BULLYING CONTROVERSY: School ‘Worries’ ACLU

When students at Melcher-Dallas school posted a video of 13-year old Levi Null having involuntary movements related to Asperger’s syndrome, his mother immediately complained about bullying.

After all, according to state law, “’Harassment’ and ‘bullying’ shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment.”

Levi and his mother both say the teen was afraid to go back to school after the video was posted.  But high school Principal Josh Ehn wrote in an email to Levi’s mother, the “video posted online was found not to be bullying.

The head of the Melcher-Dallas school board stands by that.

“I stand by our principal,” Bob Lepley said. “According to his investigation I’ll have to stand by him.”

But the American Civil Liberties Union disagrees. They say this is a classic case of bullying.

“The fact that his mother is afraid to send him to school, this has got to be having an effect on his education,” ACLU Legal Director Randall Wilson says.

But because the school refuses to categorize it as bullying, the principal doesn’t have to report it to the State Department of Education.

There are also no repercussions from the state for not reporting it.

The ACLU says the Department of Education is not doing a good job of showing teachers and administrators what bullying is.

“We have a law that you shall not bully students and we have a legal definition.  But really we haven’t put any resources into helping schools understand what should constitute bullying and where the line should be drawn,” Wilson says.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education argues teachers and administrators across the state engage in ongoing training that covers bullying.

A couple of weeks ago, Governor Branstad held a summit on bullying. But Thursday a spokesman for the governor tells us that this is a local issue, and Levi’s family will have to handle it locally.

The ACLU says this is a huge problem, especially when the Melcher-Dallas schools refuse to even acknowledge that this is a problem.

“The first step is to recognize that there is a bullying problem and that’s what worries me here,” Wilson adds.

Since the original story and the follow-up story of the community’s reaction, the issue has gone national.

Yahoo News, Huffington Post, Gawker, Fox News and The Daily Mail have all covered it generating over 10,000 comments from across the world, most support Levi and his mother.

Levi’s mom says she’s overwhelmed by the support.

The superintendent at Melcher-Dallas has not responded to our requests to an interview.

93 comments

  • Meg

    This situation is very disturbing as a mother of an autistic child. Hopes and prayers to the family. Something needs to be done immediately. I stand with Levi and his family.

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    Love is patient…This is one of the many godly traits I learned growing up in Melcher-Dallas. I patiently read through in the last few days of a TV station describing our town, and I hope I was the first of thousands to think, THIS IS NOT MY MELCHER-DALLAS! My patience (or silence, if you care) stopped when someone called our community “Ungodly.” God (and, yes, football :) ) was first and foremost to families and our community. Love is kind…Several times, I was the recipient of financial gifts from the community when the need was there; never to find out who the giver was. What has been reported first, giving the public the avenue to unfairly draw conclusions and bash the other 99% of the people in this town, is not kind; may I say it is irresponsible, and is NOT MY MELCHER-DALLAS. Love never fails…Year after year when I return to my little hometown, I witness group after group organizing functions, events, fund-raising for the good of the community, the school district, and their respective churches; without fail. THIS IS MY MELCHER-DALLAS! Love does not rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth. I urge you, WHO, to find the truth in your reporting without using the sensationalistic tactics that I have seen used during the reporting of this story. Report what would everyone should see, MY MELCHER-DALLAS. Step back and find the real heart of the community. I can tell you that it is definitely there! I feel it every time I visit, from the people who never forget me or to smile at me and remember me just like I was as a child .I feel it from the solid education that I received and that I use every day; and, from my family members who have happily entrenched themselves further into this community to experience the sports history, town spirit and Saint Pride. And, from the great people that I have met who have made Melcher-Dallas their home since I left–all of is where the love exists…and the heart of the story. I challenge you, WHO, to take up this story and report the real Melcher-Dallas, not just the surface. Find MY MELCHER-DALLAS. There are, in the end, three things that last: faith, happiness, and love, and the greatest of the three are love. I learned all of them there.; especially love. (Oh, and feel free to quote me; and I’m sure God will be okay with it, also).

  • linda mattix

    Gov. office says this is a local issue and won’t get involved. Well this incident has gone “viral” now and I am sure will be on Nat’l TV news programs any day so I would suggest the Gov. office take a second look at what is going on in Melcher-Dallas.

    • jackknife319

      Ha-Ha, exactly. He’s not going to be able to punt this issue. Where does one go when one can’t get justice locally? I guess not this Governor/Executive Branch. Doesn’t Iowa have its own civil rights division? Is this not civil rights? But it’s a local issue, so the state can’t interfere. Whatever. Grow a pair Terry.

  • jackknife319

    Get ‘em Anonymous. ‘Bout the only way to get justice anymore is for a group of disaffected computer geniuses to threaten to hack your e-mail and put it on the web for all the world to see.

  • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

    I do not understand … Oh wait.. YES. I DO UNDERSTAND.. The SCHOOL DISTRICT is now trying to BULLY the Mother and child. No wonder the kids in this school get away with this. They are well taught and have a BULLY for a principle and probably the entire school board behind them. Well BULLY for Melcher-Dallas…. I hope this family sues until the cows come home over this.
    The school doesn’t have to report this to report this to the State Department of Education, and yet the whole world KNOWS what is going on. Hello… is anyone at STATE level listening??? Where is our Governor? Shouldn’t he be calling for action on this case?

    SHAME on Melcher-Dallas School System. Shame on the State Department of Education. Shame on our Governor. Shame on IOWA.

    • Not sure who's telling the truth anymore

      Or..is the school is being bullied by the mother by taking this all public. Did Levi deserve to be punched and made fun of..No, of course not. That was wrong and cruel. IT WOULD BE WRONG AND CRUEL WHETHER HE WAS ASD OR NT!!

      But, it sounds like he is left unsupervised quite often, he throws rocks at people and cars, he tried to run some boys over with his bike, he uses insanely foul language. Whether he was ASD or NT, these are not acceptable actions and he shouldn’t be allowed to run the town doing these things if he truly is.

      Has Levi’s mom done everything she can to prevent him from acting out like that? Or, is she upset now because she hasn’t been as vigilant of a mother as she should be and now people are retaliating? HER child is ultimately HER responsibility.

      I admit, I do not live in MD, I am not personally involved in this situation. I’m guessing that most of the people commenting on it also are not involved directly…some are, but not the majority.

      So, I DON’T know what kind of a mom Dawn is. I just know that it sounds like no one knew that Levi was on the ASD spectrum. I also understand that there is such a thing as privacy.

      You can’t have it both ways though. You cannot expect people to excuse an ASD’s unconventional behavior if they don’t know that they are ASD and have very different thought processes.

      My son had 2 autistic children in his preschool, they would randomly walk around and destroy the things the other kids were working on. One child ATE another one’s art project. The kids were not told that these boys didn’t realize what they were doing was wrong. The other boys simply ‘got away with it’ (That’s what it looks like to a 4 year old) and the NT children were scolded if they got upset. We, as parents, were not told that these children were autistic as that was a violation of their privacy. I finally went to the teachers and asked about it because my son was getting very upset. With the parents permission, the boys’ situation was explained to me. I then sat my son down, and tried to very simply explain to him that these two were not mean, they were not naughty, they simply did not think like he did. They weren’t trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, they didn’t even realize they were hurting their feelings by destroying their projects.
      Did my son still get upset when something he had been working on got destroyed by another child? YOU BET! Who wouldn’t? But, we could remind him that even though it looked intentional, it wasn’t. At least he knew the other child wasn’t just mean.

