CHICAGO (CBS) — He was knocked to the ground, kicked in the face, punched in the stomach — the latest target of a bully.
The 13-year-old victim is telling his story just as a task force is releasing recommendations on how to prevent what some call an epidemic. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
“I can’t protect myself from the bullies. I been picked on everywhere I go,” the seventh-grader victim, “John,” told Tucker.
“I feel weak, just real weak, unprepared for the bullies,” he said.
He’d been verbally abused for weeks, and then came the beating a couple of months ago.
“He started pounding my face and I fell to the ground, and he kicked me around my mouth and nose area,” John said.
His mother, Colleen, had no clue her son was being bullied.
“He’s shy, he’s quiet. He keeps to himself. But now I find out that’s what bullies prey on,” she said.
Attorney Brooke Whitted used to be one of the victims. Today, he’s a member of the Illinois task force that recently prepared a 100-page report in hopes of strengthening the state’s bullying law.
Among the recommendations is a mandate that school districts receive a detailed report on bullying cases within two days after the incidents. Districts would monitor schools and grade them on their progress.
Another recommendation: more counseling for the bullies. Colleen definitely supports that idea.
“This time he kicks somebody in the face. What’s going to happen when the weapons get involved?” she said.
The task force has sent its report to state legislators. They’ll be introduced in the fall session.
As for John’s situation, the bully has been removed from the school — for now. John and his mother are hoping he’s not allowed to return.