Bullying not the only problem -- many cases not documented
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Vancouver mom and son are frustrated by the kicking, hitting and strangling they say the 7th grader has been getting from classmates.
But that's only the start of it.
Yolanda Wilson is just as angry about how bullying cases are documented and investigated.
Or in too many cases, not documented.
Wilson says her son James is too scared to go back to Covington Middle School.
She's had dozens of conversations with school administrators about the bullying.
But Wilson says the school won't allow her to make any tape recordings of their meetings, and won't discuss details of the incidents in emails.
"So there's nothing on paper. If they don't document them, then the state doesn't investigate them," she says.
A school district spokeperson said in a statement that the district "has been working diligently with Ms. Wilson and her son to resolve concerns. We are following district, state and federal policies at all levels."
Which means they don't have to disclose details to KATU, either.
But shortly after KATU's story aired Tuesday evening, the district's risk manager emailed Wilson to arrange a meeting to talk about her concerns and allegations.
Part of the problem, Wilson says, may be there are simply too many kids packed into Covington.
"He (her son) doesn't know the names of the kids who are bullying him, so the teachers can't do a lot because they don't know who's doing it," she says.
Meanwhile, James would love to keep learning. The family is arranging for online classes and an independent education plan.
He's hoping to go to college to study robotics.
But he's not sure if he'll ever be ready to go back to middle school.
He does have something to say to the kids who are there: "If you think it's a joke, and it's something really mean, then it's not a joke."