CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of mothers claim their school district neglected their concerns about bullying.
6-year-old Ayden Sainez is all smiles at home. However, when it comes to school —
“He keeps telling me that he hates his life, and he’s having nightmares,” Ayden’s mom, Nelly, said.
Nelly says that began in the Fall after Ayden was kicked, bitten and had his head pushed into the concrete by a group of kids at Ridge Elementary School in Plainfield. She says she called the school, but the bullying continued.
“It was music class, and they pulled his pants and underwear down,” Nelly said. “It’s just brushed under the rug, and they’re victim blaming.”
Other parents echo Nelly’s concerns from personal experience. They allege Plainfield District 202 doesn’t follow its own 4-page bullying policy, which includes no retaliation for reporting incidents.
Ayden, for instance, now chooses to stay inside during recess.
“There’s no incident reports, I never received one,” said Heather Kennedy, a former District 202 parent, who pulled her 6-year-old daughter from Ridge Elementary. She said she did so because she was dissatisfied with the district’s response after another student scratched her daughter with a pen. She has since retained a lawyer.
“I think the district’s handling was quite poor. I think the district has subjected itself to liability,” Joel Handler said, Kennedy’s attorney.
A District 202 spokesperson adamantly denies charges that they are soft on bullying, saying they take every report seriously and thoroughly investigated every concern. The spokesperson also said the school can’t comment on any specific incidents, adding they will continue to work with parents to ensure the well-being of all students.