Cave City parents claim son bullied, attacked at school - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Cave City parents claim son bullied, attacked at school

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CAVE CITY , AR (KAIT) – A grainy cell phone video recorded in Cave City has gone viral.

The video shows a disabled high school student getting punched in the face several times, while his class watches.

The incident has outraged the student's parents, who demand that the Cave City School District do more to deal with what they say is a persistent problem with bullying.

"My son can't return to school because he's in fear," Kristina Rogers said, "and I don't blame him."

Rogers now plans to keep her 15-year-old son, Keith, at home after he was attacked at school two weeks ago.

"As his mother," she said, "in good conscience, I couldn't send him back."

Rogers says her son has been repeatedly bullied at school, but it reached another level on March 5, 2013.

That day, Rogers says several students provoked a fight between another boy and her son.  She says the students kept telling the boy that her son wanted to date him. She claims the boy then confronted Keith in his agriculture class and slugged him several times, knocking him to the ground.

Rogers says her son sustained a concussion during and broke his glasses, which are specially made for him because he is legally blind.

Rogers acquired a video the day after the fight that one of her son's classmates reportedly recorded. She decided to post it online to social media to raise awareness about bullying and provoke the school to act.

"I grieve over this," she said. "Every day I wake up, it's like I've got the news that somebody has died."

Rogers says her son's alleged attacker was suspended from school for five days and cited for disorderly conduct, but the prosecuting attorney's office in Sharp County told her Friday that the charges have been upgraded to battery in the third degree.

"I think that the courts can handle that adequately," she said. "I'm now looking for the school to handle it adequately."

Rogers plans to bring up her concerns Monday evening when she addresses the Cave City School Board.

"This has definitely been something that we're taking seriously, and it's something we're going to give every bit of attention to," said Superintendent Steven Green.

Green says his staff members took the appropriate actions when this incident was reported to them. He, however, could offer no information about what disciplinary actions have been taken since then, citing personnel and student confidentiality.

"We don't want anything like this ever happening here," he said. "We don't want it to happen anywhere, but we sure don't want it to happen again in Cave City."

Green would now like to assure parents that in light of this incident, the district will review its anti-bullying policies and may enact tougher measures.

"You wish you could've had the opportunity to have been there or done something to stop it but unfortunately what's done is done," Green said. "Now, the focus for us is to do all we can to make sure something like this doesn't happen again to anybody."

Green expected the school board to likely begin its discussions about possible changes to its bullying policy on Monday night.

The family of the boy accused of starting the fight has also confirmed that it has now hired a lawyer. Oscar Jones, an attorney in Batesville, has yet to return multiple requests for comment about the charges his client is now facing.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

 

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