Schools not responsive to bullying

The reason for this letter is to let people know what is really going on with bullies in Bladen County schools.

My son is in the fifth grade at Tar Heel Middle. At the beginning of the school year, two students started to harass him and it got worse as the year went on. One of the boys was physically assaulting my child.

My son told teachers, and a cafeteria worker even saw it happen. Nothing was done. Why? because he told teachers and not the principal — that was the excuse I was given. So finally, after months of abuse, my son got tired of nothing being done and fought back. he and the other boy were suspended for three days.

So it didn’t matter how many times this other boy put his hands on my son as long as they weren’t fighting, right?

A week went by and the other boy told my son he was going to get revenge for his friend, who had been removed from the school by his parents. So this boy started in on my son, first with name calling and then physically assaulting him.

My son again told teachers and others at the school, with witnesses, but still got nowhere. The boy has two relatives who work at the school — one even cornered my son and asked why he had told one teacher instead of another. Does it really matter who he tells? He told who he felt safe telling.

Eventually the boy started tackling my son. One time he did it and he was suspended for three days, but it didn’t change anything. He just continued the harassment.

So after several of my trips to the principal’s office and to the school board, Dr. Heavenridge decided to move my son out of the classroom. My son hadn’t done anything wrong, why should he be punished?

On the day Dr. Heavenridge was at the school trying to figure out why this boy had not been punished for his multiple assaults (not just on my child), the boy assaulted my son again!

When I went back to Central Office, Dr. Heavenridge told me on video that the bully was a troubled child and they were going to put all of his punishments into one offense. Really? So do the rules apply to everyone except the bully? They moved the boy to another class, but my son still has to see him throughout the day — and the boy was not suspended for any of the violations.

Why is it so hard to keep our children safe at school anymore, and why should I have to jump through hoops to get a bully away from my son? I have my thoughts on that, but whatever the reason, it’s not right that my son and others have to endure this at school.

Do we have to wait until a child commits suicide to get results? Not long ago, a child in Sampson County did just that. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for my son to become a statistic.

Nicole Turner

Tar Heel