Not seeing your child get off the school bus at the end of the day is one of the most terrifying situations that can help to a parent. This is what happened to a mom in Louisiana when her 5-year-old son did not get off his school bus last Monday. Thankfully, he was later found–although he was found walking on the side of the road alone by police, according to reports.
So, why was Kenneth Hotard walking alone by himself? Because he was being bullied by his classmates at Legion Park Elementary school, and refused to take the bus as a result. His mother, Kathleen Hotard, described the horror she felt when she found out at WDSU:
“I got an empty pit in my stomach because at that moment I didn’t know where my child was. I was scared.”
Kenneth explained what his classmates do to him:
“Because every week they throw spitballs, and they land on my ear.”
Apparently, Kenneth also told a substitute teacher that he had been given permission to walk home–which was not true–as confirmed by his mom:
“I was informed my child had lied and said he had a parental note to walk home. I confirmed I never wrote a note, and they confirmed they never saw a note. He said he had misplaced it.”
Luckily, Kenneth was found only about a half mile from his school after someone reported that he was walking down the road alone–although he was walking in the wrong direction.
As of now, Kenneth has not returned to school, and his mom confirmed that they are looking to transfer him:
“I’m ready to go to another school. He doesn’t want to be by himself. He urinated on himself because he was too afraid to go alone. He’s having anxiety from this.
I don’t want any other parent to ever have to feel what I felt. I don’t want any other child to be on a side of a road by themselves scared … I feel like accountability needs to be taken by the school, by the teachers, and by the school board. Things have to change.”
Currently, the school is reportedly investigating the incident after the school superintendent admitted what happened was “wrong.” While an investigation is the first time to making positive changes, it’s also not enough. Kids need to be educating both at home and at school about the negative effects of bullying–and why bullying is just plain wrong. If they aren’t shown this by example, how else are they going to learn?