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A Newport News father on bullying: ‘Enough is enough’

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-09 18:05:28-04

Newport News, Va. - A Newport News father says his daughter's school is not protecting her from bullying.

Dewayne Watson said his daughter was assaulted by a boy in first grade last Thursday. The incident took place on a Jenkins Elementary school bus.

Hospital records show the girl had abrasions from the assault.

“They treated her for multiple abrasions,” Watson said. “You have to slap someone with so much force to break their skin...they broke my daughter's skin."

The girl's father said this could have been prevented had the school administration taken previous claims of bullying against his daughter more seriously.

A few weeks ago, a fourth grade girl stole his daughter's backpack on the same school bus. Days later, that fourth grader's brother punched the 7-year-old.

“Enough is enough,” Watson said. “I'm tired of my child going through this and someone needs to do something about it.”

School officials said they disciplined them both, but the father said the kids were allowed back on the bus with his daughter.

The district has a zero tolerance policy against bullying.

A Newport News School District spokesperson said they did not consider what had been happening to the girl bullying.

That is because each incident targeting her came from different students.

School officials believe they handled all the incidents correctly. This father disagrees.

“At the end of the day, they dropped the ball because it's their job to ensure the safety of my child and they did not,” Watson said.

“Now I have a hospital report that says my child has multiple abrasions and assault,” he said. “Now who's going to answer for it?”

Mr. Watson has pulled his daughter out of school for the week, and officials have agreed to allow him to transfer his daughter to another school next year.

As for the first grader who left the marks on her face, school officials say he is being disciplined but they will not say how.