Thorp students stage walkout to protest bullying, after middle-school assault

Local News

THORP, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A flimsy punishment for serious abuse, that’s what members of one Clark County community claim happened to school athletes. First News at Nine’s Max Cotton was in Thorp as students and parents expressed their outrage.

Instead of being in class, Thorp students and parents gathered in the school’s parking lot Thursday morning. They rallied against bullying, trying to send a message to school administrators.

Kristy Anderson, a Thorp parent, said, “Just the lack of punishment for what did happen and, you know, that like us parents who have kids inside these walls don’t even know that this stuff is going on. This should be communicated.”

Anderson is referring to a recent assault involving middle school football players.

A student says the boy was held down while his fellow teammates exposed their buttocks and he passed gas near his face. He was also hit with yardsticks and a belt.

It’s believed the student-athletes were disciplined with in-school suspension and made to wash windows and tables.

The victim’s mother, Elizabeth Winger, says it wasn’t enough.

Winger said, “The punishment didn’t match the crime and there was no, there was no healing and growing in that incident.”

The lack of punishment got Thorp High School Senior Kaci Satterstrom so angry, she organized the walk-out.

Kaci Satterstrom, the walk-out organizer, said, “I just felt like the kid deserved more justice than anything that happened to them.”

She wants to see changes, from the top when it comes to bullying.

“I want the school board to rethink their policies. I will be attending those meetings and I will make sure there’s something that changes about this bullying policy,” said Satterstrom.

Thorp School District Administrator Paul Blanford was at the rally.

Blandford said, “It was hard for me to hear being a new administrator here in Thorp, but, you know, I was out there to listen to our students and I definitely heard what they said.”

He wouldn’t comment directly on the case but officials are going to re-evaluate the punishment.

In thorp, Max Cotton, First News at Nine.

The School Board met tonight with administrators, in an executive session, to discuss this situation. The victim, and their family, moved out of the thorp school district.

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