Sadly, bullying is a problem at schools across the country — but a Titusville area family said the bullying at one school reached a boiling point.
A video that circulated online showed a Titusville student being attacked on May 8 by a fellow student, who some are calling a bully.
The next day, two friends of the victim defended him and took matters into their own hands by responding with an attack of their own.
Some 10 bystanders could be seen and heard, telling the bully, “Hit him more” and “Hit him harder.”
“It’s just been horrific. I want it to stop. I don’t know how to make it stop,” said Chris Ward, victim’s grandmother.
It’s a problem the victim has allegedly dealt with for years. His grandmother said he’s developed anxiety and depression from the trauma.
Family members say that the school isn’t nearly doing enough to stop this.
“He doesn’t like to talk about those things, it causes him anxiety and nobody wants to feel that. He didn’t even tell us, his parents, that this had happened to him,” said Stephanie Sutton, victim’s mom.
Many victims of bullying often have thoughts of suicide, which has this grandma concerned.
“I don’t want to see another child not make it through this, and I especially don’t want it to be my grandson,” said Ward.
Stephanie Keebler, Titusville Area School District superintendent, responded in a statement saying:
“Our main priority of the Titusville Area School District is the safety and security of our students and employees. We take bullying, cyberbullying and other forms of aggression seriously and it is not tolerated. Our administrative team works diligently to investigate reports of incidents and consequences are provided according to the student handbook. The intent of every investigation is to ensure that all students feel safe in our buildings. We need to stress the importance of bystander reporting that will help improve the overall culture and climate of our schools. Collaboration between all members of the school community will facilitate change and allow students to learn in a safe and welcoming environment.”
All three students involved in the fighting were given unnamed consequences by the school.
The victim’s mother added that the bystanders who filmed and watched should also be held accountable for their actions.