When Wake County mom Shannon McDonald thinks of her 12-year-old son Logan, she can’t help but smile.
“He was our clown. He loved to make everybody laugh,” said McDonald.
He loved animals, video games and singing.
“He’d gotten quite good at rapping with Eminem,” McDonald said.
That all changed August 15, 2017, just as his 7th-grade year was getting underway.
McDonald said it was a typical morning for the family.
“Mike and I were having our morning coffee and checking our emails and stuff. Logan was down here getting ready. When I went around the corner he was on the floor,” McDonald said.
Logan had taken his own life.
McDonald said she noticed a change in Logan. He was moody and more tired than usual.
It wasn’t until after Logan’s death that McDonald said she learned he was being bullied at Rolesville Middle School and on the school bus.
CBS 17 asked McDonald if the school notified her about the alleged bullying incidents.
McDonald said, “No. They did not.”
CBS 17 went through the Wake County School District’s policy on bullying.
It states employees are required to report any actual or suspected violations of this policy to an appropriate individual designated.
It also states that students, parents, volunteers, visitors, or others are also strongly encouraged to report any actual or suspected incidents of discrimination, harassment, or bullying to a school administrator.
Nowhere in the policy does it require the school district to notify the parents of alleged bullying incidents.
Wake County School District Spokesperson Lisa Luten wrote in an email that “The school district does indeed expect that parents are notified of incidents of bullying.”
However, it is not required.
It’s something even a North Carolina lawmaker agreed needs to change.
Democratic Representative Darren Jackson said the school should have notified McDonald if bullying did take place.
Jackson is on the committee for safer schools which includes the health and safety of our students.
CBS 17 discovered bullying laws were changed in 2009 and 2012 to deal with cyberbullying.
There is nothing that addresses bullying and requiring parental notification.
According to the Education Commission of the States, eight states require school district’s to notify parents of bullying. That list includes Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Currently, 16 other states require schools to develop policies on parental notification. North Carolina is not one of those states.
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides around the clock, free and confidential support for people. The number for the lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
Here are some online resources:
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