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Getting the message out
The parent of a local CCMS student, and local schools, would like parents to have conversations with students about a dangerous activity taking place among students
March 07, 2013
An incident at Crook County Middle School that left a student severely injured has brought attention to a dangerous activity taking place among a small sector of the student population.
After a Crook County Middle School student was a victim to an injury to his groin as a result of what some students are calling “sack whacking,” the result had harsh consequences. The student ended up with a severe injury, and according to CCMS Principal Stacy Smith, further investigation has shown that similar incidents have happened before school, during passing times between classes, and lunch time. They have had six incidences so far, and the student who was injured was a victim of three of those incidents — one which happened before school and once at a friend’s house.
CCMS Principal Stacy Smith commented on Wednesday that the mom really wanted parents to know that kids were engaging in this activity. Due to confidentiality, the identity of the parent and student has been withheld.
“The bulk of this activity was occurring within his peer group,” said Smith of the injured student. “It’s this male adolescent thing that they think is funny, and she (the parent) wanted the word out that not only was it not funny, it has the potential to injure.”
He added that the mom just wanted other parents to have conversations with their kids about the consequences of playing this dangerous game called “sack whacking.” Smith said that the school sent a letter home to parents and guardians on Feb. 27, which outlined the issue.
“The Leadership Team at CCMS has been working with a family that has an eighth-grade boy in our school that may have been seriously injured by another student engaging in what students call “sack-whacking,” the letter said. “This is a predominately-male activity, where one student strikes another in the groin area, causing a great deal of pain, and in some instances, possible injury. At CCMS, we will continue to be vigilant and appropriately deal with each incident with the proper consequences, but we are sometimes unaware when this is occurring.”
The letter went on to stress to parents the importance of having a conversation with their children about the seriousness of this activity and its potential for injury. Additionally, they were asked that if their student had been struck in this manner, to please have them immediately report it to an adult in the building so the incident could be addressed effectively.
Smith said that it is unfortunate that it takes a relatively unusual circumstance like an injury, before a student talks to a school staff member about an incident such as this. He noted that shortly after this incident was reported on News Channel 21 in Bend, several Bend Schools received calls from parents that similar incidents were happening in their schools.
Smith added that the school response was serious to the boys who were perpetrating the incidents. He said that they have been pleased with the response from all parents involved.
“The good news is, it did allow us to get this message out,” added Smith. “It’s unfortunate, and we would rather have positive media attention surrounding our (educational) growth or the other positive things going on, and we aren’t real crazy about this hitting the news channel, but we realized that the mom wanted this message out, and it’s probably a good thing it got out.”