Robyn Hance was shocked when her son Zachary was bullied at school. The bully, it turned out, was the school principal.
According to a Change.org petition posted by Hance, Richard Schaal, principal of Worland Middle School in Worland WY, told 13-year-old Zachary that he was worthless and lazy. It didn't stop there. The petition further alleges that Schaal assured Zachary that he was "100% sure he'd be a high school dropout, addicted to meth, bouncing in and out of jail."
When the outraged mother confronted the principal, she was told that Zachary was being given a "reality check." Hance, who has since transferred Zachary to another school, is demanding that Mr. Schaal be fired.
"I have received a lot of responses from parents of kids who are now grown who went through this ten and fifteen years ago," Hance told SFGN. "They let it go and never pushed the issue because it's a small town. Everybody knows everybody and they didn't want to make it worse. But I'm not scared of what people think of me: I don't want this to happen to another child. I'm not stopping this, he deserves to be held accountable to the children who've been hurt by him."
Numerous postings from other parents in support of Hance's stand could be seen on her Facebook page.
"The school district backs Schaal and his 'reality check' bullying," Hance said. "They are a prominent family in town and it's about who you are and who you know."
Hance says that Zachary was victim of bullying from other students and was devastated by the treatment he received. But it was the school principal’s response that really shocked her.
"Zach went from A's and B's to C's and D's in three weeks," she said. "He cried at night and finally told me about the bullying. When I called the school and begged for help I was told that the kid is thirteen and that 'boys will be boys.’ When I brought up the bullying I was told 'if there was bullying in my school I would know about it.'”
The outraged mom took Zachary out of Worland Middle School. "I transferred Zach to Washakie County School District," she said. "They are 28 miles away. My son is happy like he hasn't been in over two years. His grades are going back up and he's talking about staying there through high school because he's so happy. However, I won't stop. I pray that no child will be hurt the way Mr. Schaal hurt Zach."
At press time, Hance's petition had over 200 signatures. There are many posted comments, all in support of her stand. Numerous people, including some from Hance's area, stated that they had signed the petition because they had also been belittled by authority figures in school.
"My son is bullied in grade school and no one will do anything about it," posted Anna Sorrick, who also lives in Worland.
At press time, SFGN had not received a response from Principal Schaal requesting a comment.
"Mr. Schaal hasn't said anything," Hance said. "I've spoken with other teachers, some supportive, some not."
Hance's petition to the school board asking that Schaal be fired can be found here.