Dear Mr. Zimmerman; my response to an AWS Board Member #BeThereForKaylee

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Jeremy Baumhower’s response to an email he received yesterday from AWS Board member Doug Zimmerman.

Photo Courtesy of 13ABC

Photo Courtesy of 13ABC

Dear Mr. Zimmerman,

Good Morning. First, I wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation for the time you spent writing your email. You put a lot of effort in choosing very specific things and words you wished to convey to me; sharing what information you could with your side of the Kaylee Halko discussion.

Here is my response…

Thank you for showing me and everyone who cares about Kaylee and children in general, the person you exactly are. I wish to express my deepest appreciation for the years you have publicly served. I know your decision to run wasn’t money based, you wanted to “affect” change.

I believe after reading your email, your time remaining in public office will be less than you thought before you decided to hit “send”.

As a father of four children, I am well aware that bullying is a world-wide issue and not exclusive to the Anthony Wayne School District. My involvement with sharing Kaylee Halko’s bullying began when I was made aware of the Instagram pages created, the words and hate that filled it’s content and by it’s authors. I still can not fathom how something like this happens.

I have never once tried to “vilify” a ten-year-old child, the alleged person behind creating the various social media sites. I understand that every child is a product of the home they are raised in; 10 year-old children make mistakes. I am also aware a 10 year-old’s brain is not evolved or educated enough to understand the gravity of what was created. My focus has never been on the alleged “bully” but those who are responsible for educating his/her brain.

My motivation in sharing the Halkos’ story with the community is based solely on your district’s refusal to call what happened to Kaylee what it was… “bullying”.

I have acted as a vehicle of words for both Tim and Marla Halko. I have also posted any and all communications I have received from the district’s office, including the email you sent yesterday.

Monday morning, I sat there in your presence, with a crowd full of people all wanting simple answers or to hear comforting words. I was amazed with what I heard you say about your amount of sleep and the non-affect of Kaylee’s case has caused.

I was more saddened by what I didn’t hear you, nor any board member say. Your choice in not apologizing to the community, that packed that room on a Monday morning during the summer, over their upset feelings was shocking, your choice in not apologizing to the Halkos who were moving because of what happened in a school district you are responsible for, showed those in attendance the quality of person you are.

Apologies are not an admission of guilt, but rather a display of compassion, sympathy and empathy.

You mentioned your family history with a parent, an uncle and grandparent all being involved in education. “I bring to the table nothing but an open mind, some common sense and a desire to help ALL the students and families where I choose to raise my family.” As noble as your original intentions are, it appears that you might be under-qualified to sit on a board of education. I am a son of a welder, a nephew and grandson of carpenters. I fully comprehend that watching my grandfather swing a hammer fails to qualify me as an expert in carpentry, yet alone to sit on a board who’s responsibility is coming up with guidelines and policies to protect and educate future carpenters.

You also encouraged me “to get out from behind your keyboard, step up and do something for your community”. “This is an off year, but school board election will be held throughout the state next year. Head down to One Government Center, pick up a petition, walk around your community and get signatures run for office. Put down your stones and step into our glass house, take on some responsibility…and maybe in the end you may earn the respect of your children for doing the right thing. ”

Speaking out for families like the Halkos; is my way of public service. I am a public figure, not because I was elected but because people choose to read my words. I open myself to public criticism, like you; it comes with the job I choose.

I don’t need to run for a public office as a way to make a difference in this community. I do not have a current resume that lists the various things and boards I have been a part of, if people wanted to know they can “google” me. Rather than publicly boast in an effort to seek approval, I choose to volunteer privately, to use my creativity, my heart and reach to affect positive changes in the very place I am choosing to raise my family.  I do not need an official title, “writer” or “dad” fits me just fine.

You referenced my “children’s pride” and or lack therof in me, a couple of different times. I do my very best with every word I have ever typed to show them who exactly I am. I hope one day they will have a sense of pride of me, especially for taking on bullies like you.

Since you were so quick to address my children’s pride, let’s talk about yours. I am sorry if my posts about you have upset your 21 year-old daughter. It was not my intention to insult you to your child. I am aware that you have served four terms (16 years) on the AW Board of education. It has been brought to my attention that your 21 year-old daughter did not attend nor graduate from the very high school that your board of education creates policy for. I know that your son attended, currently attends AWHS and also this very daughter attended to a certain grade level, before moving to a private school. This leads me to various questions about how much belief and confidence you actually have in the district you are sworn to serve. It leads me to speculate with questions like  “Was she bullied?”, “Why does he pay money for an education for his daughter, while deciding policy for free ones?” etc.

I was more alarmed with how you introduced your daughter in the email. “I received a text from my 21 year old daughter this morning, her Facebook page was blowing up with your ”blog“ about yesterday morning’s meeting. I gave her a call, and the first words out of her mouth were ”I’m guessing this guy doesn’t have all the facts or you wouldn’t have spoken up.“ I explained to her the whole story and all she could say was ”WOW“ and ‘I’m proud of you dad’”

I am curious what federally and state protected information you could share with her that you, nor any other board member could not share with the rest of those attending Monday’s meeting? You gave her the very information that 100-plus people were seeking and never heard. I believe that is a violation of two families’ rights according to state and federal law.

While sharing this story I have always positioned it as The Halkos vs AWS BOE, not the Halkos versus the “bully’s” family. I have come to the conclusion that my posts make it is impossible for you to ever relate; no one sees them-self as the villain. You were forced to pick a side early on, the Halkos or the alleged family of the bully. It appears by your refusal to call the Instagram pages an act of bullying, that you sided against the Halkos.

