Two Blue Springs parents say that the school district is doing nothing to stop a third-grader from bullying his classmates, and one mother pulled her son from class as a result of the bullying.
The district denies the claims and says other issues were at play.
Mary Ann Bloss said district officials refused to fix the problem.
"They don't handle it. They don't even look into it. They tell the kids to just ignore it and go on. They can't do that," Bloss said.
She said she had no choice but to pull her 9-year-old son from school after he would get physically ill over having to go to class. She said he would throw up at the bus stop and come home with bruises.
"He was getting upset. He'd cry, 'Please don't make me go,'" Bloss said.
Bloss pulled her son, Jacob, out of Thomas Ultican Elementary, 1813 W. Main St., in January.
A telephone call from another parent led to her final decision.
"Another parent called me and asked me if I knew that Jacob was being bullied," Bloss said. "It was rough on me because I work so much, and I'm not here with him."
That other parent said the same third-grader bullied her daughter all school year and administrators ignored the problem.
"That kid was really, really mean," Jacob said. "I was thinking, 'I think he is going to hurt me again.'"
Bloss said the principal repeatedly told her he would take care of the issues. But when KCTV5 News asked the district, a representative said it was not about bullying and couldn't say what it was about.
"We heard about instances, they were not bullying instances. That is how the social worker and Department of Public Safety got involved," Blue Springs spokeswoman Cara Anger said Monday.
Bloss said the school reported her to state social workers after Jacob missed 25 days of school, which she said was due to the bullying. But she and her son are speaking out now because she wants people to stand up when others look away.
"If you don't speak up, it might get worse, really worse," Jacob said.
The school district said their teachers and administrators take anti-bullying training before the year begins. Students kindergarten though eighth grade also participate in an anti-bullying rally every year.
These measures were enacted as part of a settlement with the parents of a boy who committed suicide after he was relentlessly bullied. The district's insurance provider paid $500,000.
The attorneys alleged that district officials and employees hid and destroyed evidence that documented the abuse. District employees allegedly hid and destroyed at least two suicide notes "in an attempt to protect themselves," that lawsuit claimed.
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