When will the hate stop???
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It was during the first week of March when Julie Moss’s seventh grader at Freeland Middle School was accused of making a barking sound at another student. Moss says her son was just joking with a friend.
FREELAND, Mich. (WJRT) - In January, a Midland school board meeting got international attention, when there was a rumor that litter boxes were in schools for students who identify as furries.
That rumor wasn’t true. Now in Freeland, a student was suspended last month for one day. The reason: barking and harassing a student.
The mother of the teen who was suspended is not happy about the discipline.
“My concerns are, where do we draw the line,” said Julie Moss.
Her seventh grader at Freeland Middle School was accused of making a barking sound at another student during the first week of March. Moss said her son was just joking with a friend.
“I don’t know that is was necessarily a bark. He kind of like said they puffed up their chest and then kind of (made a sound) as they are going through the hallway and they like laugh at each other and they are silly,” Moss said.
But a few days later, she was informed her son was being suspended.
“Now my child is going to get suspended because he barked at a kid and someone that was offended, went and told on him. When does it stop?” Moss said.
She received a letter informing her of the suspension, which was for barking/howling and harassing a student. Moss appealed the suspension and met with Freeland Community Schools Superintendent Matt Cairy.
“He is the one who told us there was a group of children who identify as furry kids,” Moss said.
Furries are described as a person who identifies with and enjoys dressing as an animal.
When asked whether students identified as furries at Freeland Middle School, Cairy issued the following statement: “The district will not tolerate harassment of our students.”
The school also sent an email to middle school parents, writing that some students were continually meowed or barked at to the point they no longer felt safe. The email asked parents to talk their students about bullying.
Moss said her own child has been bullied and doesn’t feel the district did enough to help her child.
“It seems like its a huge disruption in class or in the school to have these kids behaving this way. And it’s OK for them to behave this way together, you just can’t do it to them,” she said.