An 11-year-old boy has been placed in a medically induced coma after what his dad says was a bullying attack at his school.
Bailey O'Neil is a sixth grader at Darby Township School in Pennsylvania, and according to his father, four weeks ago, he got into a fight with a classmate, who had been bullying him along with some other kids. He struck Bailey in the face over and over again. He wound up on the ground with a fractured nose and a concussion.
He was taken to the hospital and released, but his father explains how things just didn't seem right after they got home. He said, "He was sleeping. He was moody. He wasn't himself. He was angry a little bit. He wasn't really eating."
Just a few days after that, Bailey went back into the hospital because he started having seizures. And now, he's been in a coma for two weeks.
You can hear more about what happened to the boy in this video clip.
As the mother of a son who has recently had his first encounter with bullying, Bailey's story leaves me saddened, outraged, and scared to death over just how violent and mean bullies can be.
My little guy is only in first grade, but already, another boy the same age has been giving him a hard time on the school bus. He growls at him. He yells at him sometimes. And recently, he told my son that if he didn't stop talking and sit there silently, he was going to hurt him.
He hasn't done anything physical, but the threat alone has left me and my husband irate and confused over how a child this young can already be experiencing bullying from another first grader.
For now, we feel as though we've handled the situation in the right way and we're keeping our fingers crossed that this horrible boy leaves our son alone. But sadly, it's opened our eyes to the fact that this is probably just the beginning. We're sure our son is going to encounter more than his fair share of bullies as the years progress, and Bailey's story is only further proof of just how serious a problem this is.
My heart and prayers go out to that poor family -- I can't even imagine how heartbroken they are right now. And at the same time, they must be absolutely livid, considering the kid who allegedly beat up their son was suspended from school for two days, and that's it. As of now, no charges have been filed against him, which to me is just unacceptable. Some sort of greater punishment has to be enforced so another family doesn't have to experience the devastation of having their beloved child lying in a hospital bed in a coma.
Have your kids ever been bullied?
Image via WPVI