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Abilene parent: School not doing enough to help bullied son

District officials address bullying...

ABILENE, Texas - Hearing that your child is getting bullied at school can be devastating, and that’s the reason one Abilene parent is voicing her concerns.

Erinn Buchanan says her 8-year-old autistic son, Donald, is being bullied by a group of students at Bassetti Elementary School, and she doesn’t believe the school is doing enough to help her son.

"When I picked him up on the 18th, he had food in his hair: cracker crumbs, jelly, and water. He told me that the boys were pushing him around, calling him names, telling him that if he told anybody that they'd hurt him even worse," Buchanan said. "What parent wants to see their kid go through this?”

Abilene ISD is not allowed to discuss specific cases, however a district official told us what steps they take to stop bullying when it is brought to their attention.

"We don't want any student who is a true victim of bullying to experience that bullying any longer than they already have," Dukes said.

Dan Dukes, the executive director of student services, said the first step is to report it. Then the school will investigate the situation and if it turns out to be confirmed bullying, they assign consequences.

"We put in place things like a stay-away agreement where we make sure a bully is not allowed to ever go toward or in the vicinity of the student who might be the victim of the situation,” Dukes said. “We can change class schedules, and if something is so persistent that we can't get it to stop we can require the bully to change campuses through a safety transfer."

But Buchanan says her son feels like he’s being unfairly punished. She says instead of attending the art class he shares with the bully, Donald was made to sit in the main office Thursday.

“Anybody who has dealt with anybody with autism -- whether it be an adult, whether it be a child, you know -- that they have to have that strict guideline schedule,” Buchanan said. “Any disruption in that can make them break down. Donald has lived by a very strict schedule.”

To report bullying, there is an anonymous bully report you can fill out on any AISD school’s website.


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