Parents whose children attend the Northern Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania are accusing administrators of refusing to confront bullying problems in their school — even as their assistant high school principal enforces strict regulations against frowning.
The Lebanon Daily News reports that Assistant High School Principal Benjamin Wenger has issued a new edict mandating that students must smile while walking through his school’s hallways — and students who refuse to do so are forced to see a guidance counselor to discuss their “problems.”
“If you don’t (smile) you get called to the office or down to see your guidance counselor,” 15-year-old Julianna Gundrum, a former student at the school who has since transferred, tells the Lebanon Daily News. “You have to talk about your problems then. You have to or you get detention.”
The new anti-frowning restrictions come even as the school is being accused by teachers, parents and students alike of not dealing with the problem of bullying.
“Bullying is not being dealt with properly at the school district, according to the teachers who spoke anonymously with Lebanon Daily News reporters,” the publication reports. “The teachers said they have each submitted multiple disciplinary referrals this school year. Their experience is for every five referrals, one is addressed. Some of the teachers, who said they are supposed to receive written notification from the administration that a disciplinary problem was addressed, said they submitted referrals for multiple instances of bullying, but none were addressed.”