The Appleton Police Department is investigating allegations of a physical bullying incident that left a student injured at an Appleton public school.
The Appleton PD School Resource Unit was made aware of the allegation on Tuesday, December 12.
The bullying allegedly took place during a recent school recess period at Horizons Elementary School.
According to the child's mother, Holly Lazzaro, her 10-year-old son Kaiden has been bullied for the past year by the same boy at school.
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She told NBC26 that last week, the bully allegedly put Kaiden in a headlock and pushed his head into the ground, causing a brain bleed and a concussion.
"I felt helpless while he's at school and he doesn't feel safe, and the only thing I can do is reach out to the district to be told that it's going to happen, there's nothing they can do to prevent it," Lazzaro said.
The School Resource Officer assigned to the school is conducting an investigation, police said.
Lazzaro has since pulled both of her kids out of the school and said she now plans to push for the removal of the superintendent and school principal for failing to stop the bullying.
The Appleton Area School District declined NBC26's request for an interview, instead directing us to Superintendent Judy Baseman' statement:
During our review of a recent incident at Horizons Elementary School, we became aware that there is considerable misinformation being posted on social media regarding how this incident was handled at the school and District levels.
While we are not able to address the specifics of any particular student matter, our investigation has shown that the school and the District did act appropriately to address the allegations brought forth. While we recognize that these situations may not result in what individuals want or demand, solutions are based on full investigations and the facts of each situation.
We want to assure our families, parents, guardians and community that the District has policies, procedures and programs in place that are intended to prevent and address all bullying behaviors in each of our schools. Our staff work hard every day to create a safe and welcoming environment and to keep our schools safe and free from intimidation, bullying and harassment.
Bullying behaviors have a significant impact on students. To address bullying concerns District-wide, we implement social skills programming such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), provide multiple ways for our students and parents to report concerns, and prioritize placing trusted adults in our schools, including our School Resource Officers.
While all of these proactive measures are firmly and consistently in place across our District, we understand that students will make mistakes and that bullying behaviors unfortunately do occur in our schools. We ask our parents and guardians to help us in this ongoing work. Report your concerns, reach out to your student’s teachers or principals and help us to keep our schools safe and welcoming for all.
Please know that we always have and will continue to take any and all situations of bullying or alleged bullying very seriously and will continue to collaborate appropriately with the Appleton Police Department to address these situations.
To learn more about how we support a positive learning environment for all students, as well as how we address bullying in the AASD, please go to: http://www.aasd.k12.wi.us/parents/bullying_pbis_