Parents Upset With Response After They Say Son With Asperger’s W - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Parents Upset With Response After They Say Son With Asperger’s Was Bullied

SPRINGDALE, Wash – A KHQ viewer wrote us recently, saying her son was attacked in a premeditated and unprovoked assault at Mary Walker High School last month. 

When her son missed the bus, and her husband went to pick him up, she says:

"The principal was waiting for him, and he said, ‘You're not going to be happy about this, but your son was assaulted, and I've got video of it."

Surveillance video, but also, Evans says the aggressor asked a friend to take cell phone video before he punched her son in the face twice, knocking him down.  The video was posted to Facebook for a short time, before being removed.

Evans says her 15-year-old son, David, was scraped up, had a bloody nose, and his $400 glasses were broken.

A frustrating situation for any parent – but especially for Evans.  Her son has Asperger's – a disorder similar to Autism, in which his social cues and interactions don't always fit in.  She believes that's why he was targeted.

"He's been picked on his whole life in school, he's been bullied as far back as grade school, because he's different," she told KHQ.

She's upset the alleged bully was suspended for 10 days, then allowed back at school, and is worried about her son's safety.

"My concern is, how long is he going to leave him alone before he decides to start going after him or someone else?" she added.

Mary Walker School District Superintendent Kevin Jacka is aware of the situation, and has also seen the surveillance video.  But because of student privacy laws, he can't speak directly about this case. 

Jacka did tell KHQ the district works very hard to prevent bullying from happening in the first place, through regular staff training, conferences, and curriculum.

"Each time we have an incident that happens, there's a conversation about the incident, a conversation of how we would handle it, what we would do differently, what are the red flags that we may have and should have seen beforehand if that was the situation," Jacka told KHQ.  "It's an issue we're always concerned with, it's an issue we always look at."

Per the districts ‘No Tolerance' bullying policy, the aggressor may face suspension or expulsion, and the punishment depends on the seriousness of what happened, the student's developmental age, and their behavioral history.

"In most of these cases, there's history on both sides," Jacka added.

As for Jennifer Evans, she and her husband have filed assault charged with the police against the student involved, and are waiting to see what happens with the case.

"I don't want to ruin this kids life, I'm not saying throw him in jail and throw away the key, I'm saying there needs to be something more than what I feel is a slap on the wrist," she said.

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