I wonder what factors came into this decision? If I were to speculate again, after getting your sense of “boys will be boys” theory in life; I would think you would have to consider the long-term potential of both involved. One child comes from a family with enough wealth to donate a smartboard while the other child has a terminal prognosis. It could have simply been a decision based on numbers, years of life remaining. I am sorry, but such decisions and lack of public empathy leads to possible conclusions like this.

The best thing that will ever come from your email to me, is that you have unintentionally motivated people to run for public office, specifically the Board of Education in the Anthony Wayne School district.

I am certain that your public service days are now numbered. It will be my honor to share this email, Kaylee’s story with each and every lawmaker who can replace you effective immediately. It will be something that may give my children a sense of pride if nothing else does.

Enjoy all your future nights of sleep, may they be less-filled with the burden of inspiring children not to bully.  People have said the bullying in AWS has increased dramatically over the last couple of decades.  I think 13 years ago may be a better a guestimate.

Warmest Regards,

Jeremy Baumhower

PS. The 10 year-old girl with progeria’s name is KAYLEE Halko, not Kaley. I am sure the thorough investigation covered that very small detail.

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Columnist, Writer for Radio Shows across the US & Canada, Promoter, Believer, Father

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Posted in Anthony Wayne, Baumhower, Bullying, Column, Discussion, education, FAIL, Family, Fatherhood, Kaylee Halko, Life, News, Parenting, Schools, Sylvania, Toledo, USA, Viral, Waterville
52 comments on “Dear Mr. Zimmerman; my response to an AWS Board Member #BeThereForKaylee
  1. Lisa Marie says:

    Jeremy I could just HUG you!!!!! You seriously are amazing and I got goosebumps reading this. It’s straight from your heart and I can tell you have a passion and truly care for Kaylee and the Halko family. You are making not only your children proud but everyone. Thank you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kristin says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan Neff says:

    Well done!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ..... says:

    I commend you on constructing a well written response without solely lashing back throughout. I know it must have been difficult to stay on task and support the cause at hand. Just wanted to say that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seriously? says:

    Well done, Jeremy. You’re way with words is something for your children to be proud of. You standing up and doing the right thing, though not always the easiest, is something for your children to be proud of. Educating the community and making them aware, knowing that it is not going to sit well with “higher ups”, without fear is something for your children to be proud of. All of the board members who sat there with that look of fear, fear to speak up, fear to do the right thing, fear to stand alone (on the board maybe) and fear to take a road that is not convenient or easy by holding bullies responsible (even if their parents intimidate with money, that other people have way more of but don’t use to scare or intimidate people with) for their actions, are cowards. Not one of them showed compassion. Not one of them said “we are sorry that this boy has hurt so many people with the choices he made”. I guess to hear “we will make sure that this boy understands the gravity of what he has done, as to not continue harmful behavior” would have been WAY out of their comfort zone. Regardless, i thank you for having the courage to do what is not comfortable or convenient. That is something to be proud of.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vicky Reed says:

    Warriors confront the evil that most people refuse to acknowledge.

    In my eyes, you definitely are a warrior. It’s easier to walk away from something but harder to stand your ground and face the enemy… love what you are doing for the Halko family, but more so for all children with progeria, or are being bullied.

    Stay strong.

    I had so many internal fist pumps going as I read your response, you have a wonderful way of weaving and dodging his ignorance and showing the world your intelligence.

    Have a good day sir. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. RSam says:

    I have 1 question:

    Why did the Halko’s simply not handle this between the parents?

    I know that the parents of both children (yes, morons, there were 2 kids from 2 different families involved here) contacted them to make sure the Halko family was aware of how serious this was to them. Why did Tim just hide behind social media and inflame a small community with half truths and speculation? I imagine this could have been settled between the parents within 24 hours of the incident. It appears he didn’t want to ruin a good story by inserting all the facts. What a shame that 1 man’s lack of intestinal fortitude (that’s a fancy word for courage for all of you Baumhower followers with small IQs) couldn’t just go “old school” on this and actually talk to the other parents involved.

    ……and Jeremy, you don’t get to call me “Ricky”. My friends call me “Ricky”, you can call me Patricia. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry we are not friends Patricia. Life is so short not to have as many friends as possible. Hopefully one day we can be.. No slight nor disrespect was intended with the other name.

      Liked by 1 person

    • We have a similar experience as the Halkos in a different school district. We went to the parents. They thought it wasn’t bullying. They thought it was no big deal. They thought it was horse play. They believed their childrens’ self-serving denials. What do you do then?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously? says:

      Actually, Einstein, there were 3 kids involved from 2 different families. 2 from one and 1 from another. You’re comment is the reason i couldn’t read any further, so thank you for that. BUT i had to ask, if you know so much about this why is YOUR VERY FIRST LINE WRONG??? While you call others morons you really should review your “facts” first-your entire comment is untrue. But thank you, “Ricky” for your input. As ridiculous as it is 🙂 Oh wait, maybe you have the intestinal fortitude to fill us in? Copies of the pages maybe that you’d like to share with everyone? Anything that might be factual?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. V says:

    you people make me sick… thats all I’m getting out of this witch hunt. and just think… in a few weeks, none of this will matter when a new problem arises at another school where some kids are getting raped at a party on a weekend. oh but you all know its the schools fault for letting these kids have free will and all, has nothing to do with bad parenting… or god forbid where a teacher was shot while defending her classroom because a kid with issues wanted to make people feel their pain because their parents wont listen to them at home. fix the issues at home with your damn kids before you start pointing the finger at people who shouldn’t have a say in the matter. the school can’t help that your not a fit parent to control your own children’s actions.

