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Mom calls son's principal a bully, district defends principal's actions

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - An ABC 4 report is prompting the Canyon's School District Chief Civil Rights Officer Melissa Flores to contact a mother mother banned from her son's school after she confronted his alleged bully.
Quail Hollow Principal, Denise Orme
Quail Hollow Principal, Denise Orme
"I feel like she (Quail Hollow Elementary School Principal Denise Orme) has overstepped her boundaries and she is punishing the mother of the child that is being bullied and this situation should have been brought to an end last year" - Jamie Cavazos
SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - An ABC 4 report is prompting Canyon's School District Chief Civil Rights Officer Melissa Flores to contact a mother banned from her son's school after she confronted his alleged bully.

A bully at Quail Hollow Elementary punched Jamie Cavazos' son in the face last April giving him a black eye.  Cavazos demanded principal Denise Orme suspend the bully citing the school's zero tolerance bully policy.  "I was told by Denise (Quail Hollow Principal) that suspension doesn't work with bullying," Cavazo recalled.

So when this upset mother approached her son's alleged bully in a school hallway, "I saw the bully and told him to leave my son alone. You need to pick on somebody your own size.  Stay away from my son."

Cavazo later stepped above the principal and contacted the Canyon's School District Superintendent.  She recalls her conversation.  "I was the one that went to them and told them that I had done that (talked with the alleged bully in the  hallway) and I received a letter from Denise (the principal and Quail Hollow Elementary) about a week later banning me from the school," recalled Cavazo.

Her ban was put in place last April and was extended twice. Once in August for missing a meeting with the principal and again in September when Cavazo responded to a request to volunteer at the school.  She says she checked in at the front desk and put on a name badge. 

The school reports Cavazo approached the alleged bully on the playground and threatened him a second time. 

Cavazo says this is not true.

Canyon's spokesman Jeff Haney says Cavazo's actions will not be tolerated because she threatened a student.

"Are you a violent person?" asked ABC 4's Noah Bond. "No," responded Cavazo. "Have you ever threatened a child?" asked Bond. Cavazo,"No I have not."

Bond brought this information to Canyons School District, "I asked Jamie I said, 'Jamie are you a violent person? Would you assault a child? She said no.'" Spokesman Jeff Haney responded, "My understanding of this issue is that she approached a child and she threatened him."
"My understanding of this issue is that she approached a child and she threatened him-" Jeff Haney, Canyon's School District Spokesman
The Canyon's School District stresses it will no tolerate parents threatening students and it considers what Jamie did to be a real threat.

Jamie says if this alleged bully punches her child in the face again, she's going to talk with him again. This could be a problem because this is the very action the school considers to be threatening.

Our reports prompted the District's Chief Civil Rights Officer for the Canyon's School District, Melissa Flores to contact Cavazos.

Cavazos says she wants to volunteer at her child's school without an escort.

Cavazos revealed a letter the school mailed to her.  A portion of it reads:

The effect of your behavior at Quail Hollow Elementary is to undermine the administration's responsibility to ensure the safety of the students while at school. Poor behavior-- on the part of the students or parents-- impacts learning and cannot be tolerated in the school setting. We will revisit these restrictions at the end of the year to see if these restrictions can be lifted or must remain in place. If you violate the terms of this letter, the school administration will immediately call the police and we will move to formally restrict your access through a formal Trespass Notice. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at the following number (omitted) or at the following email address (omitted).

Cavazos says Orme and Flores refused to return her calls before this report, but is grateful for a call from Florez on the day this report was broadcast on ABC 4 News.

Flores says she talked with Cavazos on the phone about a weeks ago. Cavazos says this is not true. She says she never talked with Flores.

Cavazos' total punishment for talking with her son's alleged bully is one year of restricted access to her son's school because, according to the school, she has repeatedly disrespected the authority of Quail Hollow Principal Orme.





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