MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - The parents of a special-needs eighth grade boy accused of making threats at Madison Middle School say their son is goofy, innocent, and has never been violent in his life.
Their son has been cleared by police, school officials, and a doctor who did a risk assessment of any wrongdoing in the accusations that he made threats to hurt his classmates, and yet his life has still been completely upended by what they say has been online bullying dating back into October.
They spoke to us with their son’s paperwork spread out in front of them. Documentation, they said, of their son’s innocence.
They’ve chosen to conceal their identity to protect his.
Luckily, their son is not on social media to see what some of his classmates and some adults say about him, they said.
His parents said they’ve done everything they can to protect him from the vitriol that has been directed his way, especially since the allegations were made against him that he’d made threats.
“He had mentioned some things to us and there had been some disciplinary action at the school against other kids for targeting him, and I also had a voicemail from the school dated October 27th alerting me to things being said about him online,” said his father.
A few weeks ago some students told school administrators that they overheard the boy making threats. He was sent home on a Friday before Thanksgiving and was back at the school on the Monday following.
He had already been given a risk assessment and been cleared by a doctor, police and the school district.
We asked the boy’s parents about whether he’d been violent or whether he even talks about violence. They said he hadn’t ever, to their knowledge.
Meanwhile, Facebook has been a minefield full of what they say are falsehoods and rumors alleging their son had been arrested or had made the threats to “a group of students” who have yet to come forward, aside from the ones who reported the alleged threats to the principal’s office.
So the accused-and-cleared boy’s parents chose to pull their child from Madison Middle School, in part to make other people more comfortable going back to school.
“He was not removed from school because of the alleged threat made," his father said. "The reason he is no longer at the school is because of the response and we just thought it would be better for everyone if we removed him.”
But for the most part, it was done so he could have a shot at a normal eighth grade year, they said.
“We hope he can just get through the eighth grade without being targeted for being different than everyone else. I think some of the reason he was targeted in the first place is because he’s gentle and kind of goofy, and probably a little more childlike than some of the other kids at his age.”