      You can’t expect people to deal with a situation they aren’t made aware of. And you certainly cannot expect children to be able to diagnose an ASD by being in a classroom with them when ASD parents will tell you it can sometimes take years for the professionals to diagnose it.
      The comments keep stressing how even though there are common characteristics of ASD, each person is different.

      I’m trying to say that there are two sides to this story, I don’t think anyone not directly involved in this story really knows everything that is going on. Remember too, the school can only say so much about this situation as they MUST maintain privacy. So…just because you aren’t getting a lot of comments from them, that does not mean that they aren’t doing anything.

      I’m sure I will receive some hate responses to this post. just try to remember though, there are 2 sides to every story and you are only hearing what people want you to hear.

      • not sure who is telling the truth anymore

        No, Will, I haven’t. that’s why I said that there are 2 sides to every story. that is why I ASKED if this was a case of the school bullying this family, OR the family making the school and community the scapegoats for them not taking responsibility for their child.
        That is why I admitted I don’t know the full story. I’m not sure anyone does.
        Interesting how you think that I have made up my mind (when I thought I made it pretty clear in my post that I hadn’t). however, you have no comments against the people who want to see the school board thrown out, The principals head on a platter, the superintend fired, the school sued, criminal charges brought against the other children.
        You’re right, I AM the one who is being judgmental and unwilling to listen to both sides.

      • not sure who is telling the truth anymore

        Also…Will…did you notice in my post that I said we took pains to teach our child to be tolerant and forgiving of 2 ASD children in his class at the age of 4? Or did you just skim over that and decide I was Anti-ASD?
        I’m not sure you even actually read my post, I think you might have just picked up on one or two words that set you off and ran with those.

      • not sure who is telling the truth anymore

        One more thing WILL, one man even said he would like to see Levi hit one of the children who was bullying him in the mouth with a hammer. he thought that would make a wonderful video. Yet, you think I am the one who is closed minded?? I’m starting to think that YOU have made up YOUR mind on exactly how this situation happened and who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’. Again, either you didn’t read my post, or you didn’t actually think about it when you read it.

      • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

        Thank you for taking the time to think about this situation and some of the information that is coming out in posts. If everyone did this, and not judge the situation with such little information that was reported, it would be much more helpful than the name calling that began immediately. Bullying is wrong. Hitting is wrong. It seems the way to help this child is by educating everyone: the school, the students, the mother, and the community. Work together to help this child. Isn’t that what we want instead of stepping onto the litigation wagon? Isn’t this what the story could have also brought out, a suggestion of a solution? Thank you for your voice of reason…

      • Will

        All I see is you defending the community, the school, and the officials. You use a cloak of what if’s to defend your position. I don’t know the story but I do know that Bullying should never be tolerated. period. And defending bullying by anyone is a form of bullying in my opinion.

  • Big Hugs

    God help us. I recognise the value of the ACLU, but I also see the damage they can do. The personal accountability for your actions, that this welfare nation desperately lacks, is about to go out the window AGAIN. More to come…

    • Harry Moyer

      Yep… it’s a welfare nation alright.

      Remember to air that grievance to all the seniors on government assistance. (Not talking about SS, of which they earned. Thus making it a debt the country owes. TeaBuggers don’t see the difference.)

      Tell that to the 600 thousand+ soldiers in the armed forces how ashamed they should be that their family needs to eat and have a roof over their heads.

      You Republibags and your FauxNews propagated HATRED to your fellow citizenry is more pathetic than any welfare recipient.

      I’m an Atheist, although I follow the teachings of the Good Samaritan. I truly hope you fools are correct in Christianity. For if you are, I suspect I’ll have a better time of it that you sorry SOB’s.

      • Big Hugs

        Finally, some one heard me talking. Thank you, my new friend. Please, allow me to clarify. When I speak of welfar as a problem, I am NOT referring to those who have EARNED their government check. And by earning, I don’t mean sitting on their butts when they are young enough and capable enough to work SOMEWHERE and those that cannot quit mass producing hungry mouths in order to get their check. I am not referring to those who have no choice but to collect their disability check or the children receiving SSI because they have a parent serving time or have lost a parent to death. I know that you knew I was referring to those abusing and taking advantage of the system. If that applies to you, I didn’t know and could understand your defensiveness. As far as God and my Savior, Jesus Christ. We may both be wrong on some accounts. Either way, Jesus loves us both and I think we will fine. If not, we’ll be dead and no one will care. Thank you, again, Harry Moyer. I have enjoyed our mature adult-like interaction. Asking me if I was referring to those who deserved their aid, instead of assuming that is what I meant, may have been more effective. The name calling and generalization was nice too. I know you meant well.
        Oh BTW, I am a Melcher-Dallas graduate and I will participate in any Spelling/Grammar bee you want to throw out. Not everyone posting from MD was the top of the their class or even average. We still love them for their own uniqueness and because they are fellow creations.

        Like or not, God bless you, Harry Moyer. Happy Friday!

  • Joy

    And sue she will. That was the ultimate goal. Listen, if this child was having issues in school, which he was due to the numerous reports kids made on him for 2 years, then at some point all kids needed be sat down and told of him having auspergers and how to deal/work with this. Oh wait, that didn’t get revealed until the news story to make a news story. It could have been brought up anytime a parent called the mother to discuss an incident. Instead the caller would get yelled at. That’s helpful.
    I, being from Melcher-Dallas and having children in the school system, know how understanding and helpful kids can be when one in their class or school for that matter has a disability. If the kids don’t know what they are dealing with they don’t know how to react. All they see is a boy who attacks and torments them. Put yourselves in their shoes and think how frustrated they had to have felt. Oh and how frustrated they are this week listening to everyone think they are the worst kids in the world because of this whole ordeal.

    • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

      So you are saying this child has been in this school system with this condition for two years and NO ONE WAS EVER TOLD?

      The school didn’t KNOW the child has aspergers?
      I am a bit confused about this.
      Usually a school system takes notice of behaviors and takes steps to have a child evaluated.
      Is this child NEW to Melcher-Dallas school system?
      Has there been no communication between teachers and the parents?

      Time for your journalist to DIG A LITTLE DEEPER into this story.

      • Grdma

        He was in elementary there and yes they knew. The school didn’t want to classify it as bullying cause if they did they would have to report it to the state Governor’s office then it would have had to be addressed the principal was trying to bury it.

      • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

        I love the voice of reason from people who are taking the time to think about the situation and ask questions. The whole truth needs to be brought out. My voice of reason says, “How can this incident be judged without all sides of the story being told and explained?” In my opinion, it’s irresponsible journalism and WHO-TV needs to explain all sides of the story about. People are judging without the facts.

