HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS/AP) Sylvia Mojica is facing charges for allegedly sending her 12-year-old son to school with a BB gun and a folding knife so he could protect himself from bullies.
Police say the 38-year-old Hartford mother has been charged with risk of injury to a minor. Administrators say her son now faces a suspension or even expulsion, and they are also investigating the bullying allegations.
Mojica allegedly gave her son the BB gun and knife last Friday, and the boy told school officials that he had the items in his backpack.
Mojica is expected to appear in court this Friday.
The charges come the same day that the U.S. Department of Education issued new guidelines warning schools that tolerating harassment could put them in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws.
That move follows several high-profile cases of bullying in recent months. Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights, said the department was responding to what it senses as a growing problem within schools.
She said the Office for Civil Rights had received 800 complaints alleging harassment over the last fiscal year, and that reports from the field indicate an increase of harassment against certain groups - including gays and lesbians, as well as Muslim students after the 9/11 attacks.