Parents upset over game played at middle school

Marinette Middle School is seen, Jan. 31, 2014.
Marinette Middle School is seen, Jan. 31, 2014. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

MARINETTE -  Lori Saunier is one of nearly a dozen parents who have expressed their displeasure over a game played at Marinette Middle School.

“This kind of stuff, I mean, this can’t happen again. These are our little kids. We’re parents. We should’ve been protecting them. You should’ve gave us the benefit of the doubt of contacting us,” said Saunier, mother of 7th grade student.

On Wednesday, fifth through eighth grade students played the game called “Cross the Line”.

Parents say their children were asked personal questions like, do your parents drink and has anyone in your family been in jail?

Students were also asked to step forward if they answered yes to any of the questions.

Neither the school principal nor the district superintendent would answer questions on camera, but in a written statement, the principal said participation was not required and students could have said no.

However, parents claim their students told them that if they didn’t participate, they’d receive an in-school suspension.

Sarah Maitland was one of the students who played the game.

“She asked if you ever wanted to commit suicide to step forward and then after that she asked if you ever experienced or wanted to cut, to step forward,” said Maitland.

The school says the activity is a part of a bullying prevention program.

A few parents met with the superintendent, the principal and the assistant principal Friday morning to express their concerns with the game.

“They basically told us that all the students were lying…all the students got together and planned it out and if they weren’t lying, it was all misperceptions. They didn’t specifically say do your parents do drugs,” said Amanda Fifarek, mother of 7th grade student.

School administrators said, “The intent of the activity was to build stronger, more respectful relationships among students.”

However, parents said they believe it actually makes it easier for students to bully each other.

“It was too personal. It’s just things your kids don’t need to be disclosing to other kids,” Fifarek said.

On Friday the school sent home a letter explaining more about the game and why it was used, but the parents who oppose it say it’s not enough. They still want answers.

Parents say they were not told that the game was going to be played.

The school says if there’s another such activity, it will let parents know ahead of time.

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