Child kept out of class after being bullied over hair
Andre Desjardin, 6, says he is being bullied by students on his school bus because of his long hair.
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 6:48PM AST
A Cape Breton family is keeping four of its children out of class because of alleged bullying on a school bus.
The Desjardins believe their six-year-old son is being targeted by students at Eskasoni Elementary School because of his shoulder-length hair.
“He’s getting bullied at school because he has long hair,” says Andre Desjardins. “He is proud of his hair because he is a drummer and we want it to stop.”
He says his son, Andre Jr., has been teased, cursed at, and even choked by other students while riding to and from school.
“When my son got choked last week, there was no discipline given to the other child, and there was no phone calls to his parents, and there was no phone calls to us, and there was no reports from the bus driver.”
The bus driver tells CTV News he has been told not to comment on the matter, instead referring the media outlet to the supervisor of school board transportation. He did not return calls.
The Desjardins have grown so frustrated over the situation they posted the boy’s own first-person account of what happens to him on the bus on YouTube.
The Grade 1 student says the bullying includes physical assaults.
“I just got hit, kicked, punched and choked,” he says.
The Desjardins want the school board to assign an attendant to every bus serving Eskasoni Elementary School. They also want access to onboard video surveillance they believe would prove their son is being mistreated.
The family seems to have attracted the attention of local educators by going public with their concerns; they have been asked to attend a private meeting with school board officials next week.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald