“I remember having to deal with a school bully. I remember getting sick to my stomach just when I heard my bully’s voice from all the way down the hall. I remember my hair falling out in gobs every time I washed it. I remember not being able to eat. I remember losing 35 pounds in five months. I remember feeling helpless about fixing the problem because the bully wasn’t another student. The bully was the principal.”—Anonymous Quote from Bullying Victim
When Loren Wendelburg was in 5th grade, he was a victim of bullying; however, his bully was not one of his classmates. His bully was his teacher. “He didn't struggle as she grabbed his arm and pulled him into the hallway to scream at him, and he didn't protest when she told his friends not to play with him at recess” (Marso 1). Loren did not understand how wrong the situation was because he never dreamed that a teacher would act as a bully. There were times during that harrowing year that he thought of ending his life, but thanks to a fellow classmate who reported the teacher’s inappropriate behavior, Loren was rescued from the abuse of an adult who did not seem to have the patience for dealing with a child with autism.
When his mother, Lisa Wendelburg, tried to report the situation to higher authorities at Loren’s school, she claims that they chose not to believe her; therefore, she decided to take matters into her own hands (Marso 1, Blom 1). "There is no policy, there is no law in place in the school district or the state of Kansas that says a teacher cannot bully or even physically and emotionally abuse a child," Lisa Wendelburg said (McCallister and Mayer 1).
In the last month and as recently as yesterday, “Loren’s Law” and some of its amendments were signed into law for the entire state of Kansas by Governor Sam Brownback. When Loren’s mother began her endeavor to change policies, she was baffled to learn that the state only had laws against students bullying other students. She crusaded to change those laws and found a like-minded politician in State Representative Barbara Bollier (Blom 1). In the summer of 2012, Rep. Bollier spearheaded the efforts to make bullying of Kansas students by ANY person at school a crime. The Shawnee Mission School District President has reported that they now have a long list of new anti-bullying policies that all districts need to update that were prepared by the Kansas School Board Association (Blom 1).
The new state law, “Loren’s Law” prohibits bullying by district employees. It was amended to include parent bullying (Blom 1).
Blom, Dan. “Successful Anti-Bullying Effort by Shawnee Mission Mother Relied on Rep. Bollier’s Help.” The Prairie Village Post. August 27, 2013.
Marso, Andy. “Brownback Signs Bill to Prevent Teacher Bullying: ‘Loren’s Law’ Inspired by Shawnee Teen Who Left School after Enduring Abuse.” The Topeka Capital Journal. June 28, 2013.
McCallister, Laura and Mayer, Stephen. “Student, Allegedly Bullied by Teacher, Tries to Stop Future Cases of Abuse.” www.kctv5.com June 27, 2013.