Schools, village address bullying at its roots

Wausau Daily Herald: It’s been more than a year and a half since Jonathan Wesener died, but the emotions are still raw.

“When something like this happens,” said Edgar school Superintendent Cari Guden, “we all feel as if we’ve lost a child.”

After Jonathan’s suicide in May 2015, his parents and other family members spoke out. They believed the 16-year-old was a victim of bullying that likely triggered his choice to end his life.

A community in the midst of grief and loss also found itself grappling with ways to prevent future bullying and future tragedies. Steven and Angela Wesener pushed for stronger anti-bullying policies in the Edgar School District after their son’s death, and the district upgraded the way it treats bullying complaints. Students and parents can make complaints using an online form posted on the district’s website, and there is a more formal procedure for investigating the allegations.

Meanwhile, amid the tragedy of a second suicide in the district, Edgar continues to develop more steps to address mental health issues facing students.

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