A Red Deer mom says her son was suspended from school for standing up for himself after being bullied for months.
Xander, who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), was bullied constantly for 18 months before his mother Rebecca Cromarty says she had enough.
Frustrated with the school's lack of action, she told her 10-year-old son to fight back.
He had come home before with marks, bruises and scratches. Children swore at him, pushed him and slid fingers across his throat.
But things became really bad when he was beaten up by four children on school property, says Cromarty. She alleges Xander was attacked after school. An adult found him on the ground while two children pinned him, a third kicked him and a fourth choked him. The outcome could have been much worse.
The beating was so bad that, "one of the bullies came to my house to ensure Xander was okay, to make sure they didn't put him in the hospital," she reveals.
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The incident was not the first time Xander was beaten but it was the last straw for his mom. She told her son to defend himself next time, and says a fight took place the very next day, after which Xander was suspended.
"I do not want to raise a bully but I do not want to raise a victim either," she told The Huffington Post.
The Red Deer Public School District told The National Post it cannot comment on specific cases because of privacy concerns but that the board follows a general set of procedures in such situations.
“We recognize that there are cases of bullying that take place and those are real issues that do require priority and attention. And they do occupy a lot of time of our administrators and in many cases, they’re complex,” said Bruce Buruma, the director of community relations for the board.
Xander's ODD might also be a reason why the school doesn't always believe him, says Cromarty, noting that her son grew increasingly frustrated by constantly being told he was lying.
He is now being home-schooled until his mom feels she can trust the school to be a safe place for him again.