    Like

    • V says:

      PS – the name of this blog is very deceiving… if you “heart” glass city so much, why are you bombing the shit out of it and purposefully causing a ruckus because you think its doing a community service?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Former AW student says:

    I guess I’m the only one. Someone reaches out to you so you bash them? Your blog is no longer worth my time. Why don’t you try #growup 🙂

    Like

  10. Lisa Marie says:

    V – That is the whole problem Jeremy is trying to stop! He is being the voice for the people who normally dont have a voice. This is something you can’t just sweep under the rug or pay someone off. He is being the voice for Kayla, Kaylee, Myles and Marlee. It absolutely disgusts me that grown adults are okay with the actions (or lack thereof) of Mr. Zimmerman and pals. I find it funny you thing Jeremy is the one causing “ruckus”, is he suppose to be like all of the others and just let this continue to happen? I suppose it’s all acceptable as long as it’s not one of your own, right? You make me sick!

    Liked by 1 person

    • V says:

      I honestly think Mr Zimmerman the rest of the board have nothing to do with this case. this should have been settled between the parents and with the staff that witnessed it. putting people in the spotlight for something they have no control over is outrageous because there are always going to be little puck ass kids that think they can do anything without consequence. The board governs their curriculum and making sure they are being taught exactly to what the state of Ohio says they should be taught while the STAFF AND PARENTS should be the ones making sure they are getting to class and playing nice. I congratulate Jeremy for being the voice of the parents but what he is turning this into is exactly what he is fighting against. and no, he shouldn’t sit back and just watch it happen. being more tactful about it and taking the right steps to cover his actions should have been key. if he needed the right informations, maybe he should use some of that journalism skill and really dug-in to get every single fact before accusing innocent people.

      There are 2 sides to every story.Bbeing on the receiving end of bullying back in my high school days because I was a minority in an “at the time” all white AW school, really gives me an upper hand on how people treated me, and more importantly gives me a perspective on how this should have been handled and how Kaylee’s parents should have coped with this news as my parents did with my situation. instead letting it get this far, they should have been telling her that no matter what people tell her, she will grow up to be better than anything these bullies throw at her. but no… who’s to say that wont happen at the next school she goes to? it sure did for me when I moved on but you know what, I turned out just fine because I learned early that I knew I was different and if I could just make it past those early years of torture that I would take the high road and be the WAY better person in life with my cushy 6 figure a year job with people who respect me because I know how to respect them. you’re all letting that bully win

      You know what? I don’t have kids and I’m glad I don’t! why would I want to raise them in a world where you parents let your children get away with anything? whens the last time any of these kids were said “no” to? I don’t think Im sick at all. I think I actually have a decently high intellect compared to a lot of what I have read in this shitty blog. If I did have a child, the first thing I’m going to show them is this whole blog as its forever trapped on the internet. To show him/her how crying about everything doesn’t solve a single thing. being the better person and getting by so you can later in life step on those people is a way better idea 🙂 because then its not bullying, its just respecting other adults opinions now.

      respectfully “making you sick” – V

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul Cowdrey says:

        I’m not afraid to put my name on here, love me or hate me, the ones that matter know me. “RSam”, “V” whoever you happen to be for real, you say that the issue should have been dealt with between the parents? The school district had an obligation when the postings and intimidation were brought into the school, and the safety of not only Kaylee, but her friends as well we’re intimated, and safety in question. I am sorry could have made a huge difference. all I have learned from this is AWS system has a huge problem, and until the issue is appropriately handled, the district suffers from a blinding black eye. think of the national headlines “School board refuses to apologize for disparaging remarks made to and about a child with an incurable diagnosis in and out of school by bullying classmate” Bravo Anthony Wayne school board you won’t have to worry about over crowded classrooms now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kaylee will “grow up to be a better person?” “Getting by later in life?” Do you not understand that her condition will limit her life expectancy so she will not reach adulthood?

        To read such a lack compassion for a terminally ill child suggesting she or her parents are crying about everything really makes me sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • V says:

        that doesn’t sound very positive of you… are you able to see the future? if so, get me the next lotto numbers. NO ONE can tell for sure how long she has and singling her our because of her disease in a bullying case is an excuse, I’m sorry. I feel her pain. I have been through the same thing. If people would drop this shit already, maybe she can have a happy rest of her life no matter how long it is. 13years is not adulthood. I understand that but who are you to say she wont make it to that awesome yet unfortunately small percent who live past their 20’s? I believe if future steps are taken better care of with modifying current policy, other kids wont fall into the same situation. until then, starting from scratch and waiting MORE years down the road for the “right” board member to come in and make changes wont solve anything either.

        My compassion falls into a more logical realm. everything said in the finger pointers blog doesn’t solve anything and just give you all a chance to put your white hoods on and hang some people in your effort to “do good” in the community because, again, none of us have the full story. want to make a difference, make a better voting decision next time…

        When are the Obama hate posts coming? I would love to take part in those as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • V,

        Thank the Heavens above that YOU do not have offspring!! OMG!! Why are you even in this convo if you don’t have any children? You’re opinion offers even less because you have no idea what situations like this do to parents and their children. You have no real insight if you’ve never raised or unconditionally loved a child!

