Hannibal family pulls student from school because of bullying
Thu, 21 Oct 2010 23:25:09 GMT —
"I don't want to come home and find him dead or have him hurt someone else, he's too good of a child," said Donald Utley, father of bullying victim.
That fear made the father and mother of a Hannibal boy decide to pull him out of school Wednesday, October 20th.
They say their son has endured almost seven years of bullying from his classmates.
Now the parents hope they can help other families in similar situations.
KHQA's Jarod Wells shows you their story and how they plan to help others.
Angela Utley said, "My son has been bullied since starting in this school district, which was in first grade. It's been an ongoing thing, school bus, in school."
Donald Utley said, "He goes to the bathroom in between class and he gets bullied in there because there's no cameras. He goes in the hallways, they trip him, kick him, push him down, knock his books out of his hands."
Donald and Angela Utley say their son has been both verbally and physically bullied.
Donald Utley said, "He's intelligent, really smart, articulate, he speaks well and people find that as a weakness, I guess, being sensitive. And they'll pick on him and poke at him until he cries."
Angela Utley said, "You tell the school about it and, yeah, they do what they're supposed to, to a point, but it doesn't do any good."
Donald Utley said, "They're pulling the bullies in, but it's not doing any good because when they pull the bully in, it just extenuates the bullying, it makes it worse, because they know who they picked on and they know if they get pulled into the office, that's the person that did it."
The Utley's son came home on Tuesday, October 19th and much like he had done every day, told his parents he did not want to go back to school. They reached their boiling point Wednesday.
Angela Utley said, "What made me say, 'I'm done' is when I found out that he was upset, crying, wouldn't talk to anybody and I wasn't notified. I said, 'enough is enough, my son is not going to be a statistic', and that was that."
Donald and Angela have set up an e-mail address and urge parents from around the Tri-states to contact them if their students are going through similar situations.
Angela Utley said, "If your child goes out on the streets and commits a crime or vandalizes or whatever, you're going to be held accountable. But your child can do whatever they want in the school system and you're not held accountable. I think that maybe if we all get together as parents, we can change that."
The e-mail address to reach the Utley's is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We talked to Hannibal School Superintendent Jill Janes about this.
This is the statement she gave us.
"The Hannibal Middle School is trying very hard to address bullying. School officials are developing initiatives and programs to address this serious issue."
There will be a parent forum on December 14th.
The place and time still haven't been determined.