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Aug 23, 2012 1:27 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Vail student says she's the target of bullies, superintendent responds

VAIL - A family in Vail says their nine year old is the constant target of bullies.

Instead of doing something about it, her parents claim administrators recommended she transfer schools. The child says the bullying continues.

Only on 4, Rebecca Taylor gets answers from the head of Vail Schools.

The superintendent says the school has been very responsive. But the family says a fresh start, at a new school, isn't going as planned.

Nine year old Machayla Juchnik says the bullying started 18 months ago, at Desert Willow Elementary.

She describes how certain students treat her. "Call me a loser, trip me, hit me with footballs, hit me in the face, I was beaten up," she said, "I'd cry and tell my parents."

Machayla's mom Cindy says it got so bad, Machayla, unable to focus on her schoolwork was held back a grade. She now attends Mesquite Elementary.

"She just, it's hard for her. It's really hard for us as parents. She's scared to go to school," says Cindy, "you know she liked school, now she hates school. I just can't even explain it, putting it into words how it feels."

Dr. Calvin Baker overseas 17 schools within the Vail district. "We all agreed with it would be good for the child to go to another school, and that happened, and it was successful."

He says teachers and administrators follow set guidelines. "So we're being very responsive in this situation and we'll continue to be very responsive."

Machayla says while the staff at Mesquite is trying to help, she's still being bullied, "I really want them to know that I really would like them to stop, and that it hurts my feelings when they do that."

Cindy wants the district to provide counseling. "We need to do something because it's effected her mentally, physically, just everything."

Dr. Baker says, "If someday that solution involves counseling, if that appears to be the best way to respond we'll certainly look at that."

He says the principal at Mesquite will meet with Machayla on a regular basis.

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