Parents of a 16-year-old student at Simon Sanchez High School are speaking out…out of fear for their son, who they say is being bullied by a school aide.
Guam – “We feel helpless.”
These are the words coming from parents of a 16-year-old Special Education student who claims that their son is being bullied in school, not by another student, but by a school aide. The parents gave PNC an interview but they asked that we conceal their identity.
Parent says, “Our child is supposed to be safe at school. They’re supposed to be watched over but apparently, they have school aides to make sure there’s no outsider to hurt our students but then again, it’s their own staff that’s hurting our students, where can my son go now?”
According to the student’s parents, it all started with a verbal threat. “On October 23rd, my son was approached by a school aide where the school aide was saying he needs to confiscate my son’s hat. My son refused to give his hat because he wasn’t wearing it on campus. As the school aide and the son was walking to the school aide, the aide said “watch your back” which is a verbal threat.”
As concerned parents, they say they went to Simon Sanchez High School to report what had happened. They were told by the school’s Assistant Principal that the administrators were going to conduct an investigation. However…
Parent says, “She said she’ll give us a call within a few days. Apparently it took a week that I had to go back to the office and ask her what was the outcome of her investigation and their expression was like they totally forgot about it. There was no wrongdoing on the aide’s part, the school aide.”
The 16 year old says since that day, the school aide would stare him down whenever they crossed paths. The next day, the school aide took away his jacket, saying that he’s not complying with uniform policy. Then for the third day in a row, according to the student, another incident took place on campus that resulted in the school aide body slamming him to the ground.
“The aide apparently was trying to bring another student in to the office. My son knew the other student. My son tried to talk to the other student telling the other student to say just relax and go to the office. Apparently the aide put his hand on my son’s face, slapped him and my son retaliated. Yes, he used curse words but the aide hugged him, tripped him from behind, his body fell on top of my son’s when they hit the ground. The aide apparently went after the other kid took him down and then the SRO grabbed my son and kept slamming him against the wall. When they contained him in the room, that’s when my son called us and he said mom he hit me, screaming at the top of his lungs, he hit me, slammed me and everything mom.”
After the incident, his parents faced administrators once again, but according to them, they were not notified that their son was suspended. In fact, the student went back to school on Monday like nothing happened. However, on Tuesday, he was called back to the office and asked why he was on campus.
According to administrators, he was suspended for 10 days but his parents say they only found out today that he was suspended, when an employee at the school delivered the papers to their house early this morning.
On the disciplinary action form, it indicates that the student committed a Level 3 offense of Assault and Battery to the Employee and that he was suspended from November 3rd to the 18th. The paper was signed by an administrator on the 3rd, three days after the incident happened, and was only delivered to the student’s house today.
Parent says, “They know our phone numbers and apparently they know where we live why couldn’t they come over several days ago.”
His parents say that their son returns to school on November 19th, but they fear for his safety. They add that they just want him to graduate. “Since the time the aide started telling him ‘watch your back’ and the stare downs, and the day after day, you have a cellphone, call us. Or video it. My main concern is why is the aide allowed to stay on campus when my son it not allowed. I don’t understand that part. I feel like my son is being singled out. He really wants to finish school. He wants to do better. We mentioned that we will transfer him but he doesn’t want. He wants to walk with his fellow peers in school.”
PNC reached out to the Guam Department of Education for comment. GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez referred our questions to Acting Deputy Administrator Chris Anderson, however, he had not returned out calls for comment at this time.