FRONT ROYAL—Bullying recently reared its ugly head at Skyline Middle School where a family’s son reportedly experienced it firsthand, possibly even multiple times, both verbally and physically.
The family said this morning during an anti-bullying protest outside the school that charges have been filed against the alleged bullies, but they would rather see them undergo counseling or be required to conduct some sort of community service.
“I don’t want them to do time. I would like them to get counseling… or have them volunteer somewhere with someone who’s disabled so they understand the struggle. Maybe they’re just not aware,” said Jamie Brown, who headed up the protest. “I want no child bullied, not even the ones who are bullying my child. No one being bullied is acceptable. No one deserves to be bullied.”
Virginia anti-bullying laws and regulations define bullying as “any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma.” This definition also includes cyber bullying, but does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument, or peer conflict.
Justin Brown read a statement for the Royal Examiner explaining why the couple spearheaded the protest and exactly what their son has experienced. Jamie Brown first broached the issue this past weekend over the What’s Up Front Royal page on Facebook.
“Everyone deserves to go about their day without fear or worry,” said Justin Brown. “Their biggest worry should be how they will do on the next test.”
It is time for zero-tolerance bullying policies to be enforced and for those who are found accountable for bullying to be held accountable and subject to consequences, said the couple in their statement, adding that “if the system in place is falling short, then maybe it’s time for a new system.”
“Better yet,” said Justin Brown, “actually enforce the one that you have.”
A Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) representative said the district is trying to enforce its existing anti-bullying programs.
“We are 100 percent with the families, the parents and the students,” Alan Fox, director of secondary instruction for WCPS, told Royal Examiner during the protest today. “We want our students to be safe. We want them to feel safe and we want them to be educated. So, we have the same exact goals they do, and we support what they are doing.
“We don’t want anyone to be bullied,” he added. “It’s a bad, bad thing.”
Fox said WCPS wants to reinforce its existing programs, which include prevention programs and multi-tiered behavioral supports for children who are experiencing difficulties.
“Sometimes students struggle in meeting behavior expectations,” wrote Bobby Johnston, principal at Skyline Middle School, in an Oct. 8 open letter to the community that addressed the reported bullying instances at the school.
Among several programs, Johnston said that the school provides all students with training using a social-emotional program known as Second Step, which has been utilized at Skyline Middle School for the last five years. Students regularly participate in the program throughout the school year, focusing on empathy, communication, bullying prevention, and management of their emotions, he said.
“The goal of Skyline Middle School, as this year’s motto states, is One Vision, One Team, One Community,” Johnston wrote. “We are here to help support and grow engaged, healthy children into engaged, healthy young adults who are ready for the academic challenges of high school.”
The principal added that school staff welcome a partnership with the parents “in order to form a strong community connection,” and he provided his number and email: (540) 636-0909 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brown family also appears to favor that cooperative goal.
“We have to protect our kids,” Jamie Brown told protestors standing on the sidewalk with placards this morning. “We can only do it if we come together.”
Read the letter from the Robert Johnson, Pruincipal of Skyline Middle School here. Open Letter the Skyline Community Regarding Bullying and SMS Responses
The Royal Examiner was at the 7 am protest and spoke with the parents of the student and with Alan Fox from the Warren County Public School:
VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for August 8 – 12, 2022
The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.
*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new or revised entry since last week’s report.
Mile marker 0 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Right shoulder closures for utility work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday (August 13).
Mile marker 8 to 7, westbound – Right lane closures for utility work, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday (August 13).
Mile marker 299 to 300, northbound and southbound – Right shoulder closures for utility work, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday (August 13).
Route 55 (Strasburg Road) – Shoulder closures for utility work in the area of Route 664 (Whipporwill Road), 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through August 19.
No lane closures were reported.
Vegetation management may take place district-wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.
The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: The results of drunk driving could be crushing
During the Labor Day holiday, including the end of summertime and the busy Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working alongside the law enforcement community in Warren County to decrease impaired driving. From August 19 through September 5, Warren County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period. In support of the law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see officers working together during this time to take drunk drivers off the roads. No matter how you plan to celebrate the end of the season this year, make sure you plan it safely.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2016 to 2020, and one person was killed in a drunk driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020. This is why Warren County Sheriff’s Office is working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, but also a matter of life and death. As you head out to festivities during the end of summer and Labor Day weekend, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint August 19, 2022.
