CLEARFIELD -- Breanna Jollerson returned to South Clearfield Elementary on Friday.
The 7-year-old, who sustained a concussion and a hairline fracture to her eye socket when she was attacked by a 6-year-old boy on Tuesday, wasn't too excited about returning, said her father, Patrick Jollerson, of Harrisville.
Normally Breanna rides a bus to school, but on Friday her father drove her so he could meet with the school's administrators and make sure she was in a different class.
At one point, Breanna complained of her stomach hurting and asked to go back home.
"I promised her she wouldn't have to be in her old class and she could call me if she needed me," said Patrick Jollerson, a nurse and a former police officer.
Not wanting to go to school after a child has been bullied is normal, said Dr. David Wilson, a child psychiatrist with Behavioral Health Institute of McKay-Dee Hospital.
"They may be reluctant to go back to school, saying they are sick with a stomachache or headache," Wilson said.
Wilson said parents can help a child who has been assaulted at school by being involved at the school as much as possible.
Patrick Jollerson said he asked officials to put his daughter in a different class so she could have a new start to first grade.
He then met with Principal Daren Allred and Assistant Principal Mike Page.
"They told me they were totally sorry for what happened and said, 'We utterly failed you,' " Jollerson said.
At one point in the meeting, all three men "got teary-eyed," Jollerson said.
Jollerson said he appreciates the apologies, but was appalled to learn more details about the Tuesday assault and about other assaults on his daughter.
Jollerson learned the assault did not happen during the 11 a.m. recess on Tuesday when adults were on the playground but shortly before school started at 9 a.m. when there are no adults on the playground.
"I was shocked because the time lines didn't match up to what I was originally told," Jollerson said.
Jollerson also learned his daughter had been assaulted at least one other time that he was unaware of and she was not the only victim.
Jollerson said Allred and Page both told him the 6-year-old boy, if district officials decide to keep him in the school, will have restrictions, which could include being monitored during recess.
Jollerson believes Allred and Page are sincere with their apologies and will do all they can to make sure the school is safe for his daughter.
But he thinks it is unfair of Davis School District and the public to think the two can be more than educators, "but policemen, nurses, social workers" all mixed up into one.
"They just want to teach the children and I'm frustrated with the whole system," he said.
Jollerson said the school needs more staff, so teachers and administrators can do their jobs. Jollerson said he also understands the comments he hears and has read from the general public, but thinks the general public has forgotten the perpetrator of his daughter's injuries is a first-grader too.
"Breanna is my daughter and I will defend her to death, but this kid is learning this behavior from somewhere," Jollerson said.
Wilson said most of the 6- and 7-year-olds he has seen because of aggressive behavior have either impulse control problems, an anxiety disorder, some form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or are modeling behaviors from adults in their homes.
"If parents respond to their kid's behavior by using corporal punishment for disciplining, the kids will use physical aggression with their friends," Wilson said.
It is normal for children of that age to use aggression toward another person, but that does not mean adults should tolerate it, said Dr. James C. Ashworth, chief of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
"You should talk to them and explain it is not appropriate," Ashworth said.
Also, if a child does use aggression, parents need to let the child know there are consequences, such as no TV, no friends, no games, he said.
Ashworth said parents should seek help when a child repeats the aggressive behavior, there is forethought in the aggression, the child is attempting to do damage or there are multiple victims.
Parents should also decrease the amount of violence their children see in video games, TV, movies, music or read, he said.
For more information about how to help children, Ashworth said parents can go to www.aacap.org, which has facts for families, including how to deal with aggression.