WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. One New Hanover County mother says this is not the case for her son. She says her son is the victim of bullying, and she is afraid the problems will escalate quickly.
Tabitha Richard’s son, a sixth grade student at Williston Middle School, says he’s being bullied, and he’s too afraid to return back to class.
“I just want my child to be safe. That’s all,” Richard said. “I’m scared for my child.”
After a fight at school earlier this month, Richard says her son does not feel safe at Williston Middle School. She says she is pressing charges against the boy she says is bullying and abusing her son, but she does not think that’s enough.
“The dean told me that the other guy, his rap sheet is long,” Richard said about the boy she says is bullying her son. “He is a troublemaker in school. Why is he not put out of New Hanover County Schools yet? He’s able to bully these kids, but he can still get suspended for ten days and then come right back and do the same thing.”
Richard says her son is not the only one being picked on on campus, but many of the students being bullied may be afraid to talk to others about it.
Hannah Manson is the Behavior Specialist for New Hanover County Schools. She says safety is the district’s number one priority in schools, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for each other.
“It’s very important that we all foster those environments in our schools of safety, so if other students are seeing that a child is being targeted or bullied, they have a responsibility to report as well,” Manson said. “And that goes for parents, too. If they are aware that a child is being targeted, we all have a responsibility to look out for one another.”
Richard says she’s done everything she can to make sure her son is safe, and now she hopes that something is done before it’s too late.
The school district says it cannot talk about this specific case.
The district is hosting a bullying workshop for parents February 3 at Williston Middle School. Manson hopes parents will attend the event to learn how to empower their children. The event will be offered in both English and Spanish.