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Parents concerned about bullying allegations at Hedenkamp Elementary School

Posted at 8:21 AM, Sep 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-07 13:09:07-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Parents at a South Bay elementary school said they are frustrated with alleged bullying incidents involving the same two students targeting their children.

Gillan Andre said two weeks ago, her son -- a 5th grader at Hedenkamp Elementary School -- came home saying he’d been slapped after two boys tried to take some of his bracelets.

Andre said her son told her the incident started on campus, and when her son told a school staff member about it, that person told the boys to knock it off.

However, once the students were on the school bus, Gillan said the harassment continued and got worse once they were dropped off.

“It kind of started a tug-of-war for the bracelets -- my son’s holding it, they’re holding it, but then they proceed to start pushing and slapping him,” said Andre.

Andre notified a teacher, but she also posted on social media warning parents of the alleged bullying.

According to Andre, she immediately started getting responses from other parents who said their children were also being bullied by the same two students.

One of those parents was Gerardo Ruiz, who alleged his son has been bullied by the same group of kids for over a year.

The families connected and said they were able to confirm the incidents involved the same two students.

In Ruiz’s son's case, he said the first incident was last October, also when his son was getting off the bus. Ruiz said his son was punched in the face and his tooth was knocked out.

Ruiz alleged the verbal harassment continued all year. He and the child’s mother said they went to the school and the Chula Vista Elementary School District and were told one possible solution was moving his child to another school.

“Why should my son be the one that has to go to another school to feel safe if these kids have been a consistent problem at the school? They should be the ones who should have to move to another school,” said Ruiz.

Both families said they expressed their concerns to the school and the district told them they couldn’t disclose disciplinary action on the students involved because it’s confidential.

A CVESD spokesperson sent ABC 10News the following statement regarding the parents' claims:

The Chula Vista Elementary School District takes any incidents involving students very seriously. When there is alleged bullying or inappropriate altercations between students, the school site immediately investigates and implements appropriate progressive discipline. Our school sites also provide social-emotional support and counseling when needed for students.
CVESD District Spokesperson

The spokesperson also added that they couldn't specify what disciplinary action was taken because they say it's a confidential matter involving the students.