Standing up for each other

LEWISTOWN – The Mifflin County School District Administrative building was the site of a peaceful anti-bulling protest on Thursday morning.

A large group of people gathered at the corner of Maple Avenue and Eighth Street in the Highland Park neighborhood to draw attention to what they see as a systemic problem in local schools.

Kristy Wagner said kids are getting bullied while at school and the district isn’t doing anything about it.

“Somebody’s got to do something,” she said.

Wagner said it is sad that it takes a protest like this one to open the administration’s eyes as to what is really going on in the schools.

Wagner also claims the bullying isn’t limited to student-on-student. In some cases adults bully children as well.

Noah Koenig, a former student at Mifflin County Junior High School, also attended the rally.

Koenig said he was the victim of bullying in October 2012, when another student beat him so bad it put him in the hospital.

He made a large poster with graphic photos of himself taken after he was assaulted, and wore it to the rally.

Koenig said he will likely have on-going medical issues for the rest of his life as a result of the beating he took.

Koenig’s mother, Debra Koenig, said her son is no longer a student at the school and has since enrolled with a cyber-charter school.

Superintendent James Estep said he could not comment on specific incidents involving students, citing privacy concerns.

Estep did however state the district has a policy in place on bullying, which it follows and added that the policy is available on the district’s website for anyone to read.

Estep said each incident is looked at carefully to determine whether it may or may not constitute someone being bullied.

As to the claims the district has done nothing to prevent or stop bullying, Estep said the administration has been very proactive and has partnered with the local police departments to combat bullying.