After a year and a half of being bullied by classmates at Riverbend Elementary in Yuba City, California, Brenton Peraita and his parents had complained to the school more than fifty times. The 11-year-old’s glasses had been broken, and he was routinely called names like “fag” and “homo.” His school was either unable or unwilling to step in and protect their student.
Brenton, at his wit’s end, reportedly said “I wish I had a gun” while at school one day. He was then called into the principal’s office and promptly arrested for making criminal threats.
To be fair, three of Brenton’s peers were also issued police citations for their bullying, but it was Brenton alone who is being charged with the more serious crime.
A representative for the school, Bruce Morton, told reporters, “We understand that it does happen, and we’re not going to say it doesn’t. Let’s be realistic. But I will tell you when I heard ‘a year and a half and there were ’50 times,’ I can tell you that number is way out of whack.”
Seriously? The school’s defense is that Brenton is a liar? Look, kids embellish. It happens. But if Riverbend Elementary’s students reported a single instance of bullying, the school had an obligation to step in and both mediate and protect. The fact that Brenton reported a plurality of incidents, any plurality, is just straight up dumbfounding. For the record, we’re going to believe the 11-year-old boy here who has been facing relentless bullying over a school desperately trying to protect itself instead of their ward.
Nobody is saying Brenton should have talked about gun violence, but again, he was only talking about violence. His bullies, and his school had been serving him up daily doses of it for over a tenth of his life. If Brenton is facing down criminal charges, the school had better be as well.
Are you upset to hear that a child left to defend himself is was arrested for being bullied?