bully600MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (4/28/16) — The mother of a Longest Elementary fifth grader has taken a stand against school bullying.

She claims that her son was bullied at the grade school last week.

The mother of three boys had colorful T-shirts designed for herself and her school-aged children that read “Born to be Kind” on the front, and “Stop Bullying” lettering on the back.

“We’re going to try and sell the shirts to raise money for an anti-bullying organization,” the mother said. “Our family believes retaliation is not a solution.”

Kelli Jo Stanley of Greenville revealed she had received a text message from another parent at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, saying they were sorry about what happened to her 11-year-old son, Ethan.

“I immediately pulled over and asked Ethan what happened at school,” she said. “Ethan’s response was, ‘nothing — it was a good day.’”

Meanwhile, Stanley texted the other parent to ask what happened.

“Ethan was jumped by five kids on the playground,” the mother said, referring to what she had learned from another parent told through their child, who witnessed the playground incident. “They had asked him to play with them. He walked over to them and they picked him up, took him to a bench on the playground and the two bigger boys got on each side of the bench and flipped it with him on it.”

A couple of kids have name-called all year, and another bigger boy plays “taser” by poking ribs with the index and middle fingers — a punch with no fists, while making a buzz sound, Stanley’s children explained.

“He had bruises from them grabbing him, bruises on his face and shoulders and sides,” the mother said. “His clothes were dirty and he look ruffled up.”

Stanley believes bullying is on the rise in the area, and she wants to see more awareness brought to the forefront, because bullying could lead to much bigger problems like suicide, she said.

“I know bullying is supposed to be zero tolerance, and I don’t feel like it has been that way at all,” said Stanley. “All children should be taught that just because someone is different, it doesn’t mean they should be treated badly.”

Stanley said she thinks one of the boys was mad at her son for talking to his girlfriend.

Longest Elementary Principal Brent Hardison said there was a school investigation concerning the incident last week, and there were no punches thrown.

There were no injuries, he said, and it was not an assault. The principal said there was horseplay involved; however, and one student poked the other student in the side during a game called tasing.

“It was something we told kids on the first week of the school year they cannot play like that,” he said.

Hardison indicated parent conferences were called and there were consequences, although the principal said he could not disclose details on the disciplinary action taken.

“We’re keeping a close eye on everything,” Hardison said. “They’re back together and getting along, and we want those boys to be supportive of each other throughout their lives, be friends and have a good school experience.”

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Reporter
SurfKY News Video/Doreen Dennis

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