        My Son, nor his friends when I’m around, get away with shit, what-so-ever!! In fact, I am the 1st to shut them/it down if they are stupid enough to even start! I accept nothing less than to be kind and respectful to any and every one! I have been making my Son write 5-part apologies since the day he could write, to anyone he owed an apology to, no matter how big or small. Now it’s a full-out 5 paragraph essay (he’s 15). Does he act like a total Jerk sometimes? Hell yes he does, but does he get away with it? HELL NO! My Son was the one who defended his High School’s Baseball Team’s Autistic teammate from other teammates and opposing teams, even though it may have interfered with his “popularity” which is a time where they don’t want to be “unpopular”. That makes me VERY PROUD! He’s not perfect, not even a little bit. I am also the “strictest/meanest Mom on the block” and have been since he was 5. I am so invested in his character that when he turned 14 and spun out of control, (as puberty began) I went to the Juvenile Judge and asked that he be placed on the At-Risk-Youth petition so that he had a probation officer and a judge to answer to in addition to me. I also got us BOTH individually and as a Family professional help, out of my own pocket. I refuse to allow my Son to be anything but an asset to this community and to himself. I make the very difficult decisions when it comes to my Son because it is my job to be his Mother not his friend!! So please, DO NOT direct your unqualified, generalized accusations that I allow my Son to get away with anything towards me! Mind your business.

        You wanna call me names, fine, you’re the righteous B*tch here! Go take your “cushy 6 figure a year job” and shove it where the sun doesn’t WANT TO SHINE!

        My Deepest Sincerity,
        Sara

        Liked by 1 person

      • The average life expectancy of someone with Progeria is 13 years old! Look it up on WebMD or the Mayo Clinic website. Your characterization that my realistic assessment of the facts of her condition is not being “positive” is a denial of the facts and the severity of her condition.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. AWmom says:

    I couldn’t love this anymore!! This man puts the B in bullying and he raises his children the same way! He knows nothing about education and helping parents and students. The board will ALWAYS follow with what the superintendent wants and does. They clearly have no mind of their own to do what they feel is right. It is time for him to step down so that the AW community can sleep well at night!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mike says:

    Once again you prove how misinformed you are about this whole thing. Mr. Zimmermans daughter did not go to a private school for the reasons you mentioned above, which I have no doubt you said to try and persuade your readers to go against Mr. Zimmerman more than they already have. His daughter went to the private school to play volleyball which it paid off because she recieved a full ride scholarship to a D1 school. Also, Mr. Zimmermans wife taught at this private school his daughter attended. So next time do your research before you tell your readers that he probably sent his daughter to a private school because she was bullied.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Anonymous says:

    Like I have said. KAYLEE IS A BULLY! My kids go to school with her. She is popular and very well liked. She likes to pick on over weight children and children with mental retardation. This is the side no one is reading. The school is the scape goat. The problems lie at home.

    Like

    • Amanda Nichols says:

      If that is the truth, then why reply as anonymous? I am up for other sides of the story, but not to anonymous.

      Like

  14. Kerri says:

    Thank you for stating what many others could have not done so eloquently. I am proud to fight against bullying in any sense. On the computer, it lives forever, words cannot express the emotional roller coaster that this family has endured. #TEAMKAYLEE…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sherri says:

    remember all your blogs about Kayla Meeker…how cyber bullying affected her death? I don’t appreciate your posts bashing Mr. Zimmerman, telling him to resign. isn’t that a little taste of cyber bullying itself? take your own advice

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Anonymous says:

    ^agreed…plus Kaylee is a bully.

    Like

  17. Sherrie says:

    I find it very disheartening that the whole community, and beyond have watched what was a true problem become an emotion war. Being made aware of the situation in the spring was awful, most of us were pretty fired up over that, then we read how the school board had handled it, siting rules, in a quick blurb on their Facebook page. Unfortunately, we had a death of a student at the same time which fueled the flames of this situation, even though, her parents said publicly on a the local news, that bullying was NOT the main cause of their daughters choice to take her life. Lack of speaking compassionately by the school board, made it appear that they were down playing, ignoring and not acknowledging the situation. This has been a very emotionally charged situation for the community. Sometimes, the less you say, says the most. Possibly this would have ended by now, or differently if the response would have included some understanding and compassion for all involved. Not every situation is a black and white one, or fits the mold the rules were made for. There are so many opinions, very emotional ones, based solely on what is read on social media, which is what caused the problem in the first place. Even as glimpses of the “other side of the story” are being revealed some folks are backing off. As a community, with an awesome school system, how can we not feel for everyone involved, for the school board, Kaylee and family, all of those who have supported the Halko family in various ways over the years, and, yes I am going to say it, the families of the child/children who initiated the whole mess. If you are a parent, and your child was part of a situation that caused hurt to another family, that would be so hard, and now what the FB world is doing to them! Many parents reading this would agree that our kids have done things that have gone against what we believed we were teaching them. And they make decisions without thinking, I am not sticking up for anyone here, people/kids make bonehead moves sometimes, not thinking of the consequences, sometimes because they are too young and have influences around them that aren’t the best.
    And now we get to read while two grown men go back and forth, having a tit for tat conversation about who is trying to help the community the most, whose kids are more proud of them. People have resorted to crtitizing grammar and typos made, really people? Guess what, your children, maybe the people you sit next to in church & neighbors are reading this. Now this has become who can sound the most like they are friends of the writer or the Halko family. This is not about you.
    As of now, nothing is going to change this situation, everyone has made their stance. There will not be a winner, everyone is losing in some way. To the Halko family, I am so sorry that you have experienced this in our community.

