Gather around children and parents as I tell you a story of the injustice that has recently taken place at this school. Personally I had never liked the school; this staff was horrible, most students were rude and excluded other, but i went with it because i knew it was only for 2 years (I came here in 7th grade currently an 8th grader). However today something happened that has pushed me over the top. I have a friend that has been bullied for 3 years now by the same boy who he used to call his best friend. Today I noticed how horrible this boy was being. I then went into the office along with some witnesses to report the problem. As I walked in I was greeted rather rudely and was asked what I was doing there. On a different note, how are students to report things like this if the office staff is soooo rude?!? Now back to the subject. I walked in and we reported our problem along with the kid who was bullied. Me and the other witnesses were told to go to our respective classrooms while the kid who was being bullied and one witness stayed behind. Now I returned home and waited when I received a text from my friend who had been bullied. He explained to me that he had received a 1 week detention while the bully received absolutely NOTHING. How is this supposed to stop bullying?!? If it is doing nothing to stop the students and instead punishing the victims? Now admittedly the victim did try to pick a fight with the bully but quickly calmed down and didn't go through with it. Not to mention the hundreds of verbal and physical fights the bully had picked with him. He had spread rumors, got all of his "popular friends" to hate this boy and beat up on him. I ask you: IS THIS JUSTICE? Not to mention the office staff and regular staff. I am not trying to say that all the staff is bad, in fact i have one teacher in mind that actually has done a whole lot to help but in general it is horrible. The school is not welcoming at all for the first quarter, when i was a new student, not a single student or teacher came up to me to ask me if I wanted to sit with them. Not to mention the dress code problem and profanity issue.
In the 3yrs I ve had a student at BHMS there have been MANY meetings to discuss the dress code (addressing things like "cleavage" and shaming 13 y.o. girls for how "distracting" an exposed bra strap can be), however I have not heard of nor has the school invited me to a meeting to address bullying or language at BHMS. There has been continued and intensifying bullying & the school has not shown significant interest in changing the environment. The boys at the school are simply told to "settle down" when they re seen punching or hitting each other. The teachers and volunteers on campus seem slow and reluctant to respond to violence, aggression, and bullying. Teachers turn a deaf ear while an ocean of predominantly Caucasian children regularly use the "N" word & homophobic terms are used on a daily basis (these are not tolerated at the high school level nor at the elementary schools). BHMS has not taken action to create a hate-free environment, instead they tell kids to "toughen up". Students are warned at the elementary school level how rough it will be in middle school.
I have had 2 boys attend Bernardo Heights and overall it has been a positive experience. The principal is fantastic, always willing to listen to parent and student concerns. He runs a tight ship especially when it comes to the dress code (no shorty-shorts here). The teachers are well-qualified although they give a lot of homework/projects and are quite strict with their homework policies. The office staff are friendly and helpful. A downside is there has been a large student to teacher ratio the past few years due to state budget cuts. Unlike the elementary and high schools, parents aren't asked to volunteer much here. The music programs are definitely something to brag about, band, orchestra, and choir, and they feed into the award-winning RBHS music programs.
Office staff seems nice enough..some teachers are okay..but too many kids, too few teachers..I agree about the element here. The bullying does seem to be an issue and most of the teachers seem like drones. They really do not seem to care about the kids who actually need help. Just wanna get through another day.
My child has gone to BHMS for the past three years. The first year there was 3-4 hrs of nightly homework with many projects. In 7th and 8th grade, there has been very little homework. This practice should be reversed, with much less in 6th as students get used to having multiple teachers in a new school, gradually increasing as they finish 8th grade, so they will be prepared for the rigor of High School. We loved the old principal - friendly, professional, student-centered. She was a positive force on campus. The new principal, in my opinion, has been heavy handed in issuing dress code violations. My child and their friends are so worried about getting dress-coded, they can't focus on academics. As a parent and educator, I have found the environment fearful for my child, over the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. A very sad commentary on a place that we should be secure in the knowledge our children are receiving a quality education without the fear of bullying... by administration, teachers, lunch duties, or students. I feel this administrator is out of touch with his students. The focus is not where it should be at this school, and I have met with him directly about my concerns.
My daughter graduated from BHMS in 2012. She had a wonderful experience. However, my son finished 6th grade at BHMS in 2012, then we moved to another school. His first year was vastly different. He was bullied at BHMS. We also found out he had Aspergers and the school was not able to accommodate his special needs. One teacher worked with us, another teacher would not accommodate my son's learning style. My son's profanity expanded quite a bit while playing Yugioh cards with 8th graders. Too bad its changed so much from being a top notch school.
My 6th and 8th grader started school her in the fall of 2012. I will have to say, not a good experience at all. There is bullying, the school does not practice what it preaches on safety, (my son broke a bone in P.E., it never should have happened and no follow-through on safety measures.) My 6th grader who enjoyed her old school does not like this school at all. She went from a zero tolerance on bullying, traditional middle school with similar A.P. scores to BHMS and wants to be home-schooled now. Front office is great, teachers and staff just so-so, good music program. Overall, what a disappointment!