      • Joy

        There is a privacy issue here. Did the school know of the label that came out in the news for the public? I’m not a school official so I cannot say. But since there were so many issues going back and forth, the parent of said child should have/could have stepped up and worked with the kids inside the school to give insight to all involved to understand how to work with a child with aspergers. It has been done in other classrooms when children with disabilities are involved.

  • Scoobie

    Regardless of the fact they don’t want to say this is bullying IT IS PERIOD. I would find out my legal options and go from there when they choose to turn a blind eye. Those who say this isn’t my town. take the blinders off people… this happens everywhere.

  • Grdma

    How can the governor not consider the incident in Melcher-Dallas not bullying and leave it at local level. He needs to go to childserve or homestead for a day and see what struggles children with autism and aspergers live with daily. His comment and lack of interest in this shows basic ignorance of autism. ( “According to advocacy group Autism Speaks, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are “characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.”)
    These children don’t process things like we do. They do not have the social skills that there peers have. It is a life time struggle I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And yes this issue does bother very much cause I fear that the same treatment may come to my 4 year old grandson who is autistic. His behavior isn’t that of a spoiled child, he doesn’t understand why he has meltdowns. Yes he is a bright beautiful child and we are doing everything possible to make sure he can be as successful as possible. But when your governor turns a blind eye to this situation. And the schools and staff are uneducated to these issues. It makes our job as parents/caretakers difficult. And what is already a challenging/difficult life for these children of not understanding your own feelings and being to express simple things such as enjoyment. Make it for these children to have no future in society. GOVENOR BRANSTAD THIS IS NOT ONLY AN ISSUE ABOUT BULLYING ITS ALSO DISCRIMATION AND YOUR SUPPORTING IT. Get a backbone and do something about it.

    • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

      Grdma, Your comment is one I absolutely agree with.
      Some have mentioned HATE being spewed on this thread.
      Guess I’ve missed that part. Not sure how, as I have read
      each comment.

      I would like to compliment all who have left comment here
      for their well thought out (as much as can be with the information
      we have available) contributions. Also I would like to compliment
      all for their well written comments. I have seen very few spelling
      errors or misuse of words.

      Iowa Education at one time was excellent. Apparently those
      who have taken the time to comment are products of that era.
      A time when bullying was seldom an issue.
      I am proud to be an Iowan, and proud of my education.
      I would hope resolution of this matter be handled in the way it
      once was and that education again becomes the focus of our
      school systems.

      • Sad

        MaryCannon, One gentleman said that he would like to see a video of Levi hitting one of the other boys in the mouth with a hammer. He thought that woudl be good TV. Don’t you think that is somewhat Hateful? People are calling people backwoods sh*t shovelers. Maybe a lot of the hate is on the posts to the earlier stories, but, it is there and sad.

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      Let’s think about this…The town, the principal, the school board, the school, the teachers, the state of Iowa, the good old USA, and now it’s the Governor’s fault, also? Step back. Now that the true nature of this young man’s issues have been put into light, and maybe privacy no longer is necessary, let the parents and the school have time to work out a plan of action. It’s only fair. Now, with the community understanding what the problem is, let’s hope that it helps with tolerance…Give the professionals time to fix this before starting to blame the people in China.

  • will

    Defending bully in any aspect is the reason of so many Children Suicides. Why not educate these kids about the ramifications rather than defending what they did? I’m so tired of our “not my fault” attitude in society.

  • Tyler Durden

    The Principal is a pathetic coward and bully himself and the Superintendent is a looser too. Failing to acknowledge that this is bullying so as to not have to deal with it shameful. The Principal appears young enough to himself be a product of a poor public school system and it shows in his response and demeanor.

  • Big Hugs

    Thank you, Harry Moyer, for responding! I have been waiting two days for someone to say something that I can clarify. I realize that my previous message was not perfectly clear, so I will elaborate. By stating a welfare nation, I think we agree that is accurate. However, the negative intonation about Welfare that you picked up on was NOT meant in reference to those who have earned their government check each month. Many of whom I am proud to support. By earning their check, I am not referring to those who are young enough and capable enough to work somewhere. By earning their check, I am not referring to those continue to produce hungry mouths that they cannot support. By earning their check, I am not referring to those who abuse the system.
    When I feel negative about Welfare, I am not thinking negatively about the children whose parents are in jail (not the child’s fault); I am not thinking negatively about those on Social Security that worked for it; I am not thinking negatively about children receiving SSI because they lost a parent; etc. I think you get the idea. I know that many conservatives behave in a manner that is not pleasing to everyone. Believe it or not, we are not all the same. Because I am a conservative Christian, I am kind. If I had all the time in the world, and if this was realistic, I would try to change the way those abusing the system think, but I can’t. And, unfortunately, that makes me feel negative about them. I have to remind myself that it is unfair and unkind to hold it against them – they are only human.
    As far as our different beliefs, that’s okay. I find comfort in God and Jesus Christ. As long as you are happy, who am I to tell you differently? Shocker – since, as a Christian, I should be beating you over the head with the bible, right? Funny thing, Christians aren’t all the same. I am going to pray for you, Harry. I am not saying that you are particularly bad and I need to pray for you. I pray for my friends daily and I will include you in my list today. I wish the best for you. Please don’t condemn me for honestly caring about you as a fellow human being.
    One small request, can you ask me to clarify next time? I am happy to explain myself, because I did think it through before I said it.

    • Nice thought

      bigHugs – you deserve a big hug. You sound like you are truly a grounded and kind person. Nice to hear someone being forgiving and tolerant after all of the hate that has been spewed here.

      • jackknife319

        See?? Now you’re getting it!! It hurts to be called names, and ridiculed for public display (in your case, you have attained a degree of international infamy, as people from the UK have chimed in as this piece was posted in the Daily Mail). It hurts to be decked in the face. Oh I forgot, he called him a nasty name. But then again, we don’t know the “whole story.” What’s that you say? We don’t know the details? Well then fill us in!! Tell us the extenuating circumstances that would endorse an over X-Boxed teenage punk to clock a vulnerable, mentally challenged boy in the face. The icing on the cake is the response of one parent in particular, the principal, and the school board. No doubt yours will be a textbook case on what not to do in university communications and public relations classes. You know, the tremendous blowback this issue has generated makes me believe that this has to have been karma. Congratulations.

      • Big Hugs

        Awe, shucks. You are very kind. I must admit, I am not always very grounded, most of the time I have one foot on the ground, if that. My friends can attest to that and my family may tell you that I am just plain nuts. Life is good. :)

  • GW

    Melcher-Dallas,
    Is this the “change” that was needed when you voted in Lepley, Mathes, and Alexander? Nice job. The school is so much better off.

  • mysttryst

    big hugs, I assume that when you talk about abusing the system you are also referring to the fat cat wall streeters that crashed our economy as well as the farmers that get farmers welfare and oil companies that also get welfare(subsudies). As well as the big corporations like Coke and Walmart that get corporate welfare. Am I right?

