bullying

Dozens Rally Against Bullying at Wellesley High School After Violent Incident

Wellesley police say a 15-year-old was lured into the woods this summer by a group of six classmates and attacked by four of them -- two of whom have returned to school

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At a rally outside Wellesley High School, more than 100 people gathered to protest bullying, support a teenager who’s been victimized and demand accountability from school officials.

After teenagers accused of attacking a Wellesley High School student were allowed to return to school, about 150 people, including parents and community members, gathered outside the campus Wednesday morning.

"They attacked my son," Dylan Ade, a Wellesley dad, told those people gathered at the rally.

He, and many of the people demonstrating, said the principal and superintendent fell short in their handling of the bullying case.

"The adults, we're supposed to be the mature ones. [Principal] Jamie Chisum ... is supposed to be a mature adult and what did he do? He did nothing," Ade said.

"They just didn't seem to be motivated to do much," he elaborated in an interview.

Wellesley police say that 15-year-old Sean Ade was lured into the woods this summer by a group of six classmates and attacked by four of them.

Some of those students have faced felony charges.

"They kicked him they spit on him they punched him and they urinated on him," Sean's father said Wednesday.

Victims of bullying carry the effects of it into adulthood, and that can manifest as violent thoughts toward their aggressors. A psychologist says it's important to know where violent thoughts are coming from to intervene before than turns into violent actions.

Two of the students involved in the attack are now back in school, and one even has a class with Sean.

"The maximum in Massachusetts for a suspension is 90 days — one got 10 days, one got 30 days," Ade said.

Wellesley High School officials said in a statement that they take all allegations of bullying very seriously, as outlined in their bullying policy, and that, "Young people make mistakes; they should be allowed to learn from those mistakes. To that end, we strive to have a balance between appropriate consequences and a path forward to recover."

The Ade family would like to see more bullying education in Wellesley schools.

"To be urinated on has to be one of the most degrading things that can happen, and, you know, poor Sean. People have have seen Sean and he's one of the sweetest kids out there," Ade said.

A school committee meeting has been called on Friday to talk about bullying.

Read the full letter from Chisum and Superintendent David Lussier:

Dear Members of the Wellesley Public Schools Community:

All of us in the Wellesley Public Schools care deeply about the safety and education of our students.  We recognize there are ongoing community questions and concerns about a horrific bullying incident that occurred during the summer adjacent to school property in our district.  While we cannot comment specifically about that incident, we know that incidents of bullying hurt our entire Wellesley community.  We take any reported allegations of bullying very seriously and follow a specific process of investigation and action, as outlined in our Bullying Policy.  Beyond the due process that is required by state law, as educators, we also have a responsibility to care for and teach every student. It is a role we take to heart.  We work hard to prevent bullying by creating relationships within our schools so all students can feel supported and safe and have trusted adults they can turn to if needed.  We work as a team to provide support to victims after an incident and to create safety plans to help ensure that any bullying is not repeated.  This duty of care extends to all of our students, even when they make poor decisions. Young people make mistakes; they should be allowed to learn from those mistakes. To that end, we strive to have a balance between appropriate consequences and a path forward to recover.  This is the nature of public schools and we remain committed to doing everything we can to support the growth of the young people entrusted to our care.  

We ask everyone in our community to help and support us in these efforts.