LISBON - The parents of two Lisbon fifth-grade students believe the administration has failed to take appropriate steps to protect their sons from a classmate who they say has threatened to kill them and their families.
The mothers addressed the Lisbon school board at its recent meeting, while a third mother, who has since transferred her son to Leetonia because of the alleged behavior, sat in the audience and listened.
The two mothers who spoke said the problem began last January, when their boys were all in fourth grade at McKinley Elementary. They say the other boy has repeatedly acted in an aggressive and threatening manner toward their sons in school and on the bus, including threatening to shoot their sons and their family. The mother said they are concerned because the boy making the threats has a hunting rifle.
They say the problems resumed this school year when the boy knocked one of their sons to the floor in school and again threatened to shoot him. The other mother said the boy has also threatened to shoot her son and his family.
"He has made repeated threats against my son's life and nothing has been done," said the one mother.
"When is enough enough?" said the other mother. The incidents were reported to officials, and the boy being blamed for being the aggressor was provided an in-school behavioral aide and was recently kicked off the school bus.
The mothers said the behavior has continued, however, prompting one mother to contact police in September after the boy threatened to shoot her son and family a second time. Ten days later, the sons were disciplined under the school's bullying policy after teachers overheard them making comments about the boy who had been threatening them.
According to the school report, one of the teachers overheard one of the sons say they hated the boy who had been tormenting them and wished they could kill him. The sons also reportedly began making fun of their tormentor, who was not present, and his artwork. The mothers believe the disciplinary action was in retaliation for contacting police.
"The school has a responsibility to protect our children," the one mother said, adding the boy making the threats needs professional help. "Our goal is not to target this child. We're trying to get him some help."
School board president Jim Smith thanked them and said they would look into their complaints. "We'll take the comments under advisement and go from there," he said.