State Senators have reacted to a report of the beating of an autistic boy at a Kansas City-area middle school with a threat to cut funding when schools don’t prevent such incidents.
A 12-year-old boy spent several days in the hospital and suffered a fractured jaw and skull and damaged inner ear after the attack at the Liberty Middle School. His family says it had warned school officials that the attacker had bullied his older brother and says those warnings went unheeded.
“The grandfather, according to the news reports, sent a certified letter weeks ahead of time. Certified, which means that he knew that something was going to happen and he knew that unfortunately when it happened, he was going to have to prove that he tried to warn them,” said Silvey.
Talking with Silvey, whose district includes Liberty, and other senators in the state Senate chamber, Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) said it sounds as though Liberty school officials failed in their jobs.
“I don’t know what has to happen for some of these folks to start paying attention, but I think part of the strategy might be, you know what? All the dollars that you claim that you … some of that might be at risk if you don’t do your job,” said Schmitt.
He spoke with the Senate Budget Committee Chairman, Kurt Schafer (R-Columbia) about keeping the Liberty story in mind during the budget process that will unfold in the next couple of months.
“For us to begin to think of ways to have carrots and sticks,” said Schmitt, “when it comes to people not doing their job who get millions of dollars from the state every year.”
Schmitt says he will again handle legislation to require schools to have an anti-bullying policy. Such bills have stalled in past sessions over a disagreement between Republicans and Democrats about whether to specify what groups a policy would protect, such people who identify as having a certain sexual orientation, race or religion.