Parent: County not doing enough to address bullying - WSMV Channel 4

Father says Cheatham Co. Schools not doing enough to address bullying

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ASHLAND CITY, TN (WSMV) -

Louis Green recently removed his daughter from Cheatham County Middle School after she said she was hit in the head by other students and called names repeatedly.

He says it started out just as words and taunting but later got physical.

Green said school officials didn't do enough to help.

"Not one time did they ask how your daughter feels or what she will be like if she goes back to school," he said.

New bullying numbers are now showing he wasn't alone.

"The school had told me many times. When I called about the situation the first time, no one was available," Green said.

That's exactly what Channel 4 was told when asking for comment on the school bullying and a copy of their annual bullying report.

Cheatham County School District leaders have previously denied having a bullying problem and accused the media of exaggerating reports from parents, but the numbers tell a different story.

According to The Tennessean, in an annual bullying report from the 2013-2014 school year, Cheatham County investigated 117 bullying cases. In 33 cases, students were suspended. Fifteen were resolved through parent conferences, The Tennessean reports.

Channel 4 asked for a response, and even showed up in person, but didn't get a report.

The school spokesperson said Beth Batson, who presented the report to school board members a week ago, was not available.

"That's the problem with Cheatham County. There is no one available until you commit a crime. Once you commit a crime, they have all the time in the world to come and get me and put me in jail for something that could have been cured on the first phone call," Green said.

Green said he lost his temper on the phone after making several dead-end calls to Cheatham County school officials about his daughter's bullying case. He was arrested and charged, under a new law, with threatening a school official. He said he hopes more parents will speak out to promote changes in the system.

"That's why I'm fighting for my daughter because I don't want it to happen to the next child," he said.

Cheatham County school officials told Channel 4 they may be able to hand over their bullying numbers on Tuesday. School districts have until Aug. 1 to report them to the state.

As for Green, he will be going back to court in a few weeks to fight his charges. He says he was only trying to protect his daughter and not hurt anyone.

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