Father speaks after 5th grader hospitalized due to alleged bullying

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A fifth grader is recovering after he says he was attacked at school by another student.

Ciro Balliache describes the bullying his son has undergone over the past year as heartbreaking.

“If you’d seen this boy come home crying, it’s hard,” Balliache said. “A lot of bullying, name calling, pushing around. [He] had his hand smashed by a desk [and] had to get X-rays.”

The father told News 2 the bullying got so bad he transferred his son to Dupont Tyler Middle School after he had been bullied at another school in Hermitage and that he was assured a protection plan would be put in place.

dupont middle school
Photo: WKRN

“I thought it would be better and it’s just worse. There was no safety plan and he was assaulted really bad,” he said.

Tuesday afternoon, Balliache told News 2 he went to pick up his son from school to find him crying.

His elbow was broken and bruises all over his body. The boy says he was attacked by another kid at school.

“My son told me he came from behind and started choking him and he couldn’t breathe and slammed him on the floor. His elbow is broken in two places and the doctor said he is probably going to have to have surgery,” said Balliache.

He told News 2 he believes his 12-year-old son is picked on because of his small size.

The father says not only is his son now left with physical wounds, but also mental.

“He’s traumatized. He’s afraid to go back to school. He’s afraid,” Balliache said.

Metro Schools officials told News 2 they have a bullying procedure in place and that Dupont Tyler leadership followed it and handled the situation appropriately.

They also said the other student involved has been disciplined.

Balliache told News 2 the school met with him Thursday to come up with a safety plan, but that was after the assault and too late.

“I told them this is a direct result of you failing to do your job,” he said.

For now, the Balliaches say they are keeping their kid out of school, fearing for his life.

They have also hired an attorney and filed a report at the Juvenile Justice Center.

Read more on Metro Schools bullying policy here.

For information on how to report, investigate and responding, click here. 

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