The parents of a Jefferson Township High School freshman came before the Board of Education to plead for help after, they said, their son was “brutally attacked” by another student.
They said they plan to file a tort claim notice against the school district later this week. But school officials said that they have addressed the issue and taken what they believe to be appropriate action.
“My son was attacked and beaten up on April 19,” a tearful Elaine Attanasio told the board. “I’ve begged for help since October, and no one has helped me.”
Elaine and Michael Attanasio told the board that doctors have said their son Christian suffered a concussion and possible permanent damage to his left eye as a result of the incident, which allegedly started in a classroom and spilled into the hallway during the school day.
In a letter that the Attanasios wrote to Board of Education members and shared with Patch, they claim that their son was given no medical attention after the incident. The letter reads, in part:
"I CAN NOT believe no medical attention was given to my son! I am outraged, that the school did not notify me. Just how long were they going to wait?! My son was delusional, hysterical, and bleeding, sitting in the office which is all windows, as a spectacle for all to see!!! He was completely embarrassed, and should have been at the VERY LEAST kept in the nurse’s office. Even if the nurse didn’t see fit to call an ambulance after assessing all of his injuries (which in and of itself, is hard to believe), the administrator in charge should have after she took one look at my son."
Attanasio also said she was dissatisfied with the Harrassment, Intimidation and Bullying Incidences (HIB) report that was presented at Monday's meeting, which reported that no incidents had occurred at the high school for April.
“I filed a HIB form,” she said. “How could they say there were no incidents?”
Schools superintendent Joseph Kraemer said that the reason that the incident did not appear on the report was because the full report pertaining to the incident in question had not been completed yet, and that it would be present on the next HIB report.
“Mrs. Attanasio is inaccurate in her statement that we haven’t done anything,” Kraemer said. “We have identified the parties and taken the appropriate action.”
Citing confidentiality issues, Kraemer declined to comment specifically on the incident in question, but said that an action plan after an alleged bullying incident could include supervision in the hallways, counseling, an aide on the bus or a possible change of schedule. The district’s policy on harassment, intimidation and bullying can be found on its web site.
Attanasio said she is dissatisfied with the board’s response to her plea, which she said also includes a request for disciplinary action against vice principal Noreen Risko, who, she believes, did not adequately address the incident.
Attanasio's letter called for further action:
"I firmly believe Noreen Risko needs disciplinary action taken against her. Acting as an administrator, she had the responsibility to act on any harassment, intimidation, or bullying incident that was reported to her even if no HIB was submitted. An investigation should have been done."