A Cardiff family is receiving an outpouring of support one day after telling 10News and San Diego County sheriff's investigators about their son being bullied at school.
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Jamie Waller and his 11-year-old son, Gavin, are both feeling better after what happened after Gavin's story aired on 10News Thursday night.
"Well, a kid that had bullied me called me up and said, 'I'm sorry.' He really felt bad," said Gavin, a student at Ada Harris Elementary School.
"I don't want my kid to go through this, and I don't want somebody else's kid to go through this," said Waller.
Waller said he tried putting his son in martial arts classes and even asked the school's principal to arrange a meeting between himself and the other student's father. However, Waller told 10News the school did nothing.
Waller said the student had been harassing Gavin "all year long."
Waller told 10News the student took Gavin's backback earlier this week, urinated in it and then left a threatening note inside. The note found in Gavin's backpack said: "I hope you die. I hope you go to hell. (Expletive) your family and your mom is a psycho. P.S. I (urinated) in your backpack."
"If it had been the principal's kid or the superintendent's kid, things would have got dealt with right away," said Waller.
Since the story aired, Waller said the family has been getting supportive phone calls and emails from other parents like Britt Thompson.
"I'm glad you guys are doing a story on this because the more people talk about it, the more they're just going to have to admit that yes, there's a problem, no we're not going away and we need to nip it in the bud," said Thompson, who told 10News her daughter has been bullied at Ada Harris School.
"This is no longer a secret," Thompson added. "Kids should be able to come to school no matter what district you live in."
In an email sent to parents following 10News' story on the incident, the school's principal, Brian Kissell, wrote:
"Our teachers and staff work hard to investigate and resolve all issues with students in a timely manner. We pride ourselves on providing students with a safe learning environment."
Vicki Couch's two children go to school miles away in Pacific Beach, and they don't know Gavin, but they do feel for him.
"The story on Gavin really touched my heart, just simply because he looks like such an amazing kid and I was so sad for him that he was treated that way," said Couch.
Couch cried when she saw Gavin's story, then decided to do something to help. She went to the principal of Bayview Terrace Elementary School, where her children are students, and spoke to the principal about having the student body send letters of support to Gavin. Principal Magdelena Tavasci immediately agreed.
Tavasci said her students will write the notes next week, then present them to Gavin at a morning assembly the first week of June.
"I want him to know the kids here feel for him," said Couch. "We just want to reach out our hearts to him."
Waller said he thinks what Bayview Terrace Elementary is doing is "awesome." Waller said Gavin will be there to accept the letters, but it will be bittersweet.
"It's troubling to me that his own school hasn't thought of something like that," Waller added.
Cardiff Schools Superintendent Jill Vinson told 10News the principal at Ada Harris School worked on his investigation of the backpack incident all day Friday.
When asked why the sheriff's department wasn't contacted immediately after the backpack was soiled and the threatening note was found, Vinson said school policy is to only contact law enforcement after the principal conducts his or her own investigation.
Vinson said law enforcement is only called "if merited".
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a juvenile detective is looking into the allegations.
Gavin is expected to return to school on Tuesday. He told 10News he hopes that after going public he won't be picked on anymore.
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