    • Big Hugs

      My, you have thought a lot more about that than I have time for. (Wife, mother of 3, part-time stay-at-home mom, part-time employee (because I want to) and big community volunteer – that’s as busy as I want to be). I was thinking smaller, sorry. Since we are addressing the community I live in and the people our community might be able to readily impact, I wasn’t worried about big corps. I know they have a big impact on my day to day, but they are easy for me to ignore. They don’t care what I have to say. The farmers who use subsidies are a lot like individuals who use subsidies (welfare). You have those that use it while trying as hard as they can to make a living and you have those who abuse it. I know some of both. The small family farmers who support our community are fighting to keep their farms going and to provide good, healthy produce, while not turning it into a hobby. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me! Big hug! Do you have anything in particular you would like to pray about for you?

    • Big Hugs

      Thank you for asking! Actually, I am very proud of Levi’s mother and stepfather. I know them personally and have had personal interactions with them, I believe three times since end of summer. The last time was right before this story broke and I hope to meet with them this weekend in regards to something outside of this situation. However, I will be there for them if they need a shoulder or a prayer. Do you know if they are receiving welfare? Because I don’t. Not my business and I won’t assume that because some people think they don’t take care of their dogs. I know that Dawn is working extremely hard to provide for the family. Her husband is currently unable to provide because of physical limitations that won’t let him work with his currents skills/training.
      There are too many, some who have been very vocal in these “conversations”, that I KNOW are on welfare and who certainly give the impression that they are abusing the system. I will not name them. If I am incorrect, no harm. If I am correct, they will know who they are. I hope that helps.

  • Nice thought

    Uh, Jackknife, not sure what your reply has to do with anything that Big Hugs or I said. And here you are, calling the boy who hit Levi an ‘over x-boxed teenage punk’ for hitting a ‘vulnerable, mentally challenged boy’. (love the way that even though they are probably the same age, one is a ‘teenage punk’ and the other is a ‘boy’) when YOU dont’ have all of the details or the whole story. If you read the posts, the boy who hit Levi tried to talk to him because he was being abusive to the other boy and his friends. Levi then tried to run over the other boy with his bicycle. The other boy stopped Levi, Levi called him a ‘Pu**y’, the other boy hit him. was it the best way to handle the situation? Nope. but, the other boy didn’t just walk up to levi and hit him the way everyone wants to make it sound. These are CHILDREN we are talking about. You are asking a lot to ask a child to just walk away when another child is throwing rocks at them, trying to run over them, calling them horribly vulgar names.

    Just assume for a moment that Levi wasn’t autistic. Let’s just assume that he did all of these same things to one of his classmates, just because that classmate happened to be in the same park that he was in that afternoon. Would you still be so outraged about Levi getting hit? Would you still expect the other child to just take it and walk away? Would Levi be considered a bully then? After you answer, keep in mind, we don’t know if anyone knew that Levi was autistic until the press got ahold of this. some people say yes, others say no.

    We don’t know the story. There is so much he said/she said in the blogs that unless you have been there the last 2 years (because it sounds like that is how long it has been going on), you don’t know the real story.

    • Very Concerned

      Some here have stated that we don’t know all of the facts. I’m afraid none of us will know all of them, because we weren’t involved.

      I’d like to help readers that haven’t taken the time to search through the thousands of comments to find statements from those who WERE involved.

      I’ll not post my own personal opinion; all I have done here is copy posts from people so others can form their own opinion.

      Quotes From:
      Bret Fenoglio – Levi Null’s older brother

      * “I contacted the principal himself”

      * “And I contacted the media”

      Quotes From:
      Dawn Blubaugh Simmons – Bret Fenoglio’s and Nevi Null’s mother

      * “I went to everyone for help and the news crew came to me let’s get info straight u don’t no me or my son u no what uve heard”

      * “the media was contact by someone who gave them my name and they fb my sister who contacted me”

      * “I DID TRY TO GET HELP ASK FOR HELP .dear Lord Jen for weeks we was in that office everyday you no that .”

      * “Ask Jen who told her to tell the principal what Levi done to her son (Jamie’s nephew) my husband we want Levi to learn we want him to know right from wrong but slot of the same kids saying he hit them have bullied him he is defending himself he doesn’t understand his body is 13 his mind isn’t so he reacts off what’s happened in the past with ppl .”

      * “no one came to me about the bat incident or it would have been taken care of”

      * “My son isn’t allowed up town because it causes . Problems but any parent who has come to me with any problems with Levi I have punished and grounded him for his actions never did I say he was perfect I said it needed to stop”

      * “if you would come to me as u claim others to do this so called situation would have been taken care of sir I’m not saying my son is innocent but how am I to teach him wrong and right If others treat him as they do Levi is Not allowed uptown due to kids problems”

      * “2nd I never said to anyone my son was innocent however he is wired differently and he don’t work and understand the was most kids do 3rd kids were paying him to do things and I have a letter from the principal proving that my son has been suspended and in trouble many times for mistakes he makes”

      * “My son has had help mama since he was 7yrs old once again I DIDN’T CALL the news he has a phycitrist and a counsellor that he sees regularly he is punished more than obviously any of u know and he takes meds on a regular basic thank you as far as this bat incident unroll today on her NO ONE HAS EVER SAID ANYTHING TO ME ABOUT THAT .”

      * “As far as the bus barn and house the were taken care by police and courts”

      * “as far as bullets were empty shell casings ha enough from his dad’s home that he hid in his bag when he shown the kid the school took them he was suspended for 2 days and he was grounded at home”

      Residents & Student Accusations:

      * “I can recall about 5 times he hit me and my friends. At a football game in melcher he hit me in the balls. Then he tried to hit **** or **** with a stick.

      * “Not only does this child bully others at school but he does it after school when he roams around the town, playground etc!!! without parental supervision!”

      * “The kid calls people names says he’s going to kill people and even threatened to me that he would kill my mom with a sniper rifle.”

      * “I have been bullied multiple times by Levi. He has told me and many other people to go kill themselves. This makes me so mad. You cannot say we are a bad school because the school does do things about it.”

      * “he brought bullets to school and threatened to shoot other students”

      * “He also throws rocks at a persons truck for that person telling him to stop throwing rocks at little girls.”

      * “chasing alittle girl home from school with a bat”

      * “breaking into the bus barn”

      * “going through peoples trash”

      * “trashing stuff in peoples yards”

      * “stealing stuff from peoples yards”

      * “breaking into abandon houses”

      * “hitting kids on the school bus for no reason”

      * “calling others racial names”

      * “This child torments other kids at school, after school and on weekends, parents and kids are getting frustrated by it.”

      Residents & Student Statements:

      * “Well let’s see here.. was there a teacher in the room? NO! Was a school computer used? NO! You can’t even record videos on them! Were you there to see it? NO! Now was I there,YES! Did I say to stop? YES! Did I tell them to take it down? YES! Was it taken down? YES! Sorry to tell you, but if you are gonna run your mouth you need to know the entire story, noot just what channel 13 is saying!

      * “The teacher in the vidoe was a substiture teacher, which does not excuse if she saw it, but as you can see in the vidoe she had her back to the class and didn’t, she can’t say she did if in fact she did not.”

      * “The school did do something about this, the kids involved were disciplined, the video was taken down as soon as it was reported and the Junior High was given training on Friday about what it is like to have autisim.”

