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Bikers give Lewis-Arriola student a ride home

Group steps into dispute after claims of bullying

Motorcycle riders escorted a Lewis-Arriola Elementary School student home Wednesday after reports that the student had been bullied.

Bikers Sharon King, Dawn Lingo, Bill Bone and Rus Bone gathered at the school to give the 8-year-old girl a ride home.

After Assistant Superintendent Dan Porter walked her out to the riders, they decked her out in a helmet, leather jacket and a pair of shades before riding off.

Lingo and King said they were notified via Facebook that there were some issues at the elementary school, so they went to the school to escort the girl and make a dramatic statement against bullying.

“It’s a big problem, and we wanted to help out,” King said about bullying.

Two Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office deputies were at the school monitoring the situation. The school was in a lockout from before noon to the end of the school day, Porter said. Students were kept inside, and entrance to the school was restricted to parents, Porter said, adding that the school was concerned about a threatening Facebook post. He provided no further details.

Lewis-Arriola Principal Jim Parr said Wednesday the school was monitoring a Facebook post that alleged bullying at the school.

He did not confirm or deny any bullying incident involving a specific student, citing student privacy reasons.

He said the district’s policy is to investigate any report of bullying. School staff and administrators are involved in various anti-bullying programs, he said.

“We work hard in our classrooms to ensure that these things don’t take place,” Parr said.

Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said he and a few deputies had spoken to school staff about claims of severe bullying, and believed they were “a false alarm.”

A Facebook post in the group “Cortez Sales” asked for members of Bikers Against Bullies to help out at the school. Bikers Against Bullies USA is a national organization dedicated to raise awareness about bullying in communities through education, outreach and fundraising, according to the group’s website.

King said there was no local Montezuma County chapter of the group, but there are chapters in other nearby areas, such as Durango.

Riders in other chapters have helped protect families and individuals going through rough situations, such as bullying and abuse, King said.

There has been some interest from parents at other area schools for such a program, she said.

“If we get enough interest, we might contact other chapters to see how they do things,” she said.


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