From the New York Times (requires registration), the story of Billy Wolfe, a kid from Fayetteville who — for reasons not quite clear — has long been a favorite target of his school’s thugs, bullies, no-necks and low-foreheads. This month, Wolfe and his parents sued one of the bullies “and other John Does” and are considering a lawsuit against Fayetteville School District to force administrators to stop the abuse…

… At Woodland Junior High School, some boys in a wood shop class goaded a bigger boy into believing that Billy had been talking trash about his mother. Billy, busy building a miniature house, didn’t see it coming: the boy hit him so hard in the left cheek that he briefly lost consciousness. Ms. Wolfe remembers the family dentist sewing up the inside of Billy’s cheek, and a school official refusing to call the police, saying it looked like Billy got what he deserved. Most of all, she remembers the sight of her son. “He kept spitting blood out,” she says, the memory strong enough still to break her voice…

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UPDATE: The Fayetteville School District has issued a statement in response to the New York Times article about a recent lawsuit filed by bullying victim Billy Wolfe. It’s strictly a kill-the-messenger type deal, accusing NYT reporter Dan Barry of ignoring their “long-standing policy of no tolerance for any type of harassment, including bullying.” Thereby, the statement says, Barry succeeded in “casting our school in a very bad and undeserved light.”

There’s a very simple way to keep your school’s dirty laundry out of the national living room: rein in the thugs, hold your staff accountable for the safety of every student, and take the steps required to make sure you don’t end up with “Lord of the Flies” in your hallways.  High flown rhetoric and good intentions don’t do much to stop a fist, or — God forbid — a bullet.

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Full press release on the jump:

David Koon