      * “This situation was handled, and from what I hear, students were punished according to district and state laws. This was never mentioned by Channel 13.”

      * “He has done so many rude and nasty things to people and we have all taken it in tolerance. I’m not surprised that someone just got tired of it. I remember for about 2 years kids did nothing to him WHILE HE STILL BULLIED THEM!! Until kids just got tired of it and bullied back. I myself have never bullied somebody, but I’ve broken up many things he has started just to turn around and hear him bullying another kid and that kid retaliating”

      * “Too many instances to mention about this kid being the aggressor. The school can’t discipline him because ‘he’s special’. He’s special is only thrown out when he does wrong. It’s called working the system. This ‘poor kid’ is a danger to any student in that school system. Pretty sure my child would be sent away if he brought bullets to school and threatened to kill other students and their families.”

      * “Until you know the back story of the years of abuse this child has dished out, you shouldn’t offer up sympathy unless it’s also to the kids that have had to deal with him not being punished for his own actions.”

      * “Jamie Harrison I am proud of you for wanting your nephew to stand up for him self. I was personally in the park that day that your nephew hit levi for calling him a P***Y. Levi was taunting all the kids up in the park that day. He call another kid a f****n N**ger, your nephew and a friend of his wanted to talk to levi about calling others names, and try to tell him to stop, and levi was on his bike and tryed to run your nephew over with his bike and your nephew picked up the bike tire and moved it so it wouldnt hit him and levi said, “oh is that the way its gunna be you P***Y. ”

      * “This incident didn’t happen at school with my nephew and he was punished.”

      * “I will admit to you though that I was going off of what the news reported and did not know until I went and scrolled through the hundreds of post to find your original one stating that he had hit your nephew the week before, so for that I apologize.”

      * “It’s shameful, irresponsible, slanted journalism. I hear bashing of teachers, yet no teacher has been even interviewed. There is an anti-bullying committee in Melcher-Dallas who had a meeting during Aaron’s second visit to town…yet none of them were interviewed or if they were, received no air time.”

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      Thank you for saying, “We don’t know the story.” May I also add that we do not know all of the facts from WHO’s reporting.

      • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

        As an Iowan from birth, I have always had great faith in WHO Radio/TV news and reporters. I grew up listening to the news first on Radio and at age 10 began seeing and hearing news on TV. I am very disappointed in the current reporting from what I believed to be a trusted source.

        WHO… GO GET THE FACTS! Iowans are NOT interested in SLANTED STORIES.

        To the Governor of Iowa.. The Republican Party is in deep trouble with the public as it is. An election isn’t so far away that your flimsy excuses to NOT become involved will be forgotten.

  • Shane

    Does anyone else who has read these comments come to the conclusion that “MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca”, “nice thought”, “Proud Alumnus of the Melcher Dallas School System”, “Very Concerned” and “Big Hugs” are all the same person having a conversation with themselves. I’d recommend an evaluation to check for multiple personality disorder.

    • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

      Shane, I assure you there is only one of ME… I don’t use other identities & I have no idea who these other people are or if they are the same person, but I am not part of some multiple personality playing games on his thread. I’m easy enough to find and if you have the skills/ability you should be able to satisfy your curiosity about who and what I am about.
      I was born and grew up in south central Iowa where I still live.

    • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

      As the “Proud Alumnus,” I can tell you that I have no relationship (that I know of) to the other responders. I have no idea who the other responders are; but I am so glad that it seems more of the story is coming out. Hopefully, the whole truth will be reported accurately (good or bad). I hope all of you took the time to read “Very Concerned”‘s cut and pasting of some of the comments from those involved to get more of the story, including facts that were not reported or followed up on by WHO-TV (except in the mother’s admissions during her interview). All of the truth needs to be assembled, dissected, and acted on–positively by those in positions of authority–to help this child!

    • Big Hugs

      Shane, I can assure you that though I may be half-way intelligent, I wouldn’t be able keep it all straight! I am a conservative and Mary Cannon is scolding the republicans. Nice Thought and I could be good friends, mostly because he/she agrees with me. (That was meant to be a joke). I am proud of Proud Alumnus for feeling the roots of HOME and sharing her truth with us. Very concerned, sorry dear, I don’t have much to form an opinion on. I am assuming you mean well. Praying for all of them, and you, Shane. This is about as funny as someone thinking I am Angie Lepley. She is going to be so mad!

      • Very Concerned

        Of course I meant well. I did not state any of my personal feelings. “I don’t have much to form an opinion on” you state? Well, that’s unfortunate for all of us, because what I posted is all that is found online about this situation. Not my fault.

        The suspicion that you were Angie Lepley was posted a day ago on a different page. I also saw that Angie Lepley posted on another thread as AL. My name is easily found, as I copied my post onto FB, and no I have no interest in meeting you at the Bar.

      • Very Concerned

        You, AL, and Angie Lepley are the only 3 accounts that have spoken well about Bob Lepley (from thousands of comments). So if you’re not her I believe you are employed by the MD or another school district.

      • Big Hugs

        Very Concerned, I meant no disrespect. I was trying to ensure I addressed everyone that “Shane” mentioned. I have tried to make it clear that I am kind most of the time. I am saddened that you thought I was attacking you. I am sincerely sorry that you misunderstood.

  • nice thoughts

    not sure what you mean by that Shane, but, i can assure you I don’t know who any of those other people are so…I am only nice thought. Does it bother you that more than one person expressed a similar opinion?

  • Amy

    Obviously this school does not have or believe in the No Tolerancy Rule! I would never send my kids to this school especially after this issue!

  • Very Concerned

    I am who I am, a resident who raised a child in this system, and who has grandchildren in this system. I don’t know who these other commenters are…..but I can say that from reading so many other sites there are a few people who have used multiple accounts.

    • Big Hugs

      Oooh…I love a good mystery! I wonder who they could be. (All said while giggling like a school girl and stomping my feet with joy.) :)

  • Big Hugs

    What a to-do it would be if we all showed up at the Other Side tonight. Would anyone have the guts to ask, or would we all just stare at each other suspiciously?! Nice Thought, that’s the kind of partying we could do! What if I am the only one to show up? Would anyone believe me?!

  • hose

    monkey see monkey do. The kids bully Levi and he thinks it cool because they do it to him. so in turn he bully’s them and he gets punched in the mouth. ask any of the kids that have bullyed Levi and i bet everyone of them say Levi started it.

  • Big Hugs

    Can someone point out where I defended Bob Lepley as something other than a uman being? His wife detests me. I suppose there will be lashing out at me for her disliking me so strongly. I don’t see how I will find your comments on FB, Very Concerned. I don’t know you. You described yourself as many could describe themselves in MD. God bless you.

    • Big Hugs

      No worries.
      I do remember that now. Bob got credit because he was willing to say he supported Mr. Ehn. I believe the bullying starts with students and parents, and ends with the administration. The in between and prevention of bullying needs to be worked on everywhere, not just MD. I see Megan is trying to call you out by providing your name. I will continue to ignore her.

