Grand jury report says SDUSD needs adult-to-child bullying policy

District has 60 days to respond to report findings

SAN DIEGO - A grand jury blasted the San Diego Unified School District on its lack of policy against adult bullying of children.

"My boy, who loved school and learning, changed to a panic-stricken child who begged us not to make him to go to school," said parent Judy Neufeld-Fernandez.

She said her son was severely bullied in the fourth grade -- not by his classmates, but by his teacher at Hardy Elementary School.

"Very few people have the stamina to withstand the rigmarole that the district puts one through for standing up for what's right and what's legally," said Neufeld-Fernandez.

In a five-page report, the grand jury found:

-- SDUSD lacks effective investigating policies and procedures
-- parents appear to lack a forum to address complaints regarding adult-to-student bullying
-- a conflict of interest when school officials review appeals

*Click here to read the full report

Neufeld-Fernandez called the grand jury a "hero."

"If your culture is one of protecting adults who bully, how are you going to then teach kids not to bully anyone?" she said.

An SDUSD spokeswoman said the legal department is reviewing the findings and will a formal response within 60 days -- the timeframe allowed by the grand jury.

The Safe Schools Task Force will be addressing the issue during its meeting next Wednesday.

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