REISTERSTOWN, Md. - Long before the sixth grader arrives at Franklin Middle School in Reisterstown, his mother says the alleged verbal and physical abuse is already well underway.
"They're calling him names, they're hitting him, they're throwing things at him on the bus and they're just awful to him," said Karen Law.
“He’s just become everybody’s…”
"Yes… punching bag pretty much. He's afraid. He's afraid."
Law says she’s not sure if her son, 11-year old Aaron, drew the ire of other students because of his size, his animated demeanor or his penchant for making good grades, but she wants it to stop.
"They're calling him gay, and he's not participating… A teacher noticed a change in his behavior in the classroom. He's not participating. He's an honor roll student. He gets 'A's and they noticed a change in his behavior in the classroom, and she asked him what was wrong," said Law.
The bullying allegedly carries over to the school cafeteria, but Law claims rather than punishing the students, school officials have chosen to segregate the 11-year old.
"They gave him a daily pass to come have lunch with him everyday and opposed to dealing with the kids," said Law.
A spokesman for the school system says the parents of bullying victims may not be aware of action taken by administrators because of privacy issues, and if the alleged offenses don’t meet the standard for suspension or expulsion, the abusive children may remain in the classroom.
But that provides little consolation to Aaron or to his extended family, which is also prepared to take on the school system if it can’t come to his defense.
"To attack him on the school bus... to actually throw things at him, that's called ‘assault’,” said his grandmother, Linda Fauntleroy, “and what these students need to learn now is that it's against the law."
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