      • Very Concerned

        Smmmhhh. Yes my name is Deb :) Megan has done a lot of damage to herself through sad and disturbing situation, jumping onto it and using it as a soap-box for her problems. No worries here :)

    • Megan Turner

      Deb (very concerned), I will apologize if you feel I’m being a bully as I stated to you on the who facebook also (you must be everywhere too?). I put a link to a youtube video out on this website and on WHO facebook website which was a public youtube video so if that is what you think being a bully is very sorry you feel that way. I guess a bully to me is someone that likes to repeatedly call me a “media whore” but you and others may feel different about that and I will respect your opinion.

      • MD res who is sick of all this nonsense

        yes, you are doing a wonderful job representing the town you live in. Get a life lady. You are just making this whole situaton worse by posting all your nonsense. Who is the bully now? shut your pie hole for awhile dumb dumb, you are being pathetc. The Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree I see. I saw mommy yesterday, and she was all smiles, she doesn’t give a shit all this is going on, she is waiting for a big handout.

      • Linda

        Megan, STOP!! take levi to a movie today and spend some quality time with him instead of sitting in front of the computer and bashing and bullying people all day. Don’t let momma drive, its illegal!

  • ***

    Megan, are you a media whore, pot stirror, gossip???????? What is your deal……you seem to be on all of these blogs……..doing a wonderful job of representing the town you live in. Keep up the good work!

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    I continue to think about this situation and my heart hurts for my hometown (which of course includes Levi and his family). I think I can see what has happened, just like it happens in many “victim” situations. I think the people in the town have felt victim to this young man’s actions (although there may be many medical reasons for his actions). There were circumstances where students acted inappropriately; really inappropriately, and Levi fell victim under the “Intolerance and Bigotry” category, as decided by school officials. The students were punished, as they should have been. I don’t know if the entire world understands that there was punishment under “Intolerance and Bigotry” with that label. For someone to post pictures of someone on-line with the intent of making fun of them, no matter who the person is, definitely is intolerant and acting as a bigot. So, would the punishment be different if these actions would have been categorized as “Bullying?” I don’t know, but would love to learn. This whole Bullying story could just be semantics. Unfortunately, WHO-TV jumped on this story and has not made the punishment circumstances clear in all of their stories and the whole world assumes that this school district did not think what these students did was worth punishing. Personally, I think the label of being intolerant and a bigot is just as bad as bullying. Everyone needs to understand that these students were punished, whatever label was associated with their actions. WHO-TV, clear up your story so that the world understands that these students were punished under Intolerance and Bigotry instead of what your reporting has inferred in some of your stories. Bad actions committed; punishment dished out. What happened after the irresponsible reporting and inference caused a public outcry to this small town? The town felt victimized because people were judging them harshly and calling them all kinds of nasty names without all of the facts. What do victims do in this instance? They lash out. During this “lash out,” many inappropriate comments were made, which only fueled the fire. Now that the shock is over of your hometown being dissed, I am sure people will stop and think before they write. Intolerance and Bigotry and Bullying are wrong, as the majority of you know. Your comments were construed by the public that this town accepts this. Of course, having grown up there, I know the truth that the heart of this town does not condone this behavior. A challenge to the town: continue your trek to stop future bullying. I have read that an anti-bullying committee was formed! Good for you. Take that and run with it to help Levi! Show the world that you see the problems and that you are better place because of this story due to the actions you have already taken and will continue. Prove the world wrong (which it obviously is-I know this town). And, for the people that continue to post trash talk to certain individuals, please cease. I have gathered through the posts (not sure if they are true; but people tend to believe the written word) that Levi’s mother is on welfare, doesn’t supervise her child, doesn’t have a driver’s license, likes to blame and potentially likes to sue, keeps her yard dirty, husband doesn’t work, etc. STOP posting this information. (Sorry, I had to list those things to make my point). Take the high road! And, finally, there is a reason that town motto is “Saint Pride.” The pride of the people that have been raised in this town; about their town is AWESOME. Just because the media prepared a slanted story showcasing this town for a story, doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to show the world that awesome people have been raised in this community and still are being raised there! Saint Pride! I love my hometown and the people it in and I hope my editorial comments don’t offend the innocent.

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    Oh, I forgot. If I may, could I make a suggestion to the anti-bullying team that is already in place? Many exceptional Educators and Administrators and professional people trained in problem-solving have grown up in this community (of course, some are still at Melcher-Dallas). Why not ask these people that may not live in MD, but still have an interest in making this situation right, to be on a committee? Who says just the townspeople need to shoulder this situation?

  • Jack Turner

    I just have one question for all commenters. Why hide behind an alias and not put your name with your convictions? I see a lot of cyber bullying going on in these forums and it shows the wide spread issue going on in this town. I could bring up names and peoples past, but I will not because I choose to try to help better the problem rather than make it worse.

    We have an issue and the word needs to be spread that’s what social media and forums are all about. So I suggest rather than try to tear others down and hide behind fake names band together come forth for a better cause and try to help better our schools and community.

    • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

      I am not FROM Melcher/Dallas. The only connection I have to the community is that my Great Granddog, Dallas, was born there. I have concern for the community in this issue only in that I hate seeing adults act like children and pretend the problem isn’t theirs, pointing fingers at others, and name calling even worse than the children involved. I am NOT hidden by a fake name. Near as I can tell the Mother of the spc needs child, NEEDS some help here. The school system apparently has dropped the ball, the state and the governor I was once proud of is ignoring the situation as IF he has MORE IMPORTANT issues to deal with. What the HELL…. WHAT is more important than OUR CHILDREN?
      I read the comments as they are posted and feel more and more angry as time goes on. It is far past time to stop with the stupidity and DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. I am sick to death of reading about PUNISHMENTS being handed out to these kids.
      EDUCATE … EDUCATE … EDUCATE …
      Punishment is NOT the answer… Talk about bullying!!!!

    • NT Mom

      Jack, part of the reason I don’t put my name out there….my child was attacked by an ASD child. If I put my name out there, many people will know who that child was. My child has worked very hard to put the attack behind her, including switching schools.
      It is not fair to the ASD child to bring their identity back into the limelight either.

  • Utterly amazed.

    I have been reading all of the blogs for the multiple stories on WHO regarding this situation. I have also read a lot of the comments after it was, unfortunately, picked up on Yahoo and YouTube.

    There is a lot of heartbreak out there. Lots of people who have been hurt and wronged. Lots of people who grew up picked on and abused, for LOTS of different reasons.

    There also seems to be an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality out there big time!

    It is horrid when ANY child is picked on.

    I agree that people need to be better educated, and understanding, regarding people with disabilities, regardless of what they are.

    One thing I have seen that really disturbs me though. The ASD/Aspie/Asper/Autistic community wants tolerance for themselves and their children. That is certainly a reasonable request.
    The disturbing part is that these very same people who are demanding tolerance, think nothing of tossing out unkind generalizations about the ‘NT’ community. It seems the NT community cornered the market on bullying. After all, if an ASD hits someone, or destroys something, either it isn’t their fault and should be ignored, or, the NT person is only ‘CLAIMING’ that it happened, implying they are lying because the ASD won’t speak up to defend themselves.
    I’ve seen several comments about how ASD are so much more intelligent then NT’s. Wow, there’s no generalization there. ‘Your NT child will eventually end up working for my ASD child’. But until then, your NT child needs to understand exactly how to deal with my ASD child who doesn’t know how to act in social situations.

