ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents of several elementary school students in Arlington say their children were bullied by police and school staff, during an assembly on bullying. Some of the students have not returned to school since the incident, which police and Arlington ISD said is under investigation.
Parents told CBS11 that as many as 25 students were singled out as bullies, photographed by a police officer, and forced to sign a paper. Parents said no one from Lynn Hale Elementary School notified them about the incident.
Parents said the students, between nine and 11 years old, were in class Feb. 21 when their names were called out over the public address system in the school. They were told to report to the cafeteria, where they saw an officer. Parents said the school does not have a full time school resource officer, and that their sons did not recognize him.
Parents said the officer photographed the boys with a cell phone, had them sign something, and told them he would be watching them through their school years.
“This Arlington police officer conducted a scare tactic, bully assembly,” said one father named Rick. Parents asked to be identified only through their first names, to protect the identity of their children.
Rick said after the initial incident, other students were brought in to the cafeteria, and identified as “victims” of the group that was already there.
Arlington ISD released a statement Friday night saying:
“The Arlington ISD takes all reports of bullying seriously and helps students develop skills to deal with social and behavioral issues. District administration received complaints about a campus-coordinated anti-bullying presentation conducted by a school resource officer and is working closely with the campus staff, Arlington Police Department and the parents as we investigate this incident. Appropriate action will be taken once the investigation is complete.”
Police also released this statement:
“The Arlington Police Department takes the issue of bullying very seriously, and recognizes that our students are young citizens still developing social and life skills. We were notified early this week of complaints from a group of parents regarding a recent bullying presentation made by a School Resource Officer that was requested by school officials. Police supervisors are looking into the complaint and will work in conjunction with the Arlington Independent School District to ensure that those concerns are properly addressed.”
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