School investigates bullying claims after attempted suicide - Dallas News |

School investigates bullying claims after attempted suicide

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The Arlington Independent School District said several teens could be punished, even expelled, if they are guilty of bullying another student.

The action comes after Lamar High School sophomore Clayton Harrison's mother claimed he tried to commit suicide by taking nine hydrocodone pills at school because he was bullied by his football teammates.

Carol Harrison said her son is now trying to move on.

He will not be returning to Lamar, but she still did meet with Associate Superintendent Jimmy Walker on Tuesday about the alleged bullying.

"He stressed it will not be tolerated," she said.

She was relieved to hear how the school will handled Clayton's claims of repeated abuse.

"They're gonna talk with the coaches. They're gonna talk with anyone that was involved that knew anything about it," Harrison said.

"I definitely think the mindset at the school is different. The manner at which they're approaching this, taking on the investigation as soon as mom approached the principal about this, he immediately started talking to student to try to figure out what was going on," said Amy Casas, a spokeswoman for the school district.

Harrison said the bullying began right after her son transferred to Lamar in March. That's about the same time sophomore Nate Jackson told his mother he also became a target for bullies.

"They egged him on the way to school. They would come to my house and egg my house. They came to our house and tried to get in the back door," said Jenny Befort.

First she said his grades slipped and then she said he didn't want to go to school.

"I was afraid for him every day. As a single mom, my kids are my life and so you want them to be safe. And every day I was scared for him," she said.

Befort said she didn't get much help from the Lamar principal and vice principals.

"They would listen and not do anything and put the blame back on him. ‘He must be doing something for these boys to be doing this to him,'" she said.

The bullies are still there so she enrolled Nate in a private school this year.

As for Clayton, the fate of the boys accused of mentally and physically abusing him will be determined.

"I want what the school wants and them to put a stop to bullying and if that requires them getting expelled, then I want what the school wants," Harrison said.

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