Mother claims extreme bullying incident against her son was mishandled by school

Nov 2 2013 - 8:49am

Images

Jaime Morris' son, Kache, does homework sent by his teacher to his home in Hooper. The 8-year-old refuses to go to school after a fellow student threatened to break into his house and kill his dogs. The student who was bullying Kache was caught at school with a knife and was suspended for three days. Morris said she is furious school administrators are not doing more. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' sits on her couch in her Hooper home discussing how a fellow student told her 8-year-old son he was going to break into his house and kill his dogs. The student who threatened her son, Kache, was later found to have a knife with him at school and was suspended for three days. Now her son Kache refuses to go to school. Morris says she is furious administrators are not doing more to help her son and remove the offending boy from school. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' sits explains how a fellow student told her 8-year-old son Kache he was going to break into his home and kill his dogs. The student who threatened her son was later found to have a knife on him at school and was suspended for three days. Now Kache refuses to go to school. Morris says she is furious administrators are not doing more to help her son. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' son, Kache, colors at the coffee table during her interview with the Standard-Examiner. After recently being bullied by a fellow student, Kache refused to go to school. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' son, Kache, does homework sent by his teacher to his home in Hooper. The 8-year-old refuses to go to school after a fellow student threatened to break into his house and kill his dogs. The student who was bullying Kache was caught at school with a knife and was suspended for three days. Morris said she is furious school administrators are not doing more. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' sits on her couch in her Hooper home discussing how a fellow student told her 8-year-old son he was going to break into his house and kill his dogs. The student who threatened her son, Kache, was later found to have a knife with him at school and was suspended for three days. Now her son Kache refuses to go to school. Morris says she is furious administrators are not doing more to help her son and remove the offending boy from school. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' sits explains how a fellow student told her 8-year-old son Kache he was going to break into his home and kill his dogs. The student who threatened her son was later found to have a knife on him at school and was suspended for three days. Now Kache refuses to go to school. Morris says she is furious administrators are not doing more to help her son. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)
Jaime Morris' son, Kache, colors at the coffee table during her interview with the Standard-Examiner. After recently being bullied by a fellow student, Kache refused to go to school. (KELLY KEITER/Standard-Examiner)

HOOPER -- A mother says her 8-year-old son was threatened with his life by another 8-year-old at school. And now, she says, her son is the one being punished for the incident.

Jaime Morris said her son, Kache, was told by another boy at Hooper Elementary School on Tuesday that he would break into his house, kill his dogs and steal his video gaming system.

She said Wednesday, following another altercation, that the other boy told her son he was going to grab a knife and come to his home and stab him.

Morris said she's angry about the incidents because the boy making the threats was only suspended for a few days, despite a knife being found in his possession on Thursday. She was also upset that her son was told that he'd have to switch to a different classroom.

"I was told that Kache was going to have to move out of his classroom," she said. "That is not acceptable. ... My son is being targeted and being punished."

The mother said her son loves his teacher and is traumatized, not only by the loss of his teacher, but because he is having nightmares and is extremely fearful.

"I had to talk to him for 45 minutes to get him to go trick-or-treating," Morris said. "When we got home, I had to lock him in the car and take the dogs and go through the house. ... We had to search the house room to room because he didn't want to die."

Morris said after the threats were made Tuesday and Wednesday, the only action that was taken was that the teacher separated the two boys in the classroom.

She said the knife was found only after she went to the school and talked to the principal herself.

"This is why we have school shootings," Morris said. "The principal is not doing anything to help this little boy. ... There were weapons on the school premises. That just shouldn't happen. It should have been taken care of."

She said not suspending a boy who has a weapon at school for a longer period of time goes against the Weber School District's "no tolerance" weapons policy.

Morris said when she asked the school principal, David Gerstheimer, what to do, she was told to pack her things and move away from Hooper.

Morris said she wants people to know what has happened.

"Every single parent that this kid rides the bus with should know," she said. "It's OK to make idle threats? ... No child should have to go to school and be afraid for their life."

Morris said she believes the boy involved is a sociopath who needs to get help now or worse things are on the horizon.

"There is a child screaming for help," she said. "We, as a community, have an opportunity to help a child that needs it."

She said she believes the state should get involved.

"This is an 8-year-old child that could turn out to be the next Columbine or the next Sandy Hook," she said.

The mother told of other incidents with this child, including him being suspended on other occasions and him being kicked off the school bus.

She said she had an incident with the boy where he was in her house when she got home and she asked him to leave.

"He went toe to toe with me," she said. "He told me I would not tell him what to do."

Morris said she believes there is violence in this boy's home and that he is reacting to that.

Meanwhile, Morris is getting her son's homework from school and is looking into home school or possibly charter school for her son.

"It's just a mess," she said. "I don't even know what to think about all this."

Morris said she reported the incident to police on Thursday, but Weber County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Mark Lowther said the report was not yet filed because the officer responding is off until Monday and has not completed the paperwork. He said the report will be filed Monday.

Gerstheimer did not return phone calls made to the school Thursday and Friday.

Nate Taggart, spokesman for the Weber School District said the incident was handled according to policy.

"She may not have all of her facts straight," Taggart said of Morris. "Whenever we have a situation that deals with student safety, we have a protocol we follow and we did in this case."

Taggart did not outline what the protocol was that was followed at Hooper Elementary School.

"It can be a lot of different things," he said. "It's outlined in our safe school policy. There are certain things that are done. I can't get into a lot of specifics when it comes to student discipline."

When asked about Morris' accusations against the school, Taggart said: "I know there are a lot of things that are being said."

When asked if he knew about her specific accusations, Taggart said: "If I did, I wouldn't be able to comment on them. There are FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) rules that take place. When it comes to student discipline or student records at all, we can't be revealing that. She certainly is welcome to work with the school and the district."

Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or jfrancis@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @jfrancis.

 

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