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Father Says Son Suspended For Standing Up To Bully

(