School investigates possible bullying and attack on special needs child

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A Region 8 family is upset after they say their special needs child was beat up by a group of kids after school.

"Obviously, he's okay physically...but he's afraid to go back to school...he doesn't want to go back to school anymore," the boy's mother told us.

She requested her identity be hidden but told us her son escaped with scrapes and bruises after he was attacked by fellow classmates just outside of Annie Camp school property.
According to the police report, the group of juveniles was running away from a wasps nest when they trampled the boy, who has Asperger's syndrome, a form of Autism.
"My understanding is he started yelling at them, y'know, "why did you push me down? That was rude of you to do that" and then they circled around him and began to hit and kick him," the mother explained
We also spoke with the witness who came upon the group attacking the boy. She said when she was able to get the boy into her car, he was "terrified." The witness said she hopes something is done to the juveniles involved so something like this won't happen again.
The mother says she feels as if the school was trying to sweep the incident under the rug. So we sat down with Annie Camp Principal, William Cheatham. He said that's not the case.
"Because it happened right off of campus, we're still gathering information and investigating," Cheatham said.
Cheatham says they take instances like this on a case by case basis...
"When we find out all the answers, we'll discipline accordingly," he said. "If it's something in our investigation that we find out 'hey, this has been going on for awhile,' then that would be considered a bullying case and we would treat that differently than say harassment or say an accident."
Until then, the boy's mother says she plans to press charges, as she doesn't feel her child is safe anymore.
"I'm afraid to let him walk home...or walk to school. Because, I don't know...what would've happened if it hadn't happened on school grounds and nobody witnessed it? How long would they have kept doing that? It could've been a lot worse," she said.
The witness to the incident told Region 8 News that when she was able to get the boy into her car, he was repeatedly saying "they trampled me, they trampled me."
Region 8 News will bring you any new details regarding this incident as it unfolds.
Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.