Fredericton teen pulled from school because of bullying
15-year-old says his former girlfriend is harassing him
A Fredericton couple took the drastic step of pulling their son out of high school Friday after what they say has been months of degrading harassment by another student.
They said they don't think Leo Hayes High School is a healthy place for their 15-year-old son, and they said the school has done little to deal with the ongoing problem.
CBC News is using only the teen's first name to partially protect his identity.
Like many teenagers, Brenden fell in love, and then fell out of love. That’s when he said the problems started with his ex-girlfriend.
"She would call and she'd be yelling. She would send me bad text messages constantly, all the time, day and night. And the same with the phone calls," Brenden said Friday.
"At that time, I was going to school, she was approaching me in the halls a lot and trying to talk to me and being in contact with me."
Brenden and his family said he’s been harassed with nasty postings on Facebook, and Twitter. In school, Brenden said that whenever his ex-girlfriend saw him she would yell out sexually explicit comments, and expletives.
"It was very stressful, I was always thinking — what next?" he said.
Brenden’s father said he didn’t know how hard it was hitting his son until a call came from the school to take him to the hospital.
"The school had called and I picked him up at the school. Guidance was concerned for his safety," said the teen's father.
Brenden said he had started cutting his arms.
"I cut myself. It just felt like that's how I could cope with it…If I was to make it, that's what I wanted to do," he said.
His father said they didn't know what was going on.
"To realize that we could have lost him on a couple of occasions, and we didn't even know," he said. "So, that was pretty scary."
The family said they’ve done everything by the book to get the bullying to stop. In spite of support from some teachers, they said the school has done little to nothing.
"The school has been unwilling to set consequences for actions with this other student involved," his father said. "We basically hit a brick wall."
Brenden said the school holds anti-bullying weeks, "but it's kind of hard to believe they're willing to help when things like this are occurring."
Fredericton police said they have investigated complaints over the past four months, but found no criminal behaviour.
Brenden’s mom said it has been a nightmare of emotion and frustration.
"It's very hard as a mother to see your child in pain, and you've been knocking and banging on doors and calling, and it doesn't seem to get you anywhere and your child is still in pain," she said.
School district 18 superintendent Dianne Wilkins said the district has hired an external investigator to look into the allegations.
CBC News spoke with the mother of the alleged bully in this case. She claimed her daughter has also been the victim of bullying and harassment.