'Why was he not worth their time?' MPS given Friday deadline to defend school's response to bullying

NOW: ’Why was he not worth their time?’ MPS given Friday deadline to defend school’s response to bullying

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Allegations of a Milwaukee Public Schools 2nd grader subjected to repeat bullying and a lack of response from administrators must now be addressed. 

The Office for Civil Rights has given MPS until this Friday to defend the actions of multiple staff involved. 

An MPS spokesman returned our calls late Tuesday, saying the district knows of the Friday deadline but can't comment until the investigation's complete. Whether that's this Friday or not, he couldn't say. 

At just 8 years old, the victim made a video a video last summer, wanting to share his pain with others in an anti-bullying club for kids. 

"My goal in life is to make everyone have friends and to end loneliness," the boy said in the video. 

"He is very small for his age and has a very small, tiny voice," said his mom, Amanda.

We're withholding his mom's last name to protect her son's identity. The alleged bully is another 2nd grader, about two feet taller, at Fairview Elementary. 

"One day he came home with a hole in his pants. He asked me one day -- what is a (expletive)? And it was a homophobic slur," said Amanda. 

Amanda cites her son was repeatedly choked, scratched and ripped and called various slurs. 

"And he had came out of school one day and he had these bloody fingernail scratches that were beginning to heal in scabs on his arm," Amanda said. "And I'm like what the heck? How did this happen? And he said the same kid had done that. I started taking these things to the principal because he was also telling me, 'What does it mean to kill yourself? Why am I being told to kill myself?' And the principal kept telling me he was handling it."

But Amanda says the bullying didn't stop. The little boy she knew grew more and more isolated. 

"Helpful and so involved, and so goofy and funny, and you know, and he's just not there anymore, just wasn't the same kid," Amanda said. 

Mom later learned the attacks were mostly happening on the Fairview playground when his main teacher was at lunch and the assistant teacher was in charge.

"She's letting it happen. My son asks her for help, and she tells him to get over it, deal with it, leave it alone, walk away, too bad. And she tells him to go sit down, go shut up, nobody needs to hear your drama, we don't need to hear your drama. You don't need to tell her and bother her," said Amanda.

Correspondence between the district and family is great. In the summer of 2022, MPS admitted, "We could have handled things differently for a much better outcome."

The Office of Board Governance took up the complaint and closed the case with little to say. 

Amanda eventually got to speak with the parent of the other child.

"I don't hold her responsible. I don't even hold that child responsible. That was the job of the school and the job of the paraprofessional to step in and say hey, you can't treat somebody like this. These things are wrong," said Amanda.

The family says the child was failed on multiple levels, including mandated reporters at Fairview who didn't follow MPS policy on making notification.

"Why is it even gotten to this? Why was he not worth their time? This has put our family through turmoil. My kids, this is insane. Nobody else should ever have to go through this," said Amanda.

The family has since left the district. 

The Office for Civil Rights' investigation into the matter remains open.

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