Parents say middle school's anti-bullying program violated kids' privacy

Parents of students at a Pittsburgh-area middle school were considering legal action over an anti-bullying program they say crossed the line, local news stations reported Tuesday.

During the Jan. 15 workshop, kids at West Allegheny Middle School reportedly were "grouped" based on how they answered questions about their personal lives. They were asked to identify whether they faced learning disabilities, if other people had called them "fat," or if relatives had spent time in prison, among other questions, according to KDKA.

School board president Debbie Mirich responded, "We do stand behind the intentions of our workshop and we look forward [to] continuing our work with parents to address this very serious issue of bullying and the unintentional acts that continue to marginalize different groups of students."

She added that the school board was not involved in running the program, but that students were never forced to answer questions.

Still, some parents argued that the workshop may have made bullying easier. "I would never expect a middle school to ask 13-year-old kids if your parents have ever been in jail, if they're same sex, if they're having financial issues," Marie-Noelle Briggs told WPXI.

Parents said they were considering a class-action lawsuit but did not elaborate, KDKA adds.