INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Richard Arreguin is 12-years-old. He should’ve been in class at Nowlin Middle School in Independence Monday, but he wasn’t. The seventh grader tells FOX 4 he doesn’t want to return to school because he’s afraid he’s going to be bullied again.
Arreguin told his mother for the past two weeks, a classmate has repeatedly bullied him. He says the boy would follow him to the bathroom at Nowlin Middle and kick and punch him for no apparent reason. He says he suffered bruises on his arms, legs and shoulders.
“I’m scared to walk the hallways,” the boy said. “I don’t want to return to Nowlin or any school.”
Arreguin’s mother, Holli Gray, said the ongoing attacks caused her son to storm out of the house last Thursday night. Gray said he ran down the street barefoot and shirtless and darted into oncoming traffic. Gray said an Independence police officer passing by grabbed her son and saved him from hurting himself.
He just ran out of the house and said, ‘I can’t take it any more. I’m going to kill myself,'” said Gray.
The boy didn’t hurt himself that night. However, he was hospitalized until Monday. Meantime, while the law prohibits school officials from discussing specific cases, Nancy Lewis, the Public Relations Director for the Independence School District, said they take all allegations of bullying very seriously.
“Any time any allegation is made, there is a full investigation into it,” she said. “It’s something that we take seriously. We do professional development with our teachers throughout the year, so that they can stop bullying ahead of time and know what to do about it.”
As for Richard Arreguin, his mother says she’s preparing to transfer her son to another school.