    Like

  18. boncurtis says:

    Jeremy, Thank You for what you do! You are an excellent writer and contribute to our community through your words. Your definition of an apology was so accurate and I believe that this board members term is short lived too!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. matt says:

    BOOM! Jeremy drops the mic….and exits stage left. The people explode. At that very moment the bad guy realizes how big of a fool he had been…
    Unfortunately, I don’t know if the last line will ever happen, but you did just blow him up.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. C.B. says:

    Honestly why are people attacking just Anthony Wayne? Bullying happens at other schools too but apparently “blogger” has this vendetta against AW for some reason. Yes, I agree bullying has increased over the past few years but you can’t put all that on the school districts. How come no one is placing blame on these social media sites where kids can hide behind screen names and anonymous pages? Why aren’t parents being blamed for not overseeing what their kids are doing online and on these social media sites? If you aren’t in the Anthony Wayne district and don’t know the whole story, how can you make your opinions based on hearsay instead of facts. Calling for peoples’ jobs and pointing fingers isn’t going to solve anything. Stop complaining and drinking this guy’s kool aid and try and do something positive and constructive to help. We will never be able to fully stop bullying. What we can do is teach kids the best possible way to deal with it and to get help when it’s needed and that starts at home, not at school.

    Like

  21. Meaghen Michelle Hays says:

    “V”, “RSam”, and “Anonymous”, I cannot publicly publish the words I would like to say to you three. Creating an Instagram page specifically about a terminal illness directly affecting a student and “friend” in the classroom and community that denotes swearing and slang words, words expressing the wish for death to these individuals living with this incurable disease, and then having the audacity to bring it into the school yard and show it off as if it is some magnificent prize is sickening. Is it bullying? Is it not bullying? One thing I know for sure…there is no excuse…there is no reasoning…there is no rationale that could ever be given to me (or any other human being with a soul) to say that any part of this incident in its entirety is remotely okay, forgivable, or should just be dropped. I don’t know how you can get on here and bash the Halko family for sticking up for their child, or for Mr. Baumhower, who has remained so classy and eloquent with his published works.

    V, you don’t have children (thank you, Jesus) so you have no idea how you would react…so my suggestion to you…spend nine months of your life growing a human being, spend another 18 hours laboring and pushing that baby out, and then spend the next 10 years of your life nurturing, loving, and donating every single second of every single day to their well being…and then maybe we will care about your opinions in this matter.

    RSam…I have been reading your comments. I assume you are friends with this family, and like friends of my own, I don’t put up with anyone speaking negatively about them. However, I am also a true friend; and sometimes being a true friend requires us to speak the truth and express that even though we have a relationship…I don’t agree with you, your child, or how this situation was handled. Perhaps you should focus on what kind of friend and person you are than focusing on an innocent 10 year old girl that was a victim of a hate cyber crime, her family, and a writer that is spreading awareness.

    Anonymous…I have one thing to say to you…publish your name instead of hiding behind a computer screen. You have an issue if you are old enough to find this blog, read it, and write a response. A response that calls a CHILD a bully. Your comments are ridiculous.

    I am a proud mother of two and I am also a teacher. I do not teach in the AWS district (thank you, Jesus again) and after seeing how their administration and board handled this situation, I would not teach in this district if it were the only Special Education opening left in the state of Ohio. Bullying happens daily; good school districts, good BOE’s, good administrators, good teachers, and good parents HANDLE it daily. Clearly that is not being done in this said district with this child.

    Bravo Mr, Baumhower, I applaud your works and encourage you to continue to say the things that so few of us are not willing to. Lastly, it is only with your letters that you have given the Halko’s at least another step to take. Sharing information about students with an individual not directly teaching the student is a very big violation according to FERPA. I am also curious if Kaylee is on an IEP or Section 504 Plan as this would quickly gain the attention of our friends at the Office of Exceptional Children. I hope they take the necessary measures to protect their child and other students in this district. Thank you for your service.

    Regards,
    Meaghen Hays

    P.S. I am not afraid to put my name on this letter unlike some other individuals.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. WOW I am amazed at the negativity by a few people leaving responses on this. I honestly only read a few because my time is more valuable than that. With that said, I graduated from AW in 1989, I lived in Waterville until I moved to Columbus in 1997. I am not afraid to hide, you can see my picture and my name, my family was pretty well known in the community too.

    I am ashamed of this school board, there are always circumstances that are not known to everyone, but Mr. Zimmerman opened himself up when he sent that email. I was embarrassed for him reading his email, it was so self serving, the fact that this man is part of a board that makes decisions for thousands of kids and he is so self absorbed, it is frightening. I would like to applaud Jeremy for for publicly posting an email sent to him that was clearly bullying, I think most people would be a bit embarrassed. Clearly, Mr. Zimmerman is not qualified to make district wide reform on bullying, when he himself is a bully.

    The embarrassment that Mr Zimmerman must feel, to not even know how to spell the name of a student that he and the board failed, and when there is so much media coverage over her and this case.

    The fact that another girl was bullied this year at AW and than took her own life seems to have been lost on people as well. When are the grown ups going to start acting like grown ups and protect our children? When will people stop throwing stones and start disciplining bad behavior (and I have 3 children 9,11, and 13 so yes I understand what it is like to be a parent).