    Apparently ASD’s are almost never violent. So, if that happens, it is either an NT person’s fault, or a lie. NT’s on the other hand, are apparently regularly violent.

    I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hate responses to this. There seems to be no shortage of that to go around. After all, I’m picking on the disabled. But, ya know what, it’s wrong to pick on anyone. So, ASD’s, if you want your tolerance so badly, how about if you start trying to show some too?

    I am sending my prayers out to everyone in Melcher Dallas on both sides of this very unfortunate story. I hope they can all come to an understanding and put this entire situation behind them one and for all.

  • Very Concerned

    A couple of days ago I posted a listing of quotes from students and residents about this situation. That post does not seem to be enlightening those that continue to base their opinions from the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    WHO Channel 13 did not investigate, follow-up, or report on many facts, leaving residents and students vulnerable to the National unmerciful lashing they’ve received.

    I’ve also been accused of posting under many different aliases on this WHO website. I have not.

    There are many statements WHO Channel 13 did not deem necessary to report or follow up on.

    The video put online was showing Levi picking his nose in the lunch room.
    *** this was not stated in the WHO Channel 13 report.

    The student who put the video online was punished according to school policy and by his parents.
    *** this was not stated in the follow-up report by WHO Channel 13.

    The Junior High students received training on (I assume 11-15) according to ‘Karen’ on 11-19: “the Junior High was given training on Friday about what it is like to have autisim.”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    The student who cold-cocked (corrected term of his Aunt’s) Levi was punished. An eye witness to this ‘cold-cocking’ has stated “Levi was taunting all the kids up in the park that day. He call another kid a f****n N**ger, your nephew and a friend of his wanted to talk to levi about calling others names, and try to tell him to stop, and levi was on his bike and tryed to run your nephew over with his bike and your nephew picked up the bike tire and moved it so it wouldnt hit him and levi said, “oh is that the way its gunna be you P***Y.”
    ***The Aunt’s statement was not fully reported by WHO Channel 13.

    Evidently, the incidents between these 2 students was ongoing, because Dawn Simmons (Levi’s Mother) states “Ask Jen (the nephew’s Mother) who told her to tell the principal what Levi done to her son”.

    Dawn Simmons (Levi’s Mother) also stated “for weeks we was in that office everyday” – (referring to the principal’s office); and “I have a letter from the principal proving that my son has been suspended and in trouble many times for mistakes he makes”

    Levi Null has brought bullets to school and threatened to shoot other students. Dawn Simmons states “as far as bullets were empty shell casings ha enough from his dad’s home that he hid in his bag when he shown the kid the school took them he was suspended for 2 days and he was grounded at home”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    There are multiple instances over approximately 2 years history of children being threatened, hit, bullied, chased, and rock throwing BY LEVI in various places of the town.
    ***which shows me that Levi is unsupervised and does not have an adult with him, including instances happening during the evening.

    A MD student has stated “He has told me and many other people to go kill themselves.”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Another MD student has stated “says he’s going to kill people and even threatened to me that he wold kill my mom with a sniper rifle.”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Levi’s Mother refers to some of these instances by stating “My son isn’t allowed up town because it causes . Problems”
    *** but the date is unknown when she decided to not allow him to go ‘up town’, or whether Levi is adhering to that rule.

    Levi Null has had a history of being in the judicial courts, the amount of times is unclear, but his mother has stated there was 2 different properties involved. Dawn Simmons states “the bus barn and house the were taken care by police and courts”
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Several phone calls during this summer have been made to the police for an out of control teen.
    ***this was not included in any of the WHO Channel 13 reports.

    Dawn Simmons states that her son:
    “has a phycitrist and a counsellor that he sees regularly”
    “takes meds on a regular basic”
    “has help mama since he was 7yrs old”

    Yes, the town of MD has a committee to address bullying. According to ‘Be Positive': “There is an anti-bullying committee in Melcher-Dallas who had a meeting during Aaron’s (WHO Channel 13 Reporter) second visit to town”
    ***This was not mentioned in the follow-up WHO Channel 13 report.

    The latest post online by Dawn Blubaugh Simmons is: “I wanna give a huge shout out to the Melcher-Dallas students who have been amazing this week the kids have not bullied and many have apologized and they have really stepped up to show this community how we should stick together and make awareness to this and be adults about it. WAY TO GO -November 20 at 11:34am
    *** This statement was not mentioned in the follow-up reported by WHO Channel 13.

    Clearly multiple times of being suspended from school by the school – and grounded by his Mother – is not helping or teaching Levi Null.

    Why haven’t his parents accepted that ‘mainstreaming’ Levi in a school system is a failure – and find a better teaching environment for Levi?

    • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

      Isn’t it the responsibility of the school district to provide alternative educational opportunities to students who have special needs? Punishment is not an effective tool when dealing with many children.
      I don’t understand why our school systems continue to use punishments when the job of the school is to educate. Seems like the system was a little late in offering education/training to students on how to deal with special needs people. It sure seems like the Mother of this child NEEDS some help in dealing with her son and his condition. So sad that the needs of this family seem to be being ignored by the system.

      • Very Concerned

        I don’t know who’s responsibility it is to provide an alternative education for those that cannot be ‘mainstreamed’.

        I believe there’s a few issues from the cut of state/government programs and funds.

        There is an issue with privacy. I don’t think that students during school time can be informed or taught about another students ‘special needs’ without a parental consent.

        As you can see from my above post, that teaching of the Junior High students happened 3 days before the WHO Channel 13 report.

        It has not been stated anywhere I can find if this is the first time those students have been educated about Levi’s conditions, but you can also see above that problems with Levi have occurred for approximately the last 2 years.

        As for the numerous statements from other students of Levi’s aggressiveness, I went through my notes and found an admission from his Mother stating:

        “all these kids saying Levi bullied them I’m not saying he didn’t there is Never an excuse for anyone hitting another student period .”

        In 4 other statements, Levi’s mother has commented:

        “never did I say he was perfect”

        “I’m not saying my son is innocent”

        “I never said to anyone my son was innocent”

        “I’m NOT saying he is innocent”

      • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

        I know that school districts transport students from their own district to locations where special needs students attend classes. My children’s father is a driver of such a transport vehicle. Usually a car or van owned by the district and is marked as a school bus. I have no idea how the students qualify, if the parents have to ask for this or if the school evaluates students and recommends special classes.

        It really seems like the Mother of this child has her hands full and NEEDS some help with finding the right learning program for her son. In fact it sounds like she needs some support and education herself in ways to deal with her son. Punishment obviously is not an acceptable means of teaching him proper behaviors. I hope there is someone in the community willing to befriend and assist her.

  • cowboysfan

    ITS CALL PARENTING SCHOOL. I don’t know, does MD transport students with special needs elsewhere? If so, for heaven sake why is this child not being transported to a place, where its their specialty in supplying this child with a good education and skills in dealing with his disability. I’ve heard the mother doesn’t want to send him to another school, well Mom its not about You, its about Levi.

