SC parents want more action taken following video of bullying attack

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A West Columbia mother believes more needs to be done after she discovered a video of her 14-year-old son with autism being beaten up by a bully at Airport High School.

Jessica McCormick said both her son and the other boy seen in the video were suspended from school following the fight.

However, McCormick said the video follows weeks of "incessant bullying" including her son being called offensive names by the alleged bully.

"After my son returned to school following the suspension, the same bully started sitting near him at lunch and harassing him and really letting him know that he was there," McCormick said.

The video was taken by another student during the altercation and McCormick said her son suffered a concussion following the fight. In the video, you can see another juvenile punching the boy in the head once he is on the floor.

"I want them to take responsibility for this action," McCormick said. "My child has to be there eight hours a day with these people. I entrust my children to be safe there and if they're not doing the proper things to make them safe then how are we as parents supposed to send them to school?"

McCormick said following the suspension, her son came home extremely anxious from school, telling her the alleged bully was still harassing him in the hallways.

"He is scared to go to school now," McCormick said.

The Lexington 2 School District has a policy in place to combat bullying throughout all of its schools.

"We have training programs before each school year and we work with administrators, teachers, and students with our discipline policies," Jim Hinton, Chief Administrative Officer of Lexington School District 2, said. "We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying."

Hinton said once a formal complaint is filed alleging bullying or harassment, an investigation is launched. If there is evidence supporting the claim, the appropriate disciplinary action is taken.

"First offense is usually a three-day suspension, while the second offense is a five-day suspension," Hinton said. "Beyond that, there can be a hearing for possible expulsion."

While the school did take action by suspending the alleged bully following the fight, McCormick said more needs to be done as the bullying and harassment has not stopped.

"Despite the suspension, this kid is still bothering my son and the district has really d ropped the ball in following up," McCormick said.

Hinton said following up on the complaint following disciplinary action is critical to successfully eradicate the situation.

"We follow up and make sure the people involved stay away from each other during most of the day's activities," Hinton said. "Obviously that's difficult in the lunch room, but we do our best to keep people separated to prevent any future problems."

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