Two district high schools confront bullying issues at District 186 meeting

    <p>Southeast High School students address bullying incident from Springfield High School. <br>{/p}<p>{/p}

    Tuesday was a packed house for District 186's School Board meeting.

    Students and parents filled the room to discuss a bullying incident between two district high schools.

    This issue, many students said really started this past Friday when Southeast High School won the “Spirit Award” for the first time in 15 years.

    It's an issue many students at Southeast High School say has been going on for quite a while now.

    “It’s been going on for way too long now, “ Student Southeast Abegail Cornejo said.

    Students said negative comments being made to Southeast students by Springfield High School students target mostly lower income students at Southeast.

    “We get a lot of comments about being a majority black school, we get a lot of comments about being a lower income school, about our discipline overall and it’s something that needs to be addressed because it’s been going on for way too long,” Cornejo said

    The comments started to pour in even more after Southeast won the annual Spirit Award this past Friday.

    “It was definitely a huge blow to see all the negative comments made towards our school,” Gianna Flammini, student at Southeast, said.

    On Tuesday night students and parents took a stand and asked the district to address the issue and discipline the students making the negative and hurtful comments.

    “It’s not always something that can be punishable by, but it still hurts and we still receive it all the time,” Cornejo said

    District 186 said they cannot discuss the matter publicly.

    “We need to do what’s right and we need to control what is said not only at the game but in-person but on social media both before and after events,” District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill said.

    Southeast students said their teachers and staff have been supportive but they hope something is done so other students don't experience the same thing.

    District 186 said it will continue to work with all schools to instill the Illinois High School Association sportsmanship rules.

    No one spoke at the meeting on Springfield High School's behalf.

    We will continue to follow this and bring you any updates.

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