BELLAIRE, Ohio (WTRF) — The video of a school bus bullying incident has now gone viral.
And the mother of the 12-year-old victim wept as she watched it on her cell phone.
Lacey Burch said her daughter had been bullied for almost two weeks by another girl at school—with name-calling, profanity and kicking.
But Friday on the bus coming home from school, a boy reportedly attacked her daughter, using that other girl as a weapon.
“An older boy had picked up this young girl who had been bullying my daughter, and used her to fling at my daughter,” said Lacey Burch of Bellaire. “He goes and starts flinging this girl around like a rag doll.”
Burch says her daughter is kind, loving and warm-hearted.
She said she loves to read, and loves school.
“She’s got the biggest heart in the world,” Burch said.
She said school officials were alerted to the bullying before the bus incident.
“She brought it to a teacher’s attention that there was an incident with this girl,” said Burch. “And I as well spoke with the secretary of the school last week.”
Superintendent Darren Jenkins says they are studying the bus video, and action will be taken.
He says he can’t reveal names or punishments, but the perpetrator or perpetrators can face serious consequences.
“They may range from detention but in more serious cases we could be looking at suspension, expulsion or even referral to Belmont County Juvenile Court.
Burch says she’s keeping her daughter out of school until she hears that she will be safe.
She said kids who are bullied are often afraid to speak out, for fear it gets worse.
The superintendent said he hopes she returns to school soon.
And he said the students at fault will be disciplined.
“Absolutely,” said Jenkins. “Absolutely. And even though I can’t discuss the specific disciplinary outcomes, there are going to be. I can’t emphasize enough how seriously we take this.”
Burch and her husband have filed charges through the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, where she says the deputies were kind and helpful.
And those criminal charges will be separate from whatever the school discipline will be.