SPRINGDALE, Wash – Video surveillance has been released from the Mary Walker School District in Springdale, Washington, after a case of reported bullying surfaced in October.
A mother reported her son – who has Asperberger's – was attacked in a premeditated assault by a bully, who she says asked his friend to record cell phone video before punching her son twice in the face, knocking him down and breaking his glasses.
The school district released a pixilated version of the school surveillance video to KHQ, to protect student privacy. In it, you see a student walk up to another student, throw a punch, then the two appear to fight before the student who was punched falls to the floor.
It's an issue that happens in schools across the country, and experts say students or parents who find themselves dealing with issues of bullying should be patient.
"It's a long process for a school to document the abuse, to find it, to be able to hold the child that's bullying accountable," said Erin Williams, the advocacy and education supervisor at Lutheran Community Services in Spokane. "Sometimes the best move is to make a report to the police, and sometimes it's not."
Lutheran Community Services is an organization certified in crisis intervention, advocacy, education and outreach. Through its crime victims program, it sees hundreds of kids every year who need support groups and school advocates when it comes to bullying.
"We primarily see kids who are being bullied because of a difference, because they identify as gay or bisexual or transgendered, because they have a disability and are being picked on," Williams added. "We do work with people who are victims of a hate crime or bias crime here, and provide assistance with protection orders, support groups, and just a listening ear, and help advocate with the school system and court system however we can."
Williams says it's hard to know if bullying is becoming more of a problem here, or if we're just hearing about it more than we used to, because not everyone comes forward, plus cases aren't always classified as ‘bullying.'
If you need help, call their crime victims hotline 24/7 at 509-747-8224.