7 year-old south shore boy and his mother speak out about bullying

ST-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU – didn’t like going to school until very recently. His mother says she was afraid for her son’s safety after he came home bruised and battered on many occasions since first grade.

“At least once a week he was coming back and he would either tell me that the kid had hit him, kicked him punched him,” said who was at times reluctant to send her son to school. The incidents also clearly upset the 7 year-old who said he felt “mad, because he was always bugging me” speaking about his agressive classmate.

Despite numerous complaints to the school since last year, Damien’s mother feels little was done to stop the violence until she decided to go public.

“To me it’s ridiculous that it has to go on for over a year before anything is done” said Delisle-Beer, who got the courage to speak out after watching a story on Global News last month about another student from the same school who was allegedly beaten on the bus.

“I contacted Zachary’s mom I just wanted to let her know she wasn’t the only one having issues with the school for the , intimidation,” said Delisle-Beer.

The Riverside School Board dismissed claims about bullying in ’s case last month, despite video evidence to the contrary and despite the fact that police arrested two teenagers for his assault. The school board even suggested Zachary’s wounds were self-inflicted.

“If we had any doubt that that little boy was beaten up or bullied by the others we would be on it” said the school board director general Sylvain Racette, following the September incident.

But it was a different outcome for Damien. After warning the school board that she was planning to turn to the media, Damien’s mother says the alleged bullier was removed from the school, overnight.

Damien is relieved his classmate in question is no longer around, “He’s not there to hit me now,” said the second grade student.

His mother hopes that sharing their story will push other parents to come forward and demand action against bullying.

“What I hope people know is they’re not alone. It’s sad to say but it is a common problem in schools whether it’s St Johns or another school. In all schools there’s problems.”

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