One mother’s painful fight to end bullying

Mother of bullied student asks Chilliwack school district for action.

When is enough enough?

That was the question asked of school district officials and trustees at last week’s school board meeting by a mother fearing for the safety of her son.

Christine, whose name has been changed at her request, was in tears and quietly sobbing as her friend read a letter to trustees that she had written about her 15-year-old son who has endured four years of relentless bullying.

Her son has been called names, shoved around, stalked in and out of school, had rocks thrown at him, and one day, on his way home from school, a gun pointed at him from the window of a moving vehicle – all at the hands of one child.

“As soon as a gun is pulled, whether it’s real or not, that brings the situation to a whole new level,” Christine said later in an interview with The Progress.

The public meeting, she felt, was her last resort.

This week, from Nov. 14-18, is National Anti-Bullying Week.

Chilliwack school district’s Policy 501 states that all students have a right to education in a safe environment. But this mother doesn’t believe her son has had that right.

The bullying started at Chilliwack middle school in 2007. Christine’s son, who has attention deficit disorder, had experienced rapid weight gain after going off one of his medications. He became an easy target for name calling and taunting.

At first, Christine didn’t put much into it; although annoying, she believed it was something most kids go through. She contacted the school and was told the child would be spoken to.

But the bullying didn’t stop.

The taunts turned into threats, her son was shoved around, had rocks thrown at him on school grounds, and was often trailed all the way home.

Christine went back to the school.

“I told the principal that talking to this teenager wasn’t going to accomplish anything, it was pointless, they had to remove the kid,” she said.

When they didn’t, Christine removed her son from the school, and enrolled him at A.D. Rundle middle school.

“I had to get my kid out of that kid’s line of vision,” she said.

However, while no longer at the same school, the bully continued to stalk up and down their street “like a predator,” taunting her son from the outside, implanting in him a fear of leaving the house.

In 2009, her son started having seizures, which were later diagnosed as stress seizures.

After nearly two years of hospital visits, and missed school, Christine was advised that Chance Alternate would be a better suited school for her son’s needs as it was better equipped with resources and medical personnel.

Before committing to Chance, Christine made sure the bully would not be welcomed there. She was adamant that if that child went to Chance, her son would not.

She felt an agreement had been made.

Three weeks ago, the bully was accepted into Chance; Christine’s son hasn’t been in school since.

This is the third school he’s attended since the bullying started.

“Enough is enough now,” Christine said. “My son has been displaced three times because of that kid …  I was proactive, I made sure, I specified, I made it a big deal. I had what I felt was a guarantee that this kid was not going to be allowed at this school. He needs to be removed from the Chilliwack school district’s system period.

“We can’t take it anymore, my son has stress seizures. I have worked feverishly with Children’s Hospital, and with the beautiful amazing doctors at Chilliwack hospital, we are all working so hard, and if we’re all working so hard and it takes this one kid to tear it down, I will not stand by and allow that to happen anymore.”

Christine had spoken to both the counselor and vice principal at Chance, but didn’t believe the school was doing enough – that’s why she went to the board meeting.

“This has to stop,” she said.

Superintendent Michael Audet told The Progress this week that the school district is working on a resolution.

A meeting was scheduled for this week with Christine, her son, the vice principal, principal and assistant superintendent responsible for that school.

“We want to restore peace between the two individuals and if that’s not possible, we will have to take some steps to ensure her child is safe,” said Audet.

“What are those steps? At this point I don’t know.

“We don’t want her child to be bullied at all.”

kbartel@theprogress

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Mathieu Caron leads Chilliwack Chiefs to shutout win over Wenatchee Wild

Chilliwack’s netminder stopped 29 pucks Saturday night in a BCHL Showcase game at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

VIDEO: Foster and adopted children claimed and named

Traditional ceremony welcomes children into community

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read