Parents concerned about bullying in West York Area School District

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Parents in West York Area School District are hosting a meeting Monday night to discuss bullying. They said it's a huge problem, as more parents are coming forward with allegations that the School District hasn't done enough.

This all started when a woman posted a picture of her son on Facebook, saying he had been bullied on the bus, punched in the face, and that the School did nothing about it. Her attorney said her story is only a small piece of a much bigger problem.

When Rhonda Lucky picked up her 10-year-old son, Ted, at Trimmer Elementary School early on December 21st, she said all she knew was that he was sent to the nurse's office for a bloody nose, after being punched twice in the face while he was on the bus.

"She stated that she had talked to four boys that said my son started a fight and hit another child first,” Lucky said. “My son sat there and insisted that he did not start anything."

Shortly after, Lucky made a post explaining what happened. It was shared thousands of times. Several weeks later she was able to watch the surveillance video of the incident.

FOX 43 filled out a Right to Know request to see that video, but the District asked for a 30-day extension. Lucky said the video starts out with horseplay, then another child put her son in what she calls a chokehold and shoved him down the seat.

"This boy with an open hand just slapped Ted across the face and Ted reached out and kinda went like this," Lucky said. "He didn't hit the boy at all and the boy came around with a closed fist with all his might. You could see it just hit Ted's face and Ted's face go back."

After that, Lucky said her son was asked to wait on the bus with a bloody face while the principal talked to other students about the fight.

"I started crying," Lucky said. "My son was trying to get help, and she refused my son help. She didn't even look at him. Regardless of what happened, a child was injured. He needed medical attention."

FOX 43 asked the District about the incident, they sent us the following statement:

"The WYASD is aware of discipline issues occurring on some of our buses, and we take all matters of misconduct seriously.  Student safety is always our top priority, and we have policies in place to protect all of our students. Currently, district administration is working collaboratively with management from the reliance student transportation to review and update current policies and expectations addressing transportation misconduct. Updates will be shared with families when they are finalized.  As always, your child’s safety and well-being will be at the forefront of our decisions, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we make these adjustments.

We ask that you please continue to stress appropriate bus conduct with your children as outlined in the linked document below.

Https://www.Wyasd.K12.Pa.Us/transportation"

They also updated their bus policy, outlining appropriate conduct and new consequences.

Meanwhile, Lucky has hired an attorney, who said the bullying problems extend way beyond Ted's incident.

"I started hearing these horror stories of these kids," Rebecca Lyttle, her attorney, said. "Everything from being bullied for their race, their gender, sexual harassment, physical abuse, but the main part I saw was all these parents were contacting the administrators and it was horrible, the treatment they got and basically nothing was done to the students."

She says the school's inaction is putting students in great harm.

"If this was an isolated incident it would be one thing, but there's probably dozens of kids and parents that are being affected by this," Lyttle said. "This could be a pretty big lawsuit."

There is no lawsuit yet. Lucky said he just wants policies to be enforced, and for bullies to get the help they need.

Parents in the West York Area School District are holding an anti-bullying meeting at 7 p.m. at Leg Up Farmers Market. They plan to talk about the bullying problems and what they can do to combat them.

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