    This whole ordeal with bullying at my alma mater is heartbreaking. It is completely out of control, a family is moving their 4 children to another school and school board members are bullying other adults. When are people going to start taking responsibility for their actions and by actions I mean your children as well as your own. When my children act badly I take it as a direct reflection of me and my parenting.

    At what point can people stop pointing fingers and blame and clean up this mess and vow to not let it happen again? Cant the community just start right this minute and start changing things instead of waiting to see who will win the fight? Can families start talking to each other, can parents start protecting any child they see or know of being bullied than just being grateful it isn’t their child being bullied?

    Like

  23. Seriously? says:

    Nice of the boy’s family and friends to finally join in. There are two sides to every story and i happen to know both sides, first hand, very well. All of what the , well, i will remain respecting their privacy, which is ironic considering that the Halko’s have not gotten that same respect, but the child who created the page’s supporters up there have said is a lie. Stop calling out Tim and Kaylee and the Halko’s. Are you people kidding me? I think for once in my life i am actually speechless. Those pages were disgusting and the boys should have been held responsible for them. PERIOD. Pull in every other ridiculous lie and rumor you can up there and be mad at the guy who is trying to educate the public and insist that a policy be in force that keeps our children safe, if that’s all you’ve got and it makes you feel good. Meanwhile, i suggest you have the little angels who made those pages babysit your young children while you go out for the night? I have to be done with all of this ridiculousness, i am losing more faith in humanity then i ever knew i could after even skimming through the crazy and grasping attempts to excuse these kids behavior when they made those pages. Unbelievable the desperation that some will display as opposed to simply doing the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wait! The Family is here??
      Please raise your hands so that we may direct our questions to you! There’s about 100+ people on here with the same line of questioning:

      WTF is going on in your home?
      Don’t you think maybe it’s time to fess up and APOLOGISE to the children your kid/s have tormented?
      What are you doing about this?
      What have you done to correct your child’s disgusting behavior?
      Are you still allowing him/them access to the Internet and/or their social networks?
      Do you think this situation was handled properly?
      Are you grateful that the Halkos spared your Son’s future, in the criminal sense, by not pursuing a permanent protective order? Have you thanked them for that?

      I think that covers most of it. Please take the ‘Floor’…

      Not-so-Patiently Waiting,

      Sara

      Like

  24. Seriously? says:

    Just thought of something kind of ironic. Riddle me this if you will. What if, WHAT IF, due to the vague and randomly enforced bully policy in place now, one of these boys actually gets bullied themselves someday and no one does anything about it? COULD YOU IMAGINE????
    Could you imagine if they came across somebody bigger, badder, and unimpressed by their “scariness” someday and got tormented?? WHAT IF an Instagram page was established in their honor-asking for others to rally and want THEM dead and say under a photo of a child who looked just like them, and maybe only one of very few of them, “kill it before it lays eggs”. AND THEN the person(s) rallying and wishing them dead didn’t get in trouble for it. WHAT???? That would be crazy. Wonder if they’d get it then? Probably not, but whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously!!

      Hello! So glad to see you here. Once again, THANK YOU!! Is this not aggravating as all Hell? *Palm to Face* Unbelievable.

      Sincerely,

      Sara

      Liked by 1 person

      • :( says:

        Unbelievable is an understatement. This is getting as disgusting as what started all of this and how it was dealt with. Sad how some people think sometimes-scary actually.

        Like

  25. Seriously? says:

    Just figured out who Anonymous is. Nicely done there kiddo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • sauls920 says:

      Care to share? I would like to know who to direct questions to…Understand if you don’t want to throw them under the bus, but it would nice to actually talk to a parent or family member of those Boys.

      Like

  26. mamabearr73 says:

    Hey RSam…first off let me mention I’m not “moron” or “Idiot”. If I were I’d be drinking out of that same cup of Kool Aid you’ve been drinking. I’m an intelligent adult, I DO read both sides of the story, but unfortunately I know all to well the “politics” of a small town. I am also painfully aware of how Dr Fritz conducts himself, how some staff conducts themselves, how the “Board” conducts themselves and moreover how many of the parents in the district conduct themselves. I’m by no means making any generalizations, because there are good people out there and people that do NOT condone this type of behavior whether it be Kaylee Halko, or any other child.

    Agreed…there were 2 words that could have been said and put a huge band-aid on the situation and restored some sort of peace. I’M SORRY. That’s all the board and Fritz could’ve done…but they chose not to.

    It was Mr Zimmerman that chose by his own hand to type that email to Mr Baumhower and press send. HE could have taken the high road and ended it there. He did not. Yes, he felt attacked and yes, he had every right to defend himself. However, there needs to be a certain level of professional behavior that Mr Zimmerman should have exhibited as a School Board Member. He did not.

    As for the reader that felt the need to state that many of us upset by the situation and in favor of Mr Baumhower shedding light on it don’t properly care for our children, nor teach them right from wrong, you are SORRILY mistaken in my case. My child has been taught from day ONE bullying ANYONE is wrong. Hatred is wrong. It is not condoned, allowed, or encouraged in my home. My son knows good and goddamn well if he were ever part of anything such as what’s gone on there would be zero tolerance and he’d face consequences set forth by his father and myself. My child was taught from birth that EVER bullying or mistreating anyone “different” or with a disability is not tolerated. My own Mother was handicapped and had a facial deformity. I can recall many a Soccer game in AW where when my mother was riding her scooter, or trying to brave things and walk to a field to see her Grandson, there were many dirty looks and comments. And they weren’t from the children.

