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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest2020

    He didn’t say that all were thugs. He said that most were thugs. I think that someone your age taking an interest in such things and giving an opinion is a good thing.

  • guest128

    ive graduated from williston last year and their were any problems the staff where very strict. and about that comment you made all people at williston are hoodlums well im not nor my family my parents are 2 very great people with high paying jobs. so not every black person is ghetto. learn to think before thinking. -14yr african-american boy

  • guesty

    You should have paid more attention in English class.

    If you want the same high paying job your parents have, you better lean spelling, punctuation and basic sentence structure first.

  • Guest

    If you remember correctly the board voted AGAINST “socioeconomic redistricting”, not for it. That is why we have neighborhood schools, which means racially isolated, overwhelmingly high poverty schools in some areas, with overwhelmingly affluent schools in others. If more folks had been aware and supported board of education candidates who saw the problems a neighborhood school plan would create than we wouldn’t be in this mess. But our county overwhelmingly supported candidates who felt mandated to resegregate our schools.

  • E

    Do you even know where Williston School is?

  • 1234Guest

    Wow I see how this goes. I tryed to write a comment on here this morning and thought my comment was a good one. I have lived this situation with these schools for years. I guess whoever read my comment didn’t agree. Way to go WWAy. Your news Channel sucks anyhow.

  • KrisC

    I was a teacher at Williston in the 1970s and I was bullied. In that time shots were fired. It was hard, but I stood up to it. Bullies want you to stand up to them, but they just laugh and do it more. I don’t care what some counselor sitting up in an office drinking coffee eating a donut says. Away from the mainstream, they and administration do very little. The best thing to do is to get out before it’s too late. But where do you go? Those bullies are who should go, right now.

  • please

    Tell your son to pull up his big boy panies and step up to the plate. As long as he runs around scared everyone will bully him the rest of his life. Pick up something and crack the boys skull and he will leave people alone. Stop being a airtime cry baby to fulfill WWAY’s desires to air such foolish stories.

  • guesty

    The problem with Williston is most of the children that attend there are local, downtown hoodlums without any parental supervision. Then when they arrive at school that behavior continues. The school board tried to fix that with their magical “socioeconomic redistricting” That ended up dropping a bunch of white children in a school in the hood with undisciplined future thugs.

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