Helena, MT school district wants to address the suicides by implementing more mental health programs. There is a lot already in place for mental health needs. An issue they won't look at is bullying and harassment. There are school personnel that are part of this problem that administration says is not a problem. Teachers have been seen laughing along with the bullies as they bully another student. Teachers and coaches have turned their eyes when they see a student being bullied. Our family has been affected first hand. A CHS cross country coach harassed and bullied a 15 year old girl for 2 years. She repeatedly told the girl she should be like one of the other girls, that she should go out and party. The coach told the girl she would do wild and crazy things in college because she doesn't get to do them in high school. The coach told the girls to "imagine a guy running up hill naked with his pecker sticking straight out". This was to teach the girls to run up hill. The coach then gave the 15 year old girl a pink certificate stating, "____awarded to be the most likely to get butt implants prior to becoming a stripper at a tattoo parlor." The AD told the coach she should never sign her name to anything like this. The following season the coach refused to coach the girl, but instead ostracized and excluded her from conversations. The coach intimidated other girls with glares and posturing when they were befriending the bullied girl. After the season, the girl went through a very dark time in her life. She wrote about the incident in her English journal of which her teacher turned into the principal and did not go any further. The parents had to hire an attorney to force the school district to bring in an assistant coach for the next season, so that the girl could do the sport she loves without the bullying. Furthermore, the coach refused the girl to be the captain of the team her senior year, even the majority of her teammates voted for her. The coach stated there would be no captain that year. The bullying coach is still coaching and moving up the ladder. Does the Helena School District know the difference between mental health and psychiatric injury? I think not and nor would they ever admit it. Some of the kids that committed suicide had a mental illness. Many of the kids that committed suicide were bullied and had a psychiatric injury. We praise God we didn't lose this young lady because of an arrogant and narcissistic coach and school administration.
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