    I’ve gone to great strides to discuss this situation with my child (yes, an AW student) and yes, both sides were discussed. My child was at the Middle School this past school year and he heard about the bullying and saw the Instagram pages, and the tweets. An isolated incident in one school is one thing, but when it’s going to other schools in the district, there’s a BIG problem. When it’s broadcast on the Internet, there’s a BIG problem. Again, where were this child’s parents when this was going on? Why weren’t they monitoring their child’s internet activities? Again, I DO do my job as a parent and I monitor things. And a 10 year old to make such hateful statements about death and killing is okay? Not in my book. It doesn’t matter if it was Kaylee Halko or any other child. It’s not okay and something should have been done! Kaylee may have bullied someone but did she threaten to kill them or wish them dead? There’s a big difference!

    I’ve dealt with my own issues with Dr Fritz, principals and staff regarding myself and my child’s education. While there have been helpful individuals, I never got anywhere with Dr Fritz. I always got the response “Talk to the principal.” even AFTER I spoke to the principal and was following a chain of command. Is that the easy way of dealing with things? Pass the buck? Is that how you deal with parents that aren’t singing your praises or buying Smart Boards? Simply pass them over and they’ll go away? Let me tell you something Fritz…my son has 6 more years in your district and I’m not going anywhere! I’m also not shy about calling a spade a spade. We the parents pay the levies, the fees, and contribute in other ways to your “esteemed” district. It’s high time you begin to listen to us. A LL of us and not just the ones contributing money or Smart Boards.

    I attended school in another one of the area’s “esteemed” districts. Its the same old, age old game of the Haves and Have Nots. Those with the family name or money go far. Those who don’t can suck it. Anyone not following the crowd is weak, while the sheep are strong. In closing, maybe instead of some of these parents worrying about why someone else is different, gossiping, and keeping up with the Joneses, why don’t you focus on your own children and your own homes? Mine is just fine, thanks!

    Jeremy…I appreciate you standing your ground and speaking up. It’s about time someone pointed out the blemish on the face of Anthony Wayne Schools. Thank you!

    PS…While I have no problem publishing my name I choose not to out of respect to my son and his father. Even an outspoken, heathen such as myself knows when to keep some details to herself.

    PPS…I did not get into any Anti-Obama rants or debates as I was taught from day one that there’s two things you never discuss…Religion or Politics. You never win.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. tired says:

    There are no winners in this battle. I hope that good comes to all families involved! The very issue that jb has been writing about can be seen in each of these comments. Please stop the cyber fighting and bullying…… the very kids we are concerned with can read this.

    Like

  28. bigj says:

    Honestly I believe what Jeremy is doing is amazing sticking up for this family against the Anthony Wayne School Board because bullying is wrong and if these websites were made about this girl they should be punished because treating a girl with a prognosis is wrong any kid in general who is being bullied the bully needs to be punished because they need to learn what the school board is doing is wrong they are not sticking up for the beliefs of the school system getting rid of bullying they are allowing this to happen and I don’t think it is right, some of you people may hate on Jeremy for publishing this but why , you have no reason to hate him he is doing what he believes is right and truly I agree with him.

    Like

  29. Lindsay says:

    Wow. Reading this was amazing. So perfectly said, and heart warming by how much you can see that Jeremy cares for Kaylee and the Halko family. I got to the comments and I was blown away.

    For one thing, how could you sit here and start to place blame on this innocent little girl by calling her a bully? How come no one can own up to the fact that what these young students did with this Instagram page was horrible! Where were the parents in all of this?

    I just do not understand how so many people are not taking this as seriously as they should. And I agree with Lisa completely with her response to Kaylee will “grow up to be a better person?” “Getting by later in life?” I find that what this person said to be so disheartening and ignorant. This little girl lives her life to the fullest potential every day with a smile on her face and a big heart! We need to take this as a time to see how amazing this girl lives her life and learn to appreciate how awesome life really is! I don’t even understand how people can be so mean in this world when there are those who are struggling and have such difficult lives but can still wake up with a smile on their face and a positive outlook on the world.

    Like

  30. Lindsay says:

    Wow. Reading this was amazing. So perfectly said, and heart warming by how much you can see that Jeremy cares for Kaylee and the Halko family. I got to the comments and I was blown away.

    For one thing, how could you sit here and start to place blame on this innocent little girl by calling her a bully? How come no one can own up to the fact that what these young students did with this Instagram page was horrible! Where were the parents in all of this?

    I just do not understand how so many people are not taking this as seriously as they should. And I agree with Lisa completely with her response to Kaylee will “grow up to be a better person?” “Getting by later in life?” I find that what this person said to be so disheartening and ignorant. This little girl lives her life to the fullest potential every day with a smile on her face and a big heart! We need to take this as a time to see how amazing this girl lives her life and learn to appreciate how awesome life really is! I don’t even understand how people can be so mean in this world when there are those who are struggling and have such difficult lives but can still wake up with a smile on their face and a positive outlook on the world.

    Sorry if this posted twice.

    Like

  31. V says:

    damn right and thank god I don’t have kids, why would I want my child conversing with any of you simple minded folks. and as you all have so clearly assumed I have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re all wrong that I don’t know how it feels from the parents end of things. living and learning through others experiences and NOT making the same mistakes you all have made has proven that and I consider it making a way better life decision. not lowering myself anymore to you bottom feeders. Enjoy you Hate Parade. #AWPRIDE #RespectToKaylee #MaySheLiveForever #TimeToGrowUpReaders

    Like

  32. :( says:

    Way to insult people and name call. Later Gretzky #areyouarealperson #imhungrywishihadatacoormaybenachos #actuallyknowwhatimtalkingabout #lovewhenpeopleattackandnamecallbecausethatsalltheygot #goodnight

    Like

  33. Seriously? says:

    Saw this on FB, hopefully this will help some of you decipher “seeking improvement” and actual “bullying”.
    OK. I would like to say one last thing, and warning, will post this on every post to get it out of my system. And I am so sorry for how long this is!!!! I feel like I need to explain something, explain why I have become so frustrated and posted so often, where I had stayed so quiet before. I feel like there are so many blurring lines and creating side drama for no reason-causing focus to steer away from where it should be. Here I go. Blurred line 1-one can be extremely passionate and proud of their community but still wish some things in it would be better, or may need more work. Nothing is perfect and sometimes, more or less than other times, need to be tweaked. When there are children involved even the BEST system should be updated, reviewed, etc. to make sure every duck is always in a row. And ignoring or denying issues, for whatever reason, does not make them go away. Blurred line 2-one can feel bad for someone who is troubled or makes poor choices, but still want them held accountable as to help them in the future to make better choices. They will not come across as uncompassionate or less caring by wanting fairness and consequences for someone who did wrong- as that person/child will ultimately benefit the most by being held accountable and learning that life has rules, it is not a free for all; especially when hurting others is involved. Blurred line 3-educating and informing people of fact and on goings is not bullying. Creating hate pages wishing death or harm to a particular group or one person is. An open discussion full of viewpoints, standpoints, opinions, etc., even if they don’t mesh with your own, is not bullying-it is informing and enlightening, whether positively or negatively. Grownups, and children even, read things on a daily basis-medical info. , science related, religion based, child rearing advice etc. and hopefully with a level rational mind decide for themselves and their family what is realistic or maybe more fact based and what is straight up weirdness. That is a part of being a responsible human being. There have been things that even Jeremy has said that I’ve gone, eh, maybe but I’ll look more into it, there have been “AMEN BROTHA” moments and there have been “Oh snap, he went there!” moments. But I am a free minded individual that can decide for myself what I hold important and what I can let slide. IF I were to not re-elect a board member at this point, it would not be because Jeremy said HE wouldn’t-I would base it off of that board members own written and spoken word(s) that I witnessed with my own two eyes (because I was there in the room) or an action or lack of that they did or did not take that I deemed a priority for our children. Period. Not because Bob, Jeremy, Sally, Beth, or whoever said I should or shouldn’t. There are many more blurred lines, but this leads me to the one that has been making me CRAZY since the meeting. There are people who are OUTSTANDING individuals, humans, parents, friends, sons, daughters, etc. that just might not be cut out for a certain role or position in life or career. To disagree with someone, friend, spouse, doctor, teacher etc, for a choice or action that THEY did or did not do, does not mean you don’t like that person or think they are a bad person. It simply means you disagree with them. For example, there may be principals that would make great teachers, but might not have what it takes to be the principal. There are some who would make great lawyers, but maybe not a judge. This is OK. Some know their limits and boundaries while some don’t. I know beautiful wonderful people who are caring and empathetic and parent their own children fine for them and their family, but I might not want them to parent mine. Because we may have different views on parenting, mine might not be right, or theirs wrong, but they are different. And that’s OK. My own personal example? I just graduated with an education degree to teach at a high school level, Eng/Lang. Arts. It was really hard to earn my degree while continuing to be a full time Mom to VERY active children. I did it, but realize now that I do not have what it takes to teach in a public school. I would not be able to remain “diplomatic” if I did know of wrong doings or witness severe bullying in my classroom. I would be tempted to kick it old school and drag the kid out by their ear to the office and have THEM call their parent at work to come pick them up until they learn how to act and treat other people. I would make it so hard and inconvenient for them to be mean or misbehave that they would get tired of being bothered, and start being nice/doing the right thing.  AND if I suspected that their parent(s) were not reinforcing life lessons on how to treat others at home, I would make it inconvenient for them as well. Some people don’t like being bothered or “put out” and will usually avoid it. If a parent is called at work continually to come get their child for misbehaving, eventually they will tell that child, “really, if I have to leave work one more time because you’re acting like a fool at school (hurting others, distracting others, making others stressed or scared or very uncomfortable etc. etc.), you’re in big trouble at home!” Or one would hope, but it’s always worth the effort, whether the easiest route to take or not, to do the right thing. This isn’t the world we live in anymore, so I know that I can’t teach in this new more PC one. And that’s OK. I will find something I can do to still be a positive working force toward children’s well being and growth in our society, an advocate for those struggling, a supporter for ALL children, and a smile when they need one. It just won’t be in a classroom. I am not saying that ANYONE in AW should or should not be there, I am simply saying that if I felt that maybe they weren’t able to do what needs to be done, maybe not aggressive enough, or realistic enough, or tough enough, or passionate enough, or rational enough, etc. it would not mean that I don’t still think they are wonderful people, it would just mean that I may feel like I need someone else in there who has the traits that I deem important. Nothing personal. It should stop being made personal.  This is not directed at any one person, board members, community members, Jeremy, The Halko’s, teachers, principals, etc. just how I feel and that’s it. Like with everything else in life-take what you can use, what makes sense to YOU, if anything, and discard the rest.  I won’t take it personal. 

    Like

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jeremybaumhower

jeremybaumhower

Columnist, Writer for Radio Shows across the US & Canada, Promoter, Believer, Father

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