May 10, 2013 3:16 pm

Toronto parent pulls daughter from school over bullying fears

Harley Campos is an average 11-year-old girl, her face lights up when she talks about her love for art class and she has always gotten A’s and B’s in school.

But that changed this school year, when the student from Earl Haig Public School, near Danforth and Coxwell, had her first experience with bullying.

Campos says her grades have dropped to C’s and D’s, she is scared to go to school for fear of being physically hurt and she has trouble sleeping.

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“They [the bullies] say they are going to beat me up,” says Campos. “I feel like there’s no hope, I just want to stay home and do nothing.”

Campos says the 13-year-old bullies allegedly began threatening to hurt her after they claimed she had spread rumours that they took drugs.

“I didn’t say anything,” she says. “They are basically bullying me for something I didn’t say.”

Jill Trahan-Hardy, the child’s mother, says she told her daughter’s teacher about the bullying in a parent interview and nothing was done.

“The teacher told me she would bring it to the attention of the principal,” says Trahan-Hardy. “I thought everything was over and done with, but the bullying is still going on.”

Trahan-Hardy says her daughter’s friend made a secret recording on her iPhone during a confrontation with the bullies on a lunch break at school. The recording was provided to Global News.

“The recording rambled on that I’m going to kill you, my father told me what to do and how to get away with it,” says Trahan-Hardy. “I brought the audio tape to school as proof of the bullying.”

Trahan-Hardy says the students were suspended for a day and a half but were seen on school property during the suspension.

The alleged bullies are back at school but Harley’s mom refuses to allow her daughter near them and for now, Harley is doing her schoolwork from home.

“They broke their day and a half punishment by being on school property during the suspension,” says Trahan-Hardy. “And they’re not being punished for breaking their punishment; it just doesn’t sit right with me.”

The Toronto District School Board released the following statement to Global News in response to Harley’s story: “For privacy reasons, we can’t provide details about specific students. In general however, should any students or parents have concerns, we would encourage them to speak to their school principal so that they can review the circumstances and take appropriate action.”

Toronto Police officers told Harley’s mother that they have not contacted the parents of the alleged bullies.

Police have also confirmed they are not pursuing a criminal investigation into the matter.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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