A mother is speaking out after a student accused of physically hurting her son was allowed to return to the classroom.
Christy Corvin's son is a seventh grader at Jere Baxter Middle School.
On April 2, while waiting for the school bus near the intersection of Grizzard Avenue and Dickerson Pike, another student allegedly attacked her child.
Corvin's son ran into a parking lot of a nearby Sonic fast food restaurant. Her son's arm was broken in two places.
“He had basically thrown him on the ground and started hitting him and things like that,” Corvin said. “You see my son stand up, and then he hits the ground again, and then he stands up. We saw it all on a video camera, so that's how we know exactly what happened.”
During a school-lead investigation, other students at the bus stop accused Corvin's son of throwing rocks and mulch prior to the attack. Corvin's son confessed to the behavior.
“Like I told him that day, 'Yeah, you shouldn't have done those things, but at the same time that gives nobody any right to put their hands on you either. Period,'” Corvin said.
Both students were punished.
The 13-year-old boy accused in the attack was suspended from school for three days and banned from the school bus for an unspecified amount of time, according to Corvin.
Corvin feels the incident exposes several weaknesses with the bullying policy of Metro-Nashville Public Schools (MNPS).
According to the policy, “The district will not tolerate acts of bullying or harassing.”
The policy states that bullying can include conduct that happens “immediately before boarding and immediately after leaving school transportation of any kind by students” and conduct that begins off-campus and “interferes with school activities, causes a disruption at school or interferes with the rights of students.”
However, bullying is not considered a zero-tolerance offense.
Zero-tolerance offenses are prescribed by the state and require expulsion of no less than one year for the offender.
Bullying is not among the list of five offenses. While assault against a teacher or staff member is listed, assault against another student is not.
“I'm very surprised,” said Corvin. “Assault on anybody should be handled as zero tolerance. I don't feel like it's fair, no matter who it is, that a child can walk up and put their hands on somebody.”
A spokesperson for MNPS would not comment on the case involving Corvin's son or the punishment assigned to the other student.
She told Nashville's News 2 that bullying incidents and punishments are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Corvin is seeking criminal charges against the other child, but she would like to see a change in how the school system handles bullying including more communication, action, and punishment.