Chickamauga mother concerned about lack of action from school after bullying video
WARNING: Some may find this video difficult to watch.
A Gordon Lee High School student's mother wants the school system to do more after a video was shared among students that shows her 14-year-old son being attacked by classmates.
The attackers were suspended but then allowed to return to class with the victim.
The incident happened three months ago and was caught on cellphone video. That video was shared on Snapchat and with the boy's mom.
She called Channel 3 and said the school system is not doing enough.
Tabatha Templeton said the school may have followed all the laws but said she's worried her son is not safe in class.
She pulled her son out of school and wants to warn others about how difficult it is to protect victims of bullying.
"I've only seen that video one time, and I really can't talk about it because I can picture it in my head. I can't. I just can't. It's more than I ever expected it to be," Templeton said about the video.
Templeton can’t bear to watch this video. It shows her son in a school bathroom, and you can see classmates dragging him across the floor and locking him in a stall.
"These are numerous kids attacking the smallest, diabetic child in the school,” Templeton said about the video. “This is a kid half of their size. He had no chance."
She said it didn't end there, "he's continued to be stared at, winked at, bowed up to, made comments to under your breath."
The students in the video returned to her son's class after they were disciplined.
The superintendent of Chickamauga City Schools, Melody Day, said school administrators investigated the video and determined it was considered a level 4 offense.
According to school policy, a level 4 offense results in an automatic 10-day suspension. In this case, the students also received in-school suspension.
Templeton emailed the school in mid-November asking why her son was still in two classes with the other students.
School officials said it's because of scheduling. The superintendent said the school is too small to keep them all in different classes through the end of the year.
Templeton said the superintendent told her one option was to put her son in in-school suspension for the last two weeks to avoid sharing a classroom with the other boys.
However, Templeton doesn't understand why her son would be the one isolated.
"To suggest that my child be isolated more, 3 out of 4 classes because those kids chose to make it uncomfortable. His life shouldn't be altered. He didn't do anything wrong," Templeton said.
Templeton said she feels like the system failed her son and his ability to get his education.
“My child has to go to school all day long being terrorized,” Templeton said. "It's not safe for him to go to school, and there's no law to protect that."
It is worth noting Templeton said the school's principal has reached out to check on her son several times and made an attempt at rearranging schedules.
Chickamauga City police confirm a police report was filed, but they say they cannot release that report or update us on the status of their investigation because juveniles are involved.