After a 12-year-old boy was beaten and bullied for three months, his mother has pulled him from school.
Harrison has autism as well as Asperger’s Syndrome. His mother, Leanne Fernandez, 34, claims her son Harrison was bullied by his peers just hours after beginning at Colchester Academy last September.
He was mocked for “walking, talking, and looking gay,” with the verbal abuse quickly turning violent with Harrison being pushed around, punched, and put into a headlock.
Leanne alleges the boy was given the threat: “We are going to stamp on your skull.”
He would frequently come home with a bruised and swollen face, ripped clothes, and bloodied knees.
And after four calls to the police, Leanne decided Harrison was “no longer safe,” and withdrew her son from the academy. Leanne from Essex began sharing:
“Obviously it all started off verbally with them saying he was gay, he walked gay, he looked gay, he talked gay. But on the second day, it escalated to physical. They tried “peanut-ing” the tie and it came off and they started pushing him and it continued out of school.”
“He has had orange juice poured down the back of his neck, food taken away from him, had three of them pushing him at one time.”
The Principal at Colchester Academy, Jenny Betts, shared:
“I cannot comment on individual cases. However, keeping our students safe is our highest priority, which includes dealing swiftly with any incidents of alleged bullying. We follow clear behavioral procedures and use any appropriate sanctions we have available.”
Leanne claims that a group of boys targeted Harrison every day, including waiting to catch him between classes to attack him. In addition, the children made threats, Leanne says.
“One child threatened him when he saw him and said, ‘we are looking for you’ and said, ‘we are going to stamp on your skull.’ That’s not a normal thing for a 12-year-old to say.”
“It is really upsetting for him. He had just started school and he is asking, “why they have they got a problem with me? When you go into school every single day and a number of them are going up to him between classes punching him in the groin. It’s awful.”
Leanne first reached out to police on September 5, just three days after starting 7th grade and was physically hurt. She then called again on September 11 informing them how Harrison was beaten by yet another child.
She reached out yet again on September 26 when Harrison was attacked by the gang as she picked him up from school. Leann shared:
“He had to go classes five minutes earlier than the others so that he could get there before them or they would punch him in the groin. He would come home and cry and say it’s too much to handle. He just wants to go to school. He’s been beaten to a pulp.”
She continued on, saying:
“He has a doctor’s note to say it’s a detrimental effect to be in school. He struggles with himself anyway, so with this, he is coming home thinking he’s in trouble, no one likes him and he’s not good enough.”
“He just wants some friends.”
As he just got out of school on November 21, Leanne has pushed for him to get into another school — he will be beginning at The Philip Morant School next week.
Essex Police said: “We received a number of reports reporting a boy had been assaulted. We carried out inquiries and spoke to parties involved.”
In addition, a spokesperson shared: ‘Words of advice have been given.’
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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