Tawas City — A second-grader is recovering from her injuries after a playground altercation at Clara Bolen Elementary.
The situation unfolded on Tuesday morning. According to the girl, a group of boys were throwing rocks at her. When she asked them to stop, one of the boys pushed her, causing her to collide into another boy and hit the concrete. She was rushed to the hospital around 11:30 a.m.
“Horrible, it’s a horrible feeling to know your child is hurt that bad,” said her father Shane Redfield.
Redfield has seen several of his children go through the Tawas public school system. This is the first time he’s seen anything as bad as what happened to his daughter. This year, he’s heard about some of the worst cases of bullying at the school.
“This year is a whole other ball game, it’s getting even worse,” said Redfield. “There is way more pushing, way more swearing.”
Just a month ago, a student threatened to bring a knife to school and cut Redfield’s daughter and another girl. The irate father went straight to the office on the issue.
The school’s superintendent and principal are working with Redfield as well as Michigan State Police, reviewing footage and talking to witnesses. There search via security cameras has come up empty since the camera did not capture the incident.
“We don’t have any footage of the incident,” said Princpal Sarah Danek. “We didn’t have any adults visibly see the actual time of the event…Through investigation at this time we have no reason to believe that it has correlated to a bullying incident, or that she had been pushed.”
Redfield is taking his daughter’s side and other child witnesses on the incident. He believes the administration needs to do more to keep kids safe and stop the potential bullying that is happening at the elementary school. The blame does not just fall on the school. Multiple parties are to be held responsible in a situation like the one that happened to his daughter.
“The aides that are out there need to be in the crowd with the kids, walking and listening and being very diligent about what they see, and maybe, they can start to pick out the good from the bad,” said Redfield.
Still, the school stands by a zero tolerance policy. They still regard this incident as an accident.
“We do not tolerate bullying,” said Danek. “We support the Okay2Say campaign with posters and informational events with our students, and we recently just held an assembly to address self-control, and basically think before you act, and pause before you speak.”