BEEBE, Ark – A mother in Beebe is calling on parents to join her in the fight against bullying as the problem grows across Central Arkansas.
She says her ninth-grader is being bullied by older students in the district and has been for the last two months.
Out of respect for her son, she and the family want to remain anonymous.
“It hurts, you cry with them,” said the mother.
The mother says when she attended Beebe high school in the 90s it was a safe space. Now, the hallways aren’t so forgiving.
“Of course, there were fights but we kind of all banded together and stuck up for each other,” said the mother. “These days were taking videos and were encouraging and we’re cheering and we’re yelling. It’s a shame.”
While other students shuffle to their next class, her ninth-grader stays home and will be for the rest of the year.
“He was scared to go to school,” said the mother.
She says the bullying started in March of this year and has escalated as the weeks pass.
Last Thursday, she said the ninth-grader was hit by another student. He took Friday off and by the time Monday rolled around, it happened again.
“The kid went up to him and said, ‘F you, N-word” and then just started wailing on him,” said the boy’s father.
Their son is autistic, and the father says the 14-year-old is being picked on for the wrong reasons.
“I don’t think I should have to put a sign around his neck for people to leave him alone because he might not understand how to socialize like everybody else,” said the father.
Both say it’s a problem that’s happening in every school district, calling on parents to make a change
“We need to teach our kids to be kind and gentle and show each other some grace,” said the mother.
She says the solution starts at home, hoping soon it won’t be the only safe haven for her son.
Our station reached out to the Beebe School District which says they take bullying seriously and encourage parents and students to report any incidents to the school principal.