Mom: CMS ignored 'endless bullying' for son with autism

Mom: CMS ignored 'endless bullying' for son with autism

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte mother is accusing her son's school of ignoring endless bullying.

Melinda Bethea and her family say they have tried everything to make Sterling Elementary School a better place for her son, who has autism. But now, two weeks before school starts, she says staying in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system is not an option.

Bethea says the bullying in the fifth grade would include taunting, teasing, even hitting.

"It's been frustrating because it's like, 'Can you please just help him?'," she says.

Bethea said she wrote the school at least ten times on her son Premiere's behalf. She contacted teachers, the principal, even the superintendent.

"They would make plans to help him, but they wouldn't really follow up on what they were supposed to be doing," she says. "And the bullying continued."

Bethea says as the years went on, things only got more frustrating.

"His latest teacher said to us [that] he can't watch all the students," she said.

WBTV reached out to school officials Tuesday, who could not comment on the specific case. Still, they did emphasize the district has a strict no-bullying policy in each school.

Bethea says she is bringing her son's case forward because she wants the school system to learn how to take care of students with disabilities like his.

"In the beginning, it was like 'okay, let me help them and inform them'," she says. "But three years and I just felt like they didn't care."

The Bethea family says they have now pulled their son out of CMS and have sought legal counsel. Premiere will now attend a local charter school.

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