Parents plead with Lee County school district to change bullying policy

Posted at 1:01 AM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 01:01:43-04

Parents of two Cape Coral students whom were allegedly bullied asked the Lee County School district to review its bullying policy Tuesday.

The women claim their daughters were unfairly punished in two unrelated incidents involving male students. 

Terry Johns fought back tears as she held up a framed picture of her daughter to Lee County school board members Tuesday evening. 
"We have no idea what her future is going to be now with her medical [issues], said Terri Johns.
Johns told Fox 4 she was forced to take her daughter to the hospital after she was allegedly punched in the face by a male student while in class.
At Tuesday's school board meeting Johns pleaded with board members to review the school's Bullying and Harassment policy, which states the district does not tolerate any violence among student, staff and/or faculty. 
The Lee County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident involving Johns' 11th grade daughter. She told Fox 4 a male student punched her daughter in the face during class. However, Johns did not elaborate with any further details, saying she was advised not to discuss the matter until LCSO completed their investigation. 
Johns is hoping the school district will amend its student code of conduct to give victims of bullying more leeway when defending themselves against physical violence. Fox 4 obtained a photo of Johns' daughter with two black eyes, which Johns confirmed was taken the day of her daughter's altercation at school.

"There needs to be immediate changes to the zero policy code of conduct immediately. These children are being beat on and they're not allowed to defend themselves," said Johns. 
The Lee County School district would not comment on the matter, however Superintendent Greg Atkins stated zero tolerance policies isn't the best option when handling student disputes.
"Violence in schools is simply not tolerated by any party. I don't believe in zero tolerance" said Atkins.
Tiffany Carter-Major also addressed the school board in regards to her daughter being bullied during school hours.

Carter-Major told Fox 4 her daughter was reprimanded after a male student pushed her to the ground following an altercation over her daughter's cell phone. 

She claims the school only punished her daughter, and allowed the male student to continue with school and extra-curricular activities as usual. 

" [My daughter] has to go back to the school where the same boy who violated her - because he wasn't taught not to put his hands on other people's children - is at that school," said Tiffany Carter-Major. 
The women addressed the board on the very same night it approved changes to the district's bullying and harassment policy to include the specific anti-bullying programs authorized by the district in order to comply with Florida law.