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'My Child Is In Pain': Virginia Dad Says School Should Do More To Prevent Bullying

| by Lisa Fogarty
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A father from Newport News, Virginia, says his daughter's school isn't doing enough to protect the second grader from bullying that left her with a huge welt on her face. 

Michael Watson told WAVY News that his 10-year-old daughter, Elisabeth Rouche, came home from Jenkins Elementary School in tears last week after an incident on the bus left her with marks on her face.

"My child is in pain," Watson said. "She was holding her face and she was screaming. When I moved her hand, I saw welts. You have to hit someone with so much force to break their skin."

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Watson said that his daughter was slapped on the bus on the way home that day, that she has endured past attacks by bullies. He added that school administrators aren't doing enough to keep students safe from bullying. 

"We are trusting that our children, when they are not in our care and in the care of school administrators, that they are getting the best possible education and that they are going to be in a safe learning environment," Watson said. "Clearly, in this case, my daughter is not protected." 

According to Watson, Elisabeth doesn't want to attend school anymore because she has been repeatedly picked on and has even had objects thrown at her.

"She should be able to walk these streets as a free citizen, come to school and get her education without having to fear that somebody is going to assault her today," Watson stated.

Newport News Public Schools responded to the incident with a statement which read, in part:

All reports of inappropriate behavior are taken seriously and are quickly investigated. The report of this incident was received on Thursday, and an investigation was immediately launched by the school's principal. As a result of the investigation, a first-grade student was sanctioned in accordance with Newport News Public Schools' Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

A different Jenkins Elementary School -- one located in Houston, Texas -- also made the news a few weeks ago when parents claimed their 8-year-old daughter was being so severely bullied in her third grade class that she didn't even want to wake up in the morning, My Fox Houston reported. Her parents said the child reported the bullying to a teacher but that her complaints are being "ignored." 

Sources: WAVY, My Fox Houston

Photo Credit: WAVY, WikiCommons