News 12 First at Five / Friday, May 3, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- An Augusta father says he kept his son home from school Friday morning for fear he'd be picked on by bullies.
Rev. Frank Green then turned to school officials for help but says they offered little. It's a story we hear from many of you parents concerned about out-of-control bullying.
Green works at Augusta Christian Academy. He waited two months before he contacted News 12. He said he wanted to give the school time to respond and take action, but when he says nothing changed, that's when he decided enough was enough.
"One day I was walking to the bus stop and this girl she slapped me in my face," said Copeland Elementary School fourth grader Chris Green. "I fell to the ground, my glasses fell to the ground and broke."
Chris went to his bus driver, but he says he got no response, so he went home to his dad.
"I, of course, was upset; I went to the school, went to the principal's office," said his father.
Green says he spoke to the principal's secretary who had Chris and a witness write up statements about what happened.
"I watched them do that and she assured me everything would be handled and I said, 'Great, I'm going to work, I'm already late, I'll leave it in your hands,'" Green said.
Two months later, he says he still hasn't heard anything and the bullying hasn't stopped.
"Some other kids [are] trying to pick on me, but I ignore them," Chris said.
"The bullying kept continuing, so I was forced to take my son to school, which is putting me out of my way. You know, I've got a job and I've got to support my family," Green said.
So he reached out again, but he says he still isn't getting answers and now he doesn't know where to go.
"What is the role of the school? I mean their job is to help protect our kids when we bring them to the school. Parents count on them to do that," he said.
As a mentor for kids from all over the area, Green says he knows it's not just his son. Bullying is a growing problem, and he's hoping that by bringing awareness to the issue something will be done.
"Wake up and do something about it," he said.
Green said one of the biggest issues seems to be a breakdown in communication between the bus drivers, the principals and the Board of Education. He says issues seem to get passed on to the next person, making it difficult to find a solution to the problem.
News 12 reached out to the principal of Copeland Elementary and didn't hear back but did speak with superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson. He says the bus stop is an extension of the school and they do their best to look into every report of bullying there and at the schools, but unfortunately, they can't catch everyone. He says he'll look into this particular situation.