Five Mentor High School students have committed suicide in recent years. That's a troubling number, and it hasn't escaped the attention of parents or the media, especially when families say that bullying in the halls of the high school drove their children to despair. Two of those families have sued the school district. One lawsuit has been dropped, the other goes on.
There's a documentary in the works by Alix Lambert on the alleged Mentor bullying problem, the trailer for which is above. The film isn't completed yet, but it's already touched nerves in the city.
School officials posted brief notes on the MHS site this week in response to the trailer and a Plain Dealer article about the documentary. They haven't and won't say much — legal reasons, naturally.
Superintendent Jacqueline Hoynes —
Many of you in the Mentor Schools community have probably seen the Cleveland Plain Dealer story covering the documentary being produced about alleged bullying at MHS.
While I have not seen the entire documentary, and the PD article indicates it is not yet completed, the trailer reports only one side of the story.
For legal reasons, we have not been able to respond in the media to the allegations being made. In the past, I have asked for your patience when allegations have been made about bullying incidents at MHS.
I now repeat that request as once again strangers appear to be making inaccurate statements about MHS and our students. I feel confident once the facts are able to come out, we will be exonerated from all of these allegations.
Thank you for your continued support of our students. We have a wonderful student body and they are worthy of that support.
Mentor High School Principal William Wade —
I know many of you are feeling frustrated over the way our school is being portrayed in the media in regard to a documentary trailer recently released about alleged bullying at Mentor High.
While there is not a lot we can say in response to the media coverage for legal reasons, what I know is that we have a great school, with great students and staff.
It is unfortunate some people are trying to paint us in a bad light. But one thing I know is we will stick together and show our Cardinal Pride.
I encourage all of you to take the high road and deflect this negativity with positivity and kindness. Demonstrate your Cardinal Pride and show everyone how great our school is by continuing to do all the great things we do.
As I said at the beginning of the year: be a good citizen and stand up and speak out. Remember once a cardinal always a cardinal. Have a great morning and stay strong Mentor High!