UPDATED: March 14 at 4:47 p.m.
Wesley Neff has organized an open forum event to be held Tuesday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hannibal.
Neff is calling for everyone who has had or has a child who is a victim of bullying and any child who is bullied to attend and let their voices be heard. Ultimately, he hopes that action can be taken against this issue.
He has requested the attendance of school board members, state representatives, teachers, and principals to hear about the problems that children are facing within the school system.
The goal is to get the information to the correct people so this problem can be taken seriously and resolved quickly.
"He cries because he's mad that God made him this way. He just wants help," says Wes Neff. And this Tri-State father isn't sure where to turn to get help.
Wes Neff's 13-year-old son has a form or autism, and he gets bullied at school. Neff tells KHQA his son has been called names and been picked on for awhile, but something happened back in December that changed everything. Now, Neff is even more worried about his son.
On December 17th, Wes Neff got a call from his son's school saying Neff should meet his son at the bus stop because there had been an incident on the bus. Neff went to meet his son, and while he was still on the phone with the school, his son came up the driveway.
"Crying, screaming. He had a bloody nose and he ran to his room," says Neff.
That was a Friday. Neff tried all weekend to get information out of his boy.
"He eventually told me he had gotten into an altercation with another student. He had hit another student with his bookbag," says Neff.
On Monday, Neff went to the school for more information. The Assistant Principal wasn't sure, so he called the bus barn. Neff was told the driver saw his son hit another kid with his bookbag and had yelled profanities. But after school officials looked at the bus's security camera, Neff got a call back.
"Yes, my son had hit somebody, but he wasn't in any trouble. Just prior to that, he had just been slapped in the face 37 times," says Neff.
Neff's son hasn't ridden the bus since.
"He's changed. He's made a lot of changes. He's very frustrated over the course of time, we've talked about what exactly is going on in school. He talks about being bullied. He talks about being called names. He's getting angry. His grades are dropping," says Neff.
Neff says his son just wants to belong. He says he worries about his son all day while he's at school, hoping he doesn't get a phone call that he's been hurt again.
Wes Neff also is upset that he's not allowed to see the tape of his son on the bus.
KHQA also spoke to Hannibal Superintendent Jill Janes about this today. She could not say anything specific on the case for confidentiality reasons, but did explain why a parent wouldn't be able to see any security video.
"If we show a parent the tape, then they will see other kids too. And we'd be breaching confidentiality. It's almost be like showing them their permanent record, "says Janes
Janes also told us bullying is taken very seriously in the Hannibal school system. She also says it takes awhile to investigate a bullying incident because the school has to be fair, and there are always two sides to every story.
Janes adds, because of confidentiality, the parents of children who are bullied usually doesn't learn what happens to the students who acted as the bully, but she says they are appropriately disciplined.