Mother: Son cornered by knife-wielding student

February 14, 2011 8:44:32 PM PST
The Wake County school system says it takes allegations of bullying very seriously, but one mother says they didn't take them seriously enough after her 9-year-old son was cornered in a school bathroom by a knife-wielding student.Jessica Pinkard says her heart sank, when she heard her son had been cornered inside a bathroom at Wilburn Elementary by three students, one armed with a knife.

"My first thought was, what if the kid had cut him," Pinkard said. "What if he had done more than just threaten him with the knife."

Pinkard says the incident happened two weeks ago. She says learned about it through her younger children and when she asked her 9-year-old son, Pinkard says he confirmed the story.

"This child told him say your prayers, you're going to die," she said.

Concerned, Pinkard and her husband called police and filed a report.

"We were scared," Pinkard said. "We wanted to know what was being done."

Raleigh police confirm they responded to the school on that day, and found a 9-year-old with a knife.

The Pinkards say they also e-mailed school board member Keith Sutton to express their concerns and ask for reassurance that their child was safe.

"Is he going to be okay going back to school," Pinkard said. "Is this kid going to do this again?"

School officials say they conducted a thorough investigation, interviewing students and staff members.

"The story didn't quite measure up to the way it was portrayed initially," Wake County Public School System Spokesperson Michael Evans said. "We pulled security tape and the students in question were not even in the same proximity at the same time."

Evans says the student with the knife did face disciplinary action. But Evans says they have no evidence to confirm that that's the same student who threatened Pinkard's son.

Pinkard disputes that and says the incident in the bathroom was the culmination of weeks of bullying by a group of students.

She feels the school system did not take her concerns seriously enough and wants other parents to learn from her story.

"I'm afraid that there are other children out there who are dealing with this who haven't spoken up and I want them to be able to speak up and be taken seriously," Pinkard said.

The school system has had counselors talking to students about bullying at the school, because of the allegations.

The Pinkards says they want their son transferred to another school and are exploring their options.

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