Mother, daughter sick of the bullying cover up in Cedar Rapids s - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother, daughter sick of the bullying cover up in Cedar Rapids schools

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A Cedar Rapids mother and daughter say bullying is plaguing the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Rebecca Grant is fed up with kids bullying her daughter, and she has copies of graphic tweets to show just how hostile and explicit the bullies are.

Her daughter, Malianna Johnson, 16, says she can no longer take the bullying.

A group of girls who call themselves the Lady Dukes has been bullying her for the last year, she says. 

Johnson says it started after she protected another girl from being bullied at Washington High School. 

"It hurts a lot, I mean there's only so much a person can take," said Johnson. "It makes me want to distance myself from everybody, not trust nobody or anything. I know what they're saying isn't true, but they're still saying it."

She saved all the demeaning and profane tweets the Lady Duke members post about her, and she says the group repeatedly threatens to beat her up. 

Grant says she's gone to school officials and Cedar Rapids Police several times about the bullying issue, and it seems like nothing is being done.

"With the same girls, they put in the same complaints and there's nothing being done," says Johnson.

Cedar Rapids Community School District School (CRCSD) officials say they have clearly defined policies, procedures and regulations when it comes to bullying, and it's right on the district's website.

Mary Ellen Maske, CRCSD deputy superintendent, says they put in strong efforts in preventing and helping students make good decisions and good choices rather than poor choices when it comes to bullying and harassment.

"We take bullying and harassment very seriously," said Maske. "(It's) a number one goal. We focus more on anti-bullying than bullying and harassment."

Grant doesn't believe them.

"My daughter is going through a lot, and they don't seem to care," said Grant. "It's happening to her, but it might happen to your grand kids, or other kids too."

We also checked with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, which works closely with the school district to make sure bullying is not tolerated.

"We just don't put up with it," said Officer Shannon Stokesberry with the Cedar Rapids Police.  "We do take it seriously, and I'm always willing to go out to schools and address the issue and do presentations and make students aware and hopefully help them and prevent them from becoming victims."

Johnson admits back in September she could no longer take it: She stood up to the bullies and was expelled from Washington High.

"I think there should be more consequences for the bullies -- it seems like they get away with everything," said Johnson.

Her mom says she knows bullying is happening all over the country, but she says it has to stop.

"This is a serious thing," said Grant. "We need to work together and we need to address these concerns and stop looking over them. The only people getting hurt behind this is the children."

On Wednesday night, there was a community gathering to discuss concerns related to bullying. In the gathering a teacher with Cedar Rapids Community Schools says when it comes to bullying in the district, it's "brushed under the rug."

Rebecca Grant and her daughter has seen some action taken recently. However, they say it wasn't until after KWWL started looking into it that they say they saw any change.

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