Allegations of School Bullying at Westside Middle School

May 11, 2004 -- Posted at 4:02 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- The American Justice Department says that one out of every four kids will be abused by another youth this month, and every seven minutes a child is bullied on a playground.

With alarming trends in youth behavior, what are parents and schools doing to prevent bullying?
A mother of three says her oldest son is a victim of bullying at one Region 8 school.
"He's been called freckle face, stupid, and dumb," she said.

She didn't want K-8 news to use her name, but she did want her son's story told.

"He is being bullied. He's been bullied for the whole year. I didn't find out about it until a few months ago when he finally opened up to me about it," she said.
She says her son, a student at Westside Middle School, had gone to the schools resource officer about the alleged incidents of bullying, which were occurring on the playground.
"It doesn't seem I'm getting very good cooperation from the school. I don't really feel like they care about my son's safety," said his mother.
It's playgrounds that parents say need more teacher supervision in order to help combat bullying.
"Right now, he has no self esteem left because of this. I mean, we are to the bottom, we have to do something for him. For the rest of his life, because this is scaring him. He has no self esteem, he's made comments to me that he just doesn't want to live anymore because everybody hates him, and I think that's probably about as low as a child can get," said the worried parent.
She says her son will start therapy later this week to help him deal with the emotional stress of bullying.
"I want to make him see that he is somebody and that he's not a freckle face, he's not stupid and he's not ugly, and when it's gone this far, it's gone too far."

Principal Myra Graham wasn't able to speak on camera with K-8 news Tuesday, but she did release this statement.

"Westside Middle School has a bullying policy that is enforced. The administration always conducts an investigation of any allegations reported to us. We definitely punish the offenders."