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Bully-A-Day: January 24, 2014

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Staff Reports

Today’s story comes from Becky Lail.  Like so many others, it also comes from the Worth County School System.

My son has been a victim of bullying his whole time at Worth County Schools from primary all the way to 6th grade when I removed him and started home schooling . I have many stories to tell bit this is just one of them .

My son had previously reported bullying by Coach Juster to me and I knew Josh didn’t trust him anymore. The one incident that haunts me everyday involved The Principal of the elementary school Mr. Deriso and Coach Juster. My son has Asperger’s Syndrome and he has major breakdowns when it comes to foods. He only eats certain things and can not tolerate the smells or to be around food. So in his IEP it is known he sits by himself with no one around him.

The school counselor called me one day and said my son had gotten in trouble in the lunch room. I was like “OK, what happened?”

I heard Josh crying in the background and I immediately told her to put Josh on the phone. He was crying so hysterically I couldn’t understand so I told them I was on my way to the school. I picked him up and took him home and he began telling me about Coach Juster yelling at him right in his face after he didn’t stop eating his pudding with his mouth instead of a spoon, telling him “You know your mother raised you better than that.”

He started threatening him with calling me and he was going to be in trouble. I know he is to do what he is instructed to do but what happened is ridiculous. So I immediately called the school and demanded to know what happened. Assistant principal Rouse told me Josh wouldn’t do what he was told and was escorted out of the lunch room. HE SAID ITS ALL ON TAPE YOU CAN COME WATCH IT!

My sister and I went back to the school and what we seen was awful. My son was sitting at the table alone not talking to anyone just sitting there Coach Juster walks up tells Josh something and walks away. He comes back and puts a spoon on the table and says something to Josh. Josh looks up then back down. Coach Juster gets right in my sons face and I could tell he was yelling at him. Josh just sits there. Coach Juster continued until my son finally got up and had his face in his hands crying hysterically walking out the lunch room.

Rouse told me well he should have done what he was told! I see nothing wrong with what happened! I told him that I would be back to talk to Mr. Deriso . My sister and I returned the following morning to talk to Deriso. He met us with a smug smile. I told him we was there to discuss the incident with my son in the lunch room. He started laughing and said “You mean the incident when your son was eating like a dog”

I told him I didn’t understand why he was laughing because nothing was funny and I didn’t appreciate it at all. I told him isn’t this a bit ridiculous for my son to be treated like this over how he chose to eat a pudding cup. I have proof of this conversation and those hurtful words he spoke. I told him that my son better not go back to that man’s class for the remaining of the year and he was to stay away from him.

We went back and forth about the incident and I ended up at the school board. She would not see me because I had no appointment . But we was there the next morning and spoke with her she was appalled about what was taken place and told me she would handle it but I would not know what happened to him because of a privacy policy!!! My son was to his breaking point I seen the hurt and pain in his eyes everyday.

My son stop thriving; he wasn’t happy with his life anymore. He stopped smiling, he honestly stopped doing everything. He went to a dark place and I got scared for my sons life. I put him in therapy and found out he had thoughts of suicide. Then the therapy was once to twice a week. I feared for my son.

The therapist had me watch him closely and couldn’t leave him alone. My son easily could’ve been Dustin. My son was taken out of this school system after being bullied by his teachers in 6th grade. Bullying is real and our kids don’t forget the hurtful words that is said to them. My son is 14 and he remembers the bullying when he was 6 years old. Just last week my sons therapist asked him have you had any thoughts of hurting yourself anymore he replied not since I left public school.

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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