During the 2020 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. September 4 – 5:59 a.m. September 8), there were 530 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty-six percent of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). More than one-third (38%) of the fatalities involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and one-fourth (25%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Age is a particularly risky factor: Among drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2020, 44% of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.
For more information on impaired driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
VSP seeking public’s assistance with a crash involving a pedestrian in Fauquier County
Virginia State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying one of the two vehicles that struck a pedestrian Saturday, August 6, in Fauquier County.
Senior Trooper D. Mabie is investigating the crash that occurred at 11:20 p.m. at the intersection of Route 29 (James Madison Hwy) and Route 28 (Catlett Rd).
A pedestrian was walking east across Route 29 when he was struck by a northbound 2017 Alfa Romeo sedan. The driver was unable to avoid the collision and immediately pulled over. A second vehicle then struck the pedestrian and continued on without stopping. This is possibly a white SUV or truck of unknown make and model.
The pedestrian, a 21-year-old male, of Bealeton, Va., suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to INOVA Fairfax Hospital for treatment.
The driver of the Alfa Romeo, a 24-year-old male, of Locust Grove, Va., was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seatbelt.
The pedestrian was wearing dark clothing and not in a crosswalk. The Alfa Romeo had a green light.
The crash remains under investigation.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has any information related to this incident is encouraged to call Virginia State Police Senior Trooper D. Mabie at 540-347-6200 or email email@example.com.
Donations to aid Kentucky still accepted at Aders Insurance Agency
Donations will be collected for the second week in a row at Aders Insurance Agency, located at 23 Church Street in Front Royal, from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, until August 12.
Please help those who suffered due to the flooding in Kentucky. Towels and blankets must be NEW. No more clothing in needed.
Rugged Terrain Crossfit takes home the trophy at the Waggin’ for Dragons 2022 race
Waggin’ for Dragons 2022 is a wrap.
Thank you to all of the participants and volunteers who spent their day with us down on the Shenandoah River with the 22Dragons crew. This year, this fun boat race benefited the Humane Society of Warren County, Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Front Royal.
Check out the lineup of teams this year! All of these boats raised at least $1,000 as an entry fee. There were several fierce rivalries that added to the energy and fun!
- Humane Society of Warren County – Foster Fleabags
- Rotary – Rotary River Rats
- Warren County Sheriff’s Department
- State Farm – Good Neighbors
- Element Risk – Risky Business
- Rugged Terrain Crossfit
- Valley Health
- Skyline High School
- Coldwell Banker Blue
The winner of the race on the water was Rugged Terrain Crossfit! Congratulations!
This tough crew came out and gave it their all. Fun banter was held between the Sheriff’s team and Crossfit, as there was wife vs. husband action on the two boats! Be sure to stop by the Rugged Terrain gym to see this gorgeous Waggin’ for Dragons trophy in person. Bragging rights and good luck will live at this gym for the next year!
- GOLD: Rugged Terrain Crossfit 1.01.4
- SILVER: Warren County Sheriff’s Department 1.01.88
- BRONZE: Coldwell Banker Blue 1.02.08
(Numbers are appropriately correct)
There were two other categories that were judged: Most Funds Raised, and Most Spirited teams. The Rotary River Rats brought home both of these honors, netting a total of $5,011 in funds raised, a full $2,000 more than next in line. All three of our local Rotary clubs were represented on the boat – Rotary Club of Warren County, Rotary Club of Front Royal, and the Rotary Club of Northern Shenandoah Valley. The team had a representative from the House of Hope, Department of Social Services, and I’m Just Me Movement (a local non-profit that supports our youth through mentoring and positive reinforcement) rowing as well!
Chamber welcomes Kells Belles to Front Royal
The Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, along with Town Mayor Chris Holloway, Councilman Gary Gilespie, and friends welcomed Kells Belles to Main Street in downtown Front Royal. Kells Belles is the dream of Kelly Wahl to provide a women’s fashion boutique to the Front Royal community.
Kells Belles is located at 213 E. Main Street in downtown Front Royal. Kelly says she will be open on Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Find out more on Facebook or call 540-551-3157.