    • Very Concerned

      @Cowboys Fan,

      Yes, Dawn Simmons has stated her thoughts about sending Levi in a different school

      November 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm
      “I’m NOT saying he is innocent I’m saying there is a lot going on and it needs to stop and sending my son to a different school won’t change what is going on”

      My thoughts are: of course it won’t change things for Levi – unless he receives the proper schooling better tailored to his Asperger’s and ADHD.

  • Very Concerned

    Exactly! What is this mother going to do when Levi grows larger and stronger and attacks her?

    I don’t know the basis for the calls to the police this summer, and I think it may be a privacy issue because Levi is a juvenile, but if the home is calling the police for an out of control teen, it looks to me as if the parents are having troubles controlling him.

    I believe this whole issue comes down to the parents either not being able to – or not wanting to – have Levi in a different learning environment.

  • Very Concerned

    AND – Levi managed to get bullets from his blood father’s home (according to his mother’s statement) – which shows that his blood father could have a home with guns.

    Levi has threatened many times to shoot people. I’d say that the authorities should get involved and check ALL of Levi’s family members to make sure that Levi never has access to a gun.

  • Very Concerned

    There are a few discrepancies that concern me:
    (besides the many from WHO Channel 13)
    ————————————————————————————

    November 18 at 9:41 pm
    http://whotv.com/2013/11/18/teen-bullied-students-post-video-online/
    Principal Josh Ehn says the students who made the video have been disciplined and the video was destroyed

    November 19 at 10:31 pm
    http://whotv.com/2013/11/19/teen-bullied-neighbors-say-bullying-justified/
    The teen who posted the video was disciplined under the school`s intolerance and bigotry rules, but not for bullying.

    November 20 at 1:37pm
    Dawn Simmons:
    I have a email from Mr.ehn stating that the video doesn’t fall in the statute of bullying so how is that taken care of please no ur facts before stating them.No student have been punished nor will be published for this video so how is that handeled.

    ————————————————————————————–

    November 19 at 10:31 pm
    http://whotv.com/2013/11/19/teen-bullied-neighbors-say-bullying-justified/
    Levi’s mother says since she tried to stop the bullying, she has become the victim of it. “Horrible,” says Dawn Simmons. “Exhausting. Lots of Facebook messages, posts, families fighting battles, arguments over the community, the school, the staff – it’s been a very frustrating day for all of us.”

    November 19 at 10:31 pm
    http://whotv.com/2013/11/19/teen-bullied-neighbors-say-bullying-justified/
    Levi’s mother tells us two students have apologized to Levi for bullying him saying they didn’t realize how their actions affected Levi.

    November 21 at 9:46 pm and updated at 10:20pm
    http://whotv.com/2013/11/21/bullying-controversy-school-worries-aclu/
    Levi and his mother both say the teen was afraid to go back to school after the video was posted. “The fact that his mother is afraid to send him to school, this has got to be having an effect on his education,” ACLU Legal Director Randall Wilson says.

    November 20 at 11:34am
    Dawn Simmons:
    “I wanna give a huge shout out to the Melcher-Dallas students who have been amazing this week the kids have not bullied and many have apologized and they have really stepped up to show this community how we should stick together and make awareness to this and be adults about it. WAY TO GO”

    • Very Concerned

      Well it seems that the comment below is ‘awaiting moderation’, probably because I posted the links to the pages here on WHO. Here it is without the links.

      There are a few discrepancies that concern me:
      (besides the many from WHO Channel 13)
      ————————————————————————————

      November 18 at 9:41 pm
      WHO – teen-bullied-students-post-video-online
      Principal Josh Ehn says the students who made the video have been disciplined and the video was destroyed

      November 19 at 10:31 pm
      WHO – teen-bullied-neighbors-say-bullying-justified
      The teen who posted the video was disciplined under the school`s intolerance and bigotry rules, but not for bullying.

      November 20 at 1:37pm
      Dawn Simmons:
      I have a email from Mr.ehn stating that the video doesn’t fall in the statute of bullying so how is that taken care of please no ur facts before stating them.No student have been punished nor will be published for this video so how is that handeled.

      ————————————————————————————–

      November 19 at 10:31 pm
      WHO – teen-bullied-neighbors-say-bullying-justified
      Levi’s mother says since she tried to stop the bullying, she has become the victim of it. “Horrible,” says Dawn Simmons. “Exhausting. Lots of Facebook messages, posts, families fighting battles, arguments over the community, the school, the staff – it’s been a very frustrating day for all of us.”

      November 19 at 10:31 pm
      WHO – teen-bullied-neighbors-say-bullying-justified
      Levi’s mother tells us two students have apologized to Levi for bullying him saying they didn’t realize how their actions affected Levi.

      November 21 at 9:46 pm and updated at 10:20pm
      WHO – bullying-controversy-school-worries-aclu
      Levi and his mother both say the teen was afraid to go back to school after the video was posted. “The fact that his mother is afraid to send him to school, this has got to be having an effect on his education,” ACLU Legal Director Randall Wilson says.

      November 20 at 11:34am
      Dawn Simmons:
      “I wanna give a huge shout out to the Melcher-Dallas students who have been amazing this week the kids have not bullied and many have apologized and they have really stepped up to show this community how we should stick together and make awareness to this and be adults about it. WAY TO GO”

  • Proud Alumnus of the Melcher-Dallas School System

    I have thought all day how to help this child. I wish I knew this mother so that I could call her and say, “What does Levi like?” What could I do to make him happy? Does he like clothes that would make him more confident? Is it electronics that he is wanting? What is it that bothers him the most? If someone could give him something, what would he loves to make him feel whole? We need to shower this child with love (not necessary with gifts). How do we do this? Who in our town can do to fill in the blanks on what he needs? I wish I knew his mother so that she would allow me to pick him up and take him on a shopping spree (a small one). He needs some positive attention right now. Can we help this child? Is there someone in the town that could appoint themselves, because they care, to tell us what he needs and want he wants? One-on-one time with people that care? There is a reason why this happened. God pointed us in the direction to help this young man. Stop making comments on why this happened. There was a time for that, but it is over. It might have been important for a while, but now, it doesn’t matter. What can we do to help this young man? This is why God put us on earth. Is anyone willing, in our wonderful little town, to step up and say, “I am the contact?” Or, that, “I am the person that his mother agreed to be in communication to help him?” I love his little smile and his actions playing with his dog. Who will accept the challenge to be the person that say, “I will find out what he needs? I will inform the community?” I know in my heart that there will be a person that can help us help this young man.

      • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

        “The Family should be doing that.” ?????
        Excuse me… Who are you to decide WHOM should be doing WHAT?

        Society has become a selfish greedy people who THINK no one deserves help from anyone else.
        The person who is saying he/she wishes they could help, and wonders what the child’s needs are, is doing the RIGHT and Christian thing…
        Maybe the whole family needs some kind of help. Not every child with a disease, disorder, special need, etc. is born into a family who has means and education to deal with the issues of that child.
        WHY not step forward and help this family?
        Go on back to your TV and watch some more football.

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