monkey does.
    Go collect the trash.

  8. Release all of us from property taxes now. If you choose to have kids then find a school or home school and you pay for your choice.

    1. Shut the school down.

    2. Fine. But no social security or medicare for you. If you didn't save enough, then tough - you should have had a better job. Release us from paying those taxes as well.

  9. I WENT to Columbia Boro schools. I refuse to put my children through the school that I went to. Given the things that I saw and dealt with while I attended. Teachers abusing, harassing, being part of the PROBLEM not the solution. Not that I actually blame them, I THANK them because the education I received at Columbia made me a stronger adult. I was able to recognize unacceptable behavior earlier in life. I had teachers harass me, pick sides in fights, and even escalate a problem to the level of fights. Then turn around and watch the fight that happened... even had a teacher tell me after getting dropped on my face, that "I had gotten what I deserved". That being said I WOULD NEVER subject a child to this school system. My job as a parent is to give my child a better life than I had growing up. My very FIRST move when I found out we were expecting a child was MOVING FROM COLUMBIA!!! There are MANY problems with Columbia in general, the school is just another symptom of a larger problem.

    1. I made the choice to send my kids to Columbia because it was a smaller school and I thought that would be better for them. We all went through a lot because of my decision many years ago. I still live in Columbia and I love the town, but if I had that choice again, I would not send my kids to Columbia Schools.