Parents frustrated after school board meeting does not address student suicide

School Watch

Tonight the Pitt County School Board met for the first time since the death of 12-year-old Kayla Plotzke of Winterville.

Family and friends believe bullying, both in school and online, led Kayla to take her own life last week.

The tragedy is getting the attention of other parents and students in the east and leaving them wanting answers an action from the school board.

Tonight, many of those parents and students were discouraged to find out that the agenda did not mention Kayla Plotzke by name, or the issue of bullying.

Board members did offer condolences to Kayla’s family and her name was mentioned prior to the moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting.

A district spokesperson turned down our request for an on-camera interview and said board agendas are set well in advance and made public.

The spokesperson referred 9 On Your Side to a statement regarding bullying that was released by Pitt County Schools last week.

To read the statement, click here.

There is a public expression section during board meetings, but per a policy by the Pitt County School Board, if one wishes to speak during this section, a form must be filled out and submitted prior to the meeting.

After the meeting, a group of Pitt County parents shared stories with 9 On Your Side of their own children experiencing bullying in the district.

Most of these parents did not want to speak on camera, but here’s what one had to say.

“We want to know why they’re not doing more. Why they’re not addressing the bullies,” said Lauren Butler, a Pitt County parent. “[We want to know] what they’re going to do about it and what they’re doing currently to stop this. Because this has got to stop. It’s got to end.”

Parents are hoping for more answers, and action, in the future.

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