Paseo High School student says she's being bullied

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City teen says she's been bullied since the first week of school. Now, she and her parents are speaking out in hopes of making it stop.

 
Freshman Amouri'a Johnson transferred to Paseo High School from a local charter school hoping for better opportunities instead, she says she's been a constant victim of bullying. The 14-year-old says a verbal confrontation in a classroom ended with her striking a classmate.
 
"I got up and I did hit her first, but I feel like I had to protect my self because its been going on since the first day of school," said Johnson.
 
That fight led to two more fights with other students throughout the day. Including a violent brawl with a male student that was posted on Facebook. Victoria Johnson is Amouri'a's stepmother.  
 
"I think its because she's new at the school. She doesn't know anybody here. Its been going on for months," said Johnson.
 
We contacted leaders with Kansas City Public Schools. They refused to comment on the students involved or the video, but said the incident is under investigation.
 
Annette Lantz-Simmons with the Center for Conflict Resolution did see the video and the need to teach conflict resolution solutions to the students. Lantz-Simmons added that a victim/offender dialogue needs to take place to reduce the chances of more violence.
 
"What we know is that punishment doesn't really work. Restorative justice brings together a victim, an offender and community members because the whole school community is affected by that," said Lantz-Simmons.
 
The district released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying they're working to teach students better conflict resolution. It read in part:
"This incident is not a common occurrence at Paseo Academy this school year. KCPS and Paseo Academy staff will take every available measure to prevent similar incidents in the future."
Meanwhile, CCR, the Center for Conflict Resolution, says while they have never worked with Paseo, they are more than willing to help these students.
 
 
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Lisa Benson can be reached at lisa.benson@kshb.com.

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