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$1000 Reward for Info Regarding Harassment of a Gay Student

Brenda Ruiz and Genevieve Soto

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Recently, a tip-line has been set up to allowed Bullard students to report possible fights, vandalism, bullying, and drugs. A student may place an anonymous call at (599) 825-7418. Every student is heard with full confidentiality.

The tip-line was set up about a month ago, in response to a bullying incident involving a LGBTQ+ student. It’s intent is to prevent bullying and other social issues like the incident that happened to one of our openly students during a fire drill. The tip-line receives both in-calling and text messages. The confidential messages automatically roll over to the voice of school administrator.

On November 3rd, we spoke to our principal, Mr. Castillo, regarding the tip-line, that was co-initiated by Crime Stoppers.

“There is no condoning of bad behavior,” Mr. Castillo adamantly declared. He continues to say he will do whatever it takes to make sure that every student on campus feels safe.

Mr. Castillo also says he recognizes that we need a more inclusive student body where every student feels they can contribute to the Bullard family. He says we must be more open to including those who think like us. “Diversity is the key,” he explains. It’s all about growing into an objective and civil minded young adult. He thinks this adds to the ultimate high school experience.

In addition, Mr. Castillo is making sure that his teachers and staff are aware of the signs of bullying, especially when it comes to gender issues. Recently, a mandatory teacher training was held to sensitize Bullard teachers to be aware of the pitfalls of undetected bullying behavior.

Mr. Castillo says the tip-line is just a small part of his plan to bring about a safer environment on campus.

“This tip-line is important at Bullard because it gives kids a voice and it’s not intimidating,” he said. He also acknowledges that there are other social problems on campus such as racial prejudice. But, he is of the opinion, that it is not widespread.

At the time of publication, the tip-line was offering $1000 for information leading to the incident involving the gay student that was injured during the fire drill. Sources say it is being investigated as an alleged hate crime. Former Fresno County Supervisor, Henry Perea, started the effort with a donation of $750 reward that blossomed.

School officials take bullying very seriously because of the harm it can possibly do not only to the victim, but everyone who is connected to the victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latest statistics show that 20 percent of high school students that were targets of bullying, within the past year, admitted to bringing a weapon to school for protection.

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