Cleveland mom speaks out on bullying, school speaks out too - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland mom speaks out on bullying, school speaks out too

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CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB)- A bullying situation at Cleveland Middle School goes full circle as the boy being bullied is suspended.

As we reported Wednesday, his mom says he is not always a model student. School officials fear Friday night, a few isolated incidents are giving Cleveland Middle School a bad name

"I want it to stop. I want them to leave my son alone," says Tonya Johnson.

Johnson says her 12 year-old son Bobby has been a victim of repeated bullying at Cleveland Middle School. Now her son is the one who is suspended.

"They said that he hit another boy," says Johnson.

"When they hit me I just get mad and I feel like going off on them," says 12-year-old Bobby.

Tonya says Bobby has Emotional Distress Disorder and admits he has trouble handling his anger.

"Every kid does run their mouth and that's nothing really to get upset about. It's the threats of I'm gonna kick your butt, or I'm gonna get such and such to do something to you," says Johnson.

She says suspending her son is not the answer and that is why she is considering home school.

"I had to take him out of school and I'm now home schooling him," says one Cleveland Middle School parent.

She did not want her face shown or name revealed, but says three weeks ago her son, also a student at Cleveland Middle, was punched in the face. And that is why she took him out of school.

"I don't know what a parent is supposed to do when you see them in school and they're being bullied like this. I've done everything I could," she says.

"Parents who say we do not do enough are frustrated because of the outcome of the investigation. And sometimes those outcomes are not positive for the parent in question or the student in question," says Dr. Martin Ringstaff.

Ringstaff, Director of Cleveland City Schools, says bullying is a problem they take very seriously.

"We know it exists, it exists at every school in the nation. This is not a Cleveland problem," says Ringstaff.

He says they are always devoting school resources to educate students on the dangers of bullying and at the end of the day want a safe environment for all students.

"Our administrators are on top of it, they do not turn a blind eye to it and we will do what we have to make sure our students are safe and having a good time at school and being educated," says Ringstaff.

Ringstaff says he can not comment on specific cases of bullying for legal reasons. He also says education on bullying is built in to the curriculum, with schools often having seminars on the topic.

Johnson says she is supposed to meet with school administrators Monday on how to handle her son's case.

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