I read with concern the two recent items in The Times regarding alleged bullying at Myers Elementary (March 7 article, March 19 letter to the editor). Quite honestly, I was confused; I thought perhaps I had read the name of the school incorrectly, and even more confused when I read the principal involved in the articles. I started shaking my head, thinking,”Are you kidding me? Are they really accusing Beth Hudgins of dealing improperly with a situation so potentially hurtful?”
Unless you spend time at Myers School, you can’t truly appreciate how Mrs. Hudgins lights up the school every day, nor what she has done for the school, not only academically and with staff retention, but also truly loving each of the students and always putting them first. Her caring ways spill over to the rest of the Myers staff, who each exemplify what it means to love teaching.
How do I know this? I have been a volunteer at the school for over 10 years. I have been at the school during the school year at least once every week for 10 years, and lots of times in the summer.
You can’t be all over the school and not run into Beth numerous times. She’s always in the hallways interacting with the students or the teachers, or in the office answering parents’ questions. In all these years, I have never known Beth to be anything other than caring, willing to listen and solve a problem, but above all always professional. So who exactly is being bullied?
The Hall County School District policy on bullying defines bullying in part as “... an intentional written, verbal or physical act intended to intimidate.” A disgruntled parent who turns to The Times to inflame the issue is certainly using his right of free speech. But when his comments can’t be addressed by Mrs. Hudgins because of privacy restrictions (meaning she can’t defend her decisions) that could be seen as bullying.
I am a parent, too, and would lay down my life for my children, so I can appreciate the frustration parents feel when they don’t get the decision they want. But that doesn’t mean adults are allowed to be bullies to other adults and not be accountable.