The parents of a nine-year-old boy are suing the Caddo Parish School Board after they say their son tried to kill himself because he was being bullied at a local school. Education Reporter Eric James sat down with the parents of the boy in an exclusive interview.

Due to the sensitive nature of this story KTBS has chosen not to reveal the name of the family or the school where the alleged bullying took place.

“He was seven and it’s very hard to watch your child grab a knife and try and kill himself,” said the mother of the boy.

It is an ordeal the family has been dealing with for nearly two years. In that time they say their son has tried to commit suicide twice.

The family told James they believe their nightmare started following an alleged sexual assault against their son; an assault the mother says she walked in on at their home in 2011.

“My daughter and me saw my son pinned down to the ground with his pants pulled down and the other child was on top of my child and I pulled the other child off of my child,” said the mother.

Question (James): Did you call police?

Answer (Mother):  At that point we contacted his parents (the parents of the other boy) first.

Question (James): Did you ever call police?

Answer (Mother) Yes

Question (James) And what was you told?

Answer (Mother) We were told because of his age there was nothing they could do about it.

The couple says when they then went to the school to enroll their son and; that is when they found out the two boys were set to be in the same class, so they made an appointment with the principal and told her what they say happened to their son.

“The principal explained to us that they would be separated, they would be at separate ends of the campus and they would not have any contact at all, ” said the boy’s stepfather.  But they say that didn’t happen and instead they say their son ended up being bullied by the other boy on three different occasions.

 “He told us that he was being pushed on the play ground and was being called names,” said the mother.  Based on images allegedly drawn by their son, they say there were signs that something was wrong and that school officials over looked those signs, for example; the boy referred to the other child as bad in one drawing.  The teacher allegedly put a smiley face on the drawing.

Question (James): Did you ever think at any point in time when you first found out he was going to be in the same classroom with this boy that maybe you should not send him there at all?

Answer (Mother): Well according to they’re anti bullying policies the other child should have been removed from the school.

Question (James): So you were pretty confident in what the principal told you?

Answer (Mother): Yes especially after we gave her documents from our doctors. According to documents given to us by the family from the Caddo Parish School Board, it wasn’t until after the boy tried to kill himself the first time did school officials recommend that he be enroll in a different school.

Question (James):  Why file a lawsuit?

Answer (Mother): Because she (the principal) does not protect our children. It’s not just about our son it’s about other children. Would you want it to happen to your child or other children?

That is part of the reason why the family has taken to social media sites to get the word out that bullying must stop. They say since posting a video on YouTube and creating a Facebook page other parents have accused the same principal of allegedly mishandling their bullying concerns as well.

The attorney for the family was present during the interview. The boy is no longer enrolled in Caddo Parish Schools.

Documents also show the boy has been in counseling since the time of the alleged sexual assault and he has since developed a number of emotional issues. They believe if the principal had taken their concerns more seriously the boy would not have tried to commit suicide nor would he have developed issues, which have caused him to be paranoid and suffer with panic attacks.

In a statement from the Caddo Parish School Board they say:

” This matter is now in litigation.  Because the lawsuit’s allegations involve the conduct of two young students, we are unable to provide any additional facts for confidentiality reasons.  The Caddo Parish School Board believes that school officials acted appropriately based on the information that was given to them at the time and CPSB intends to vigorously defend the charges.”

If you or your family is dealing with a bullying situation, click on one of the links below to find helpful information.

The Center for Families 

Stop Bullying 

 

Article courtesy of Eric James KTBS