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Many of The Iowa Standard’s readers have asked for updates regarding the situation at Peet Junior High in Cedar Falls. We are still working on some elements of the story, but can provide a brief update on one detail of the situation.
To recap, a new student group named “Difference” held a welcoming event at Peet Junior High. While the event was supposed to be student led, reports, video and pictures from the event seem to indicate State Sen. Eric Giddens and his wife, Kendra Wohlert, were catalysts for the event.
Students were offered a donut as well as rainbow stickers. Some students felt like it was a gay pride rally at school.
All that said, Wohlert offered a response in the days following the event. She said that three days into the school year, a seventh-grade student was “bullied” in the locker room.
“His head was hit with a locker and he was called a ‘fuc*ing fa**ot,'” she wrote.
According to a Peet parent, Mr. Bill Boevers (the principal of the school), said he was unaware of any bullying incident.
The Iowa Standard sent an email to Janelle Darst and Joyce Coil on Oct. 5 after Wohlert released her statement. We asked if Peet staff was aware of the situation. We also asked if anyone contacted the school regarding the incident. And we asked if anyone from the school filed a police report or contacted law enforcement regarding the incident.
Those questions went unanswered until we followed up on Nov. 7.
Darst, the district’s director of communications and community relations, replied:
“It was reported to the building and the incident was handled per district policies. Due to student privacy, we will not make additional comments regarding discipline or specific actions.”
One of the definitions of misconduct according to district policy is “physical attack or threats of physical attack to students, teachers, administrators or other school personnel.”
Students who violate policies may be suspended, excluded or expelled from school. Students engaged in illegal activities, which one would think assault would fall under, may also be referred to the police under district policy.
The Iowa Standard was not told by Darst whether anyone from the school filed a police report or contacted law enforcement regarding the incident. We also asked the Cedar Falls Police Department for information, but they encouraged us to speak with the school resource officer at Peet.
A message left at the school for the resource officer went unreturned on Thursday. We will offer an update when, and if, we receive more information regarding this element of the developing story.