Mother accused of following son to school, pulling knife on his alleged bullies, speaks out

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A mother was accused of following her 11-year-old son to his northwest Charlotte school Friday morning and pulling a knife on two teens who she thought were bullying him.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, 32-year-old Olga Cortez allegedly followed her son's bus to Coulwood Middle School on Kentberry Drive at 8 a.m. Once at the bus parking lot, Cortez reportedly started to become "verbally irate" with the two 13-year-old male students who she believed were her son's bullies.

Police said one of the teens physically assaulted Cortez. Cortez then allegedly pulled out a knife and began "flailing through the air with it" against the two students.

Coulwood Middle School went into "self-contained mode" due to the incident, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials say.

All of the three teens involved were charged with public affray, police say. According to police, two of the 13-year-olds were also charged with simple assault.

Cortez was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and having a weapon on school grounds.

"No students of staff were injured," CMS Media Relations Specialist Brian Hacker says.

Shortly after returning home from county jail, Olga Cortez spoke to WBTV about the wild situation that unfolded in front of Coulwood Stem Academy Friday morning.

The mother told WBTV her son, Gregory Goodman, has been dealing with bullying issues at Coulwood for months. She said the incidents have been taking place on his school bus so she decided to follow the bus to school Friday to make sure her child was safe.

She said things turned ugly when she got out of her car and spoke to an administrator as the kids were getting off the bus at Coulwood.

"The administrator came to me, he says 'what's the issue?'" explained Cortez.

She said she explained to the school official that kids on the bus had threatened her and her son. Cortez said that as this was happening, one of the kids pushed the administrator aside and hit her in the face. She said the school official then started to restrain her.

"The administrator, he grabs me up as if I was the one that assaulted so I grabbed my knife and I said 'you need to get the (expletive) back'" Cortez recounted.

She said that she did this because other students had started to jump Gregory.

"I was protecting myself and I was protecting my child," said Cortez.

After the fray was broken up, Cortez went to jail and her son was suspended from school.

Cortez said she had tried to contact school officials about the bullying concerns in weeks prior but nothing had been done. She said she wanted the alleged bullies suspended from the school bus, but claims it never happened.

"Where do you go when you're contacting the superintendent, you're contacting the learning center, you're contacting the principal, you've contacted all the administration? Who protects your child?" questioned Cortez.

The mother drafted an affidavit of fact concerning her son's bullying claims and said she still has mail receipts from the copies she's sent to school administrators. Cortez said she wants the school system to crack down harder on bullying.

"I would just like to see CMS step it up with the consequences for bullying," said Cortez.

She said she doesn't regret following her son to school Friday, but does regret bringing a weapon on the school campus.

Cortez said she isn't worried about the charges she is up against and plans to defend herself in court.

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