Bullying Concerns

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

A BLOODY NOSE, A CHIPPED TOOTH, SOME PARENTS SAY BULLYING AT A LOCAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HAS GONE TOO FAR. THEY'RE CONCERNED FOR THEIR CHILDREN'S SAFETY. SOME OF THOSE PARENTS ARE NOW TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

JAMES BRENEISEN SAYS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. HIS 9-YEAR-OLD SON HAS SUFFERED A CHIPPED TOOTH AND SEVERAL BLOODY NOSES AT THE HANDS OF BULLIES. AND HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE:

"The same two individuals beat up a little girl, hit her with snowballs and knocked her down and she's in first grade," says Breneisen.

BRENEISEN WAS PART OF A GROUP OF PARENTS WHO MET AT BLACKHAWK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MONDAY. THEY TOOK THEIR SAFETY CONCERNS STRAIGHT TO PRINCIPAL DONNA BENTON. TOPS ON THE LIST - WHY THEY WEREN'T NOTIFIED ABOUT A BULLY WHO BROUGHT A TOY GUN TO SCHOOL AND THREATENED ANOTHER STUDENT:

"Notify parents and so they can talk about it with their kids and say we don’t approve of this,” suggests Breneisen.

THE PRINCIPAL AT BLACKHAWK SAYS BULLYING ON PLAYGROUNDS AT ANY SCHOOL ISN'T ANYTHING NEW. THE PARENTS AGREE. THEY JUST DISAGREE WITH THE WAY SHE'S HANDLING THE SITUATION.

"It just seems like we're not taking an aggressive approach to dealing with these children. We're allowing them to continue," says Breneisen.

BENTON DID NOT WISH TO COMMENT ON CAMERA; BUT SUPERINTENDENT DR. PETER FLYNN SAYS THE DISTRICT TAKES ALL INCIDENTS OF BULLYING SERIOUSLY. SOME PARENTS, HOWEVER, WORRY THEY'RE NOT TAKING IT SERIOUSLY ENOUGH:

"If we don't fix it now, in 5 or 6 years, these kids are going to be 200 pounds and when they hit a kid, they're going to seriously hurt somebody," says Breneisen.

ONE OF THE PARENTS WE SPOKE WITH TODAY - OFF CAMERA - SAYS HE TOOK HIS CHILD OUT OF BLACKHAWK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BECAUSE OF THESE SAFETY CONCERNS.

NOW JUST BEFORE OUR NEWSCAST TONIGHT WE SPOKE WITH THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE FREEPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SAYS A 9-YEAR-OLD STUDENT WAS ARRESTED AT THE SCHOOL FOR THE TOY GUN INCIDENT; THAT INCIDENT HAPPENED JANUARY 19TH.


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