Cairo -Today’s story come from Tracey Bauldree in Cairo. She shares the story of her son, Luke who has been enduring a particularly rough time at school.
My name is Tracey Bauldree and I have a son named Luke Bauldree that is in eighth grade at Washington Middle School in Cairo, Georgia. My son has been a victim of school bullying. Last year my husband and I bought a new home in a new school district. This school has a very bad reputation anyway and so we was very hesitant to enroll our son there but the school he was currently attending was too far away for us to be able to make the drive. So after discussing this situation for a couple of weeks we decided to put him in this new school. (Washington Middle School) I had a conversation with the Principal prior to his enrollment and he assured me that my son would be safe and the teachers would make sure of it.Three weeks after school started I picked my son up from football practice one afternoon and was taking him to his next practice with the Grady County Rec Department and he looks and me and tells me he can’t do another practice because he was choked at school in the bathroom by another student until he passed out in the floor. I looked at his neck and he had bruises around his throat area. I made him tell me everything that happened and he stated he and a friend had gone to the restroom and this child (that was previously suspended from all the Leon County Florida Schools for being a bully) had grabbed his friend by the throat and used a wrestling move on him and told my son I bet he can’t get out of this. So my son was telling the young man to stop and he released that child and grabbed my son and done the same thing to him except he held my son until he was blue in the face and passed out in the bathroom floor. The little boy that he had previously choked was terrified while the child responsible for this started splashing water in my sons face in hopes to wake him up. The other student ran to get help. My son regained consciousness and didn’t remember anything that happened. The teacher was there at this point to help my son and stated to me that she thought sh had to call the ambulance to my son. The responsible child was sent to the Asst. Principle’s office where he was only talk to and sent back to class. On his way back to class he gets up in my son’s face and tells him that he didn’t get in any trouble that he just got “talked to” and that was it.The school failed to call me or my husband and make us aware of anything that had gone on that day. I found out from my son that evening. The next day my husband and I along with the other victims parents was at the school wanting answers to what had happened to our children. The principle stated that he was unaware of what had happened and how serious it was until the other victims parents called him at home. He stated that the child would be punished but that by the States law was only allowed to be punished to a certain extent because he was a special needs child. I demanded an explanation as to what he meant by special needs and he explained to us that the boy (bully) had trouble controlling his behavior. WE found out through the Superintendent that the child was no allowed to be alone at any point in time at the school. He was going to get with the Principle to get an explanation as to why the child was not being monitored.From this point on I was getting a phone call almost once a week from the school stating something new had happened to my son. He had his finger purposely stepped on and busted open, he had his glasses slapped off of his face, he was pushed out of his desk and books shoved on the floor. Seemed like it went on and on and was never noticed. I went and spoke with lawyers, Board of Education, County Officials, Police Department, etc. to get advise on what needed to be done with no success. At the end of the school year I had finally had enough and made a decision to go to the news media with my sons complaints. When the news contacted the Superintendent he denied any such happenings at the schools. I was outraged and furious with the school system and how it had failed my family in making sure my child was safe at school. The school brushed the situation under the rug like it never happened. Bullying isn’t being taken seriously in our schools.My daughter is now making speeches at area schools about bullying and the affects it has on children and their families. My son now has very low self esteem and we have to monitor his every move. This is a very sad situation and no parent should have to deal with this.
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