A Letter to Mr. Rogers and the Geneva 304 School Board

Dear Mr. Rodgers and the Geneva 304 School Board


I am currently a senior attending Geneva High school. As much as we high-schoolers love to complain, Geneva High has provided a wonderful environment for all of us to receive education. 

The teachers here genuinely care about students, and us giving the best education possible. Looking at other schools in our area, makes me realize how blessed I am to attend a school who’s faculty really does put an effort forth in making our learning environment the best it can be. 

This summer I lost a friend. Josh Sweet. He was a companion of mine whom I walked to school from burgess parking lot every morning. Josh was a great human being. He was selfless and forgiving. This tragedy struck our student body very hard. Attending his funeral services broke my heart. 

Seeing fellow students embracing each other sobbing made me see what affect Josh had on everyone. With my senior year starting, I was curious to see if anything would change. 

If just maybe us as a grade/school stood up against bullying and suicide. It began with our football team. The way they bonded over this terrible tragedy was amazing to see. Wearing their suicide prevention t-shirts every week and always dedicating their hard work to Josh. 

As time passed throughout the school year, the pain from this summer was slowly fading. This is when I believe the school should have stepped in. 

Having a remembrance of Josh in our school or a possibly and assembly reflecting on his time hear. The ONLY time in this entire school year Josh was brought up was in a 1 minute announcement Mr. Rogers made at the beginning of the school year. 

The fact that our school was given a perfect opportunity to stand up and finally put an end to our bullying issue and did nothing about it disgusts me. You hid behind the issue and tried making a “HERE 4 U” campaign which in my mind had no effect on students. 

The bottom line is this; you have students in your very own building that are hurting. They are in pain and need someone’s help to get out of the never ending trap of bullying they are in. 

Even though you feel the battle is too large to control, you have many fighters. Those “fighters” are students in GHS. Student’s like myself.  

We want to put an end to bullying and suicide. What the administration is doing is clearly not working. I can see the hurt some of the kids who attend GHS go through. 

Make it a number one priority. Not another slogan or t-shirt but something BIG. Instead of shushing the issue by half ditched efforts, make it the most important thing. Losing another friend and student of GHS cannot happen.  

Ask the student’s what it’s going to take. Something can be done to fix this. Face the issue Geneva 304.


Signed, Jake Andersen  

East March 13, 2014 at 08:04 PM
genevaman was incredibly rude on what could have been a teachable moment for a young man. It isn't apparent from Jake's letter if he spoke to the principal or wrote a letter to a school board member before coming to a public forum or not, but that should have been the first step. If it was not, then hopefully it will be next time he sees an injustice. If it was, then there should have been some information in his post about that conversation. Good luck Jake.
Taylor Hamilton March 13, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Hi jake I'm a sophomore at GHS this is my first year here I left my old school beacuse of bullying it was terrible my parents went to the school nothing was done they went to the police nothing was done I admire GHS and Geneva in general they do somthing about it I've lost so many friends to suicied beacuse of bullying but nothing was done for them cause they weren't the popular kids they weren't the jocks they were the kids that no one knows they where they kids that hate everything about them selves beacuse they where the kids that got bullied and nothing was done I know this I went threw it for 8 years how many teens have to commit suicide before people relies this is a big deal thank you to the senior class for trying to make a state ment
Erin Lotterer March 14, 2014 at 09:54 AM
As a parent of a student at GMSN. I truly believe that the action taken needs to start at the middle school level and continue on thru high school. I am amazed and saddened at how awful these children treat one another especially the girls. These kids should be encouraged to empower one another and stand together not to tear each other down. And seriously, the whole "if we don't see or hear it, there's nothing we can do about it" needs to stop!
lablover March 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Geneva HS has had LONG history of bullying cases and they do nothing. My son was involved in a situation several years back. Many times the issue and parties involved were brought to the attention of GHS Deans and nothing was done. Thankfully, the child didn't harm themself, but it could easily have gone the other way. There is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. Just as there is zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs on campus......so be it with bullying too. All can lead to death. Wake up Geneva schools !
Kate Oakley March 20, 2014 at 12:33 AM
My daughter was a student at GHS and was bullied by a much larger boy because mutual friends of theirs tried to talk her into drinking and smoking pot - and she told them no. The friends turned on her, the boy harassed her constantly at school - and the Vice Principal gave me lip service: "These things happen". For months, passing periods and lunch became a misery for her. My daughter was gossiped about, accused of saying things to others that ruined other friendships. And still - nothing happened. When it escalated to physical threats on Facebook (that I copied, pasted and printed, then brought in to the school) and shoving in the halls, I got the police involved. My A-B Honor Roll daughter's grades took a dive; soon she hated school and she quickly learned that the Administrators simply did not want to hear it. She was told that SHE needed to develop a thicker skin. When the bullies started hanging out at her locker, she was told that SHE shouldn't go where they were known to hang out. BTW - these darling children were all from well-to-do, well-connected Geneva families - parents that contributed to and volunteered much for the school and the community. I hate to think that was the reason for the lackadaisical response from the Administration. My daughter is now attending college, happy to have left GHS and her tormentors behind. And the bullies? A few have already started building their rap sheets, appearing in The Crime Blotter of our local newspaper: drunk driving, under-aged drinking, arrests for pot, violent behavior, retail theft - one has wrecked car after car after car. Daddy just buys another one. Their parents must be so proud.


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