After a bullying incident sent her son to the emergency room, an outraged mother is demanding that her unmet concerns about his safety be addressed.
Robert Howard, a 14-year-old freshman at Kimball High School in Tracy, California, was rushed to the emergency room on Jan. 26 following a bullying incident. According to KTXL News, Robert has borderline autism and functions at a second grade level.
“They hit me with a [traffic] cone,” Robert Howard told KCRA News. “It hurt so bad.”
Sandy Howard, Robert’s mother, has contacted school officials several times about the bullying that her son has experienced.
"There was two incidents last year, where he came home crying -- just bawling -- showing me his hands and his knees,” she told KTXL News. “He was pushed down and he was bleeding.”
According to Howard, she met with school staff about her son's curriculum and safety concerns earlier this month.
"The PE teacher came in and said, 'Don't worry about the bullying issues,'” she recalled. “’We've separated the problems so he shouldn't have any more problems. We're taking care of it,' reassured me that we were OK. Here we are two weeks later, I get a call that they're rushing him to the emergency and that he's got a busted lip."
Principal Rob Pecot said the school is conducting an investigation.
"We pride ourselves in ensuring student success and student safety,” Pecot said. “Anytime something happens that challenges that, it's a concern to us.”
Local police are investigating the situation as well, as Howard has hired a lawyer to ensure that her concerns are addressed.
Attorney Gil Somera believes the school should have immediately addressed Howard’s concerns.
"Principals, teachers, VPs, counselors, all need to be held accountable,” Somera explained. “Are we providing a safe environment for these children to excel? If it's not happening, then they need to make changes.”
“I want the bullying to be taken more serious in the schools," said Howard. “I feel like my complaints were empty, followed by nothing."