Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parents in Pennsylvania school district worry about bullying of son with Asperger's

From NBC in Philadelphia:

Concerned parents of Boyertown Area School District students gathered in Gilbertsville on Nov. 11 to discuss the growing issue of teen bullying in schools.

The meeting was held in the aftermath of the suicide of Berks County teen Jessie Buchsbaum. His parents claimed that their son killed himself because of frequent bullying from other high school students.

Two of the attendees at Tuesday’s meeting were Krista and Brent Sandino. Their teenage son suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism. He attends one of the schools in the Boyertown Area where the Sandinos claim he has been repeatedly attacked, beginning a few years ago.

“When he was out on the playground and he took a football, they gathered around him and they hit him in the groin,” said Brent. “Then he started bleeding in that groin area.

They also claim that their son was strangled in a recent incident.

The Sandino’s say that they reported the incidents to the police and school officials but that the school didn’t do enough to help their son. He has since been placed in an alternative school.

“Anti-bullying, we have to work on it,” said Dr. Dion Betts, a school superintendent. “I encourage parents to let principals know if there are any incidents of bullying.”

Dr. Betts claims that the district has had anti-bullying programs for years and that he would continue to work with students and parents on the issue. Yet according to Krista Sandino, more has to be done to stop future tragedy.

“We want to prevent another child from having to take their life,” said Krista.