Wed. Apr 24th, 2024


I am a grandmother and grew up in Arcata area and in the 50’s and 60’s.  it was not uncommon to hear racial bullying at school. I for one always stuck up for the person being bullied. I thought as a country we had evolved to a better place dealing with racial issues. I raised my kids not to see color, but the person. Now when I heard my grandkids started getting racially bullied, I must admit I saw RED!

There was a bullying problem in Del Norte schools last year and as a family we complained to Superintendent Don Olson at the School District office and the School Board. Last year there was a NEW bullying policy passed by the School Board for Del Norte schools. Up until last month the bullying problems for this year seemed have been taken care of. Then out of left field started racial bullying by a group of boys towards my grandson. His older sister tried to step in and protect her brother to no avail.

To make it clear to you readers my grandkids are what I lovingly call “Oreo’s”, they are black and white and sweet as can be. My grandson was hit in the head and called the “N” word and some other nasty words ignorant people call black people.

A complaint was made to the principle at the school and instead of taking care of the problem, the kids were told to stop and sent back to class. Needless to say it did not stop, it just got worse.

The next step was to contact Don Olson at the School District office. As a family we all attended a meeting with him to discuss bringing the racial bullying to an end. Don Olson told us he would make sure this bullying would stop. Monday morning my grandkids got on the bus to go to school and it started right up again! Needless to say my grandkids are now going to be home schooled until this problem has gotten under control. The emotional pressure has gotten to much for them to return to school at this time. In my gut, I feel that what has happened to my grandkids is a problem other families have faced here in Del Norte schools. It is time for this dirty little problem to come to light and for families to stand up to not just stop bullying, but racial bullying also.

I have been watching the uproar about closing a school because of low attendance. Well, how many kids are being home schooled or just dropped out of school because of bullying of any kind in the Del Norte school district? I know for a fact that there are kids that have gone on home schooling from my grandkids school. I was told by Don Olson he has not received complaints at his office of racial bullying and that the regular bullying is down this year. Well if your family has a complaint, you need to tell him about it! The bullying will never stop as long as families just try to handle it themselves.

As community we all need to work together to make it not only safe, but emotionally safe for our kids to attend school. Remember these kids are our future.

Shirley Dollahite

Crescent City, Calif.

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