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Father and school district speak about social media bullying message

WTMJ News Team


Father and school district speak about social media bullying message

CREATED Mar. 28, 2013

KAUKAUNA - A dad from Wisconsin is furious at his son's school, and his complaints are concerning to many parents. Police are now investigating the allegations.

At Riverview Middle School in Kaukauna, the family of a young boy said their child was terrorized and attacked this week. Students are now off enjoying Spring Break, while the boy's family works to let the world know what happened here.

Matt Bent is a frustrated father fighting for change. His son is the victim of excessive bullying.

"He mentioned to me, 'Dad, you know, something bad happened at school today, I really need to tell you about it,’” Bent said. “And he said that he had been body-slammed three times."

Angry, Bent took his plea for justice to police, and to the school district.

His frustration also landed on Facebook. More than 320,000 people have shared this image, showing a father, his son, and a message: “Bullying needs to stop now.”

The comments aren't just coming from Kaukauna. People are posting from across the country, and even the world. People touched by the boy's story are sharing their own.

Matt Bent believes what happened in this small community is addressing a much larger issue.

"I think we would all prefer it be handled without the use of social media," said district superintendent Mark Duerwaechter.

Duerwaechter has now scheduled a meeting with the parents, and is looking at its policies surrounding bullying.

"I want to be clear,” he said. “Kaukauna Area School District does not protect bullies."

Police are also on the case working to get to the bottom of what happened.

"We take these things very seriously,” said Lt. Jamie Graff with the Kaukauna Police Department. “We started interviewing kids, and trying to assess and see what was going on."

Bent just hopes this never happens to another child again. Police are still investigating the case.