Parents, school react to NW Iowa teen's suicide - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

ARCHIVE: Parents, school react to NW Iowa teen's suicide

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PAULLINA, Iowa (KTIV) -

Several other South O'Brien parents expressed concern about bullying in the district, saying school administration isn't doing enough to stop bullying.

They say it's not just happening in the high school.

In fact, one parent of a kindergartner said it's starting young, and she worries what her daughter will face by the time she's in high school.

These parents are urging district officials to be more proactive than reactive.

"Waking up yesterday morning and finding out that because a 14-year-old figured out who he was and people didn't like it, that they started bullying him, it really makes me afraid for my daughter because I've always taught her to be an individual and that she can be anything she wants to be an whoever she wants to be," said Nicole Bensley, parent of kindergartner.

"A policy's only as good as the paper that it's printed on. If you don't read it and take action on it, it's no use," said Toni Wulf, parent of 7th grader.

South O'Brien's superintendent says the district is tackling the bullying issue head-on.

Last month, they held a cyber-bullying assembly, the second such assembly this school year.

The Sheriff's department says they are investigating what lead up to the teen's death and haven't made any conclusions.

Superintendent Dan Moore says if bullying was the cause, those actions will not be tolerated.

"This is a smaller school, and it's a family. It's a darn good school, with great staff and great students, and we need to address if we have issues. We don't ignore any issues. We address them all to the best we can," said Dan Moore, Superintendent.

Monday, counselors from South O'Brien and neighboring districts were on hand for students.

They'll be back Tuesday.

Moore says helping the students cope is their main goal.

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