JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Several parents of special needs children have reached out to WITN reporters with complaints of bullying and mistreatment of their children in the school system.
Parents of special needs children expressed concerns in Tuesday’s November Onslow County Board of Education meeting.
“Last Wednesday my son was in science class and there was a boy that was kicking him under the table,” said Emmalee Allaire, who said her 13-year-old son, Domanick, has autism and was the victim of bullying at Swansboro middle school by a child without special needs.
“A physical altercation ensued. The boy got up and started punching my son on both sides of his face,” she continued.
“They kept calling it a mutual fight. It’s not a mutual fight when you’re a special needs child on the ground being choked. That’s not a mutual fight.”
Amanda Green pulled all six of her children out of the Onslow County schools after she says her son Gabriel was bullied by an older student in May.
Green says her son also has autism and struggles with verbal communication.
“His best way of communication,” Green said, “Is drawing. I put some paper in front of him and I asked him to draw me what happened. So he grabbed crayons and he drew the boy.”
Onslow County Schools released a statement in about bullying incidents which read in part:
“While any student being bullied concerns us and results in action, when a child with disabilities is bullied, we are required to respond, investigate, and take actions that are intended to stop it and prevent it from recurring[…]As caring educators, we must work to educate those who are intolerant and unkind so that they will be better citizens and help our most vulnerable students successfully navigate these situations to achieve academic success.”
On Tuesday, the board of education met to discuss its annual independent audit report, retention bonuses, 2021-2022 calendar adjustments, instructional services for exceptional children operations, and COVID-19 protocols and practices.
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