Boy gets motorcycle escort to school after alleged bus bullying

Boy gets motorcycle escort to school after alleged bus bullying

LANDEN, OH (FOX19) - The mother of a sixth-grader at Columbia Elementary School recently posted a video of her son allegedly being bullied on a school bus. In the video, students can be heard telling the boy things like, "Go kill yourself," "That's a gay name," and "You look like a mentally disabled monkey."

Students can also be heard making noises in the nearly 17-minute-long video.

"When they're doing the noise making that's the kids referring to his speech and that's how they make fun of him for his speech," said the victim's mother. FOX19 NOW is not releasing the boy or mother's name in order to protect their identities.

She says her son has sensory and speech delays and is worried about the impact the bullying is having on his education.

"It's very upsetting and I guess what makes it worse is that the school does not do anything to protect my child," she said.

Another parent, Melissa Helton, says when her son was in first grade in the same district, Kings Local School, he was bullied too. When she heard about what happened she organized a motorcycle ride from the boy's home to school.

"I wanted the kids that were making fun of him on the bus to see us at his house and give him a ride to school," said Helton.

The motorcycle escort launched a Warren County Sheriff's Office investigation, causing multiple deputies to respond to the school to see what was going on. The district sent out a letter to parents regarding the incident, which read in part:

This morning, a group of motorcyclists congregated at Columbia Intermediate School. Warren County Sheriff's Deputies investigated and said that the group was asked to join a peaceful protest against bullying. The principal tried to speak with the leader of the group who declined to talk. Law enforcement was called immediately and the motorcyclists were escorted off of the CIS property.

The mother who reported the recent incident says her son has been attacked for three years.

"He's been punched, kicked, pinched, stabbed with a pencil, shoved into a locker, shoved to the ground, pinned against the wall, hit in the head, slammed against the bus window," she said.

Kings Local School District released the following statement:

An incident of alleged bullying on a school bus was brought to our attention last week via social media. The parent did not send the video to the district, nor did they submit a formal bullying complaint to the district regarding this video. Once the building principal saw the video on Facebook, she called the parent who posted the video, as well as followed up with the student.

"The Kings District takes any bullying complaint seriously and bullying will not be tolerated," said Kings Superintendent Tim Ackermann. "Once a complaint is lodged, our administrative team completes a thorough investigation and then assesses whether disciplinary action should be taken. We want all students to feel safe and valued in our schools."

Ohio law requires districts to provide a semi-annual bullying report which indicates the number of harassment, intimidation, or bullying incidents. The number of bullying incidents has decreased in the Kings District. In fact, the most recent report through December 2017 shows two incidents in the Kings School District which is down from four incidents in the previous reporting cycle.

There are several ways that parents and students can report bullying. The Kings District uses Public School Works' Speak UP hotline, as well as SaferOH tip line. Additionally, there is a quick link on the main page of the district website to report bullying and a link to the Stay Safe, Speak UP student helpline on the website as well. The district participates in the K-12 Positive Behavior Supports and Intervention Program. This prevention-oriented approach to student discipline focuses on teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding appropriate behaviors. Finally, the district also provides bullying and cyberbullying resources for parents and students on our website.

The boy's mother claims, "They never mentioned a form to fill out."

Now, both mothers are calling for change.

"I'm passionate about it. I'm even more frustrated that the school has been able to do just placating people," said Helton.

FOX19 asked a spokesperson for the district if the students doing the bullying will be disciplined and are waiting to hear back.

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