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Bethel kindergartner bullied on bus; school responds swiftly

"He cried for about an hour and thought his ear was broken," Shayla Duke said about her son.

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 6:45 PM
Updated: Sep 14, 2018 6:55 PM

BETHEL, Ore. -- A parent said her kindergartner in the Bethel School District was bullied and injured on a school bus this week, but she said she's not upset with the school district.

Shayla Duke said Max was really excited for his first day of school, including the chance to ride the bus, but that changed on Thursday. She said he came off the bus in tears after being bullied by another kid.

"He cried for about an hour and thought his ear was broken," Duke said. She said another student pulled on it during the bus ride home Thursday, possibly breaking some cartilage. "A bullying incident," Duke said

She immediately reported the incident to Clear Lake Elementary and then took her son to the doctor, where they said his ear should heal.

"School has been really good about being on top of it. The principal, Mr. Luhman, has been really great and proactive about the whole thing," Duke said

A spokesperson with the Bethel School District said they met with the students involved and spoke to their parents.

Duke said Max received an apology and the school did some seating re-arrangements on the bus.

"He was afraid to ride the bus again, but I told him I was going to make sure everything was going to be OK," Duke said. Friday afternoon, he rode the bus home. Duke said he is doing well. 

To further prevent bullying, Duke suggests that parents talk to their kids about bullying, specifically, what bullying is and what to do if it's going on.

She also suggests adding chaperones to ride the buses with students. In the meantime, Shayla said she and Max are happy.

"I want to give a thumbs up to the school and the bus barn and the bus driver for doing everything they could to prevent and for making sure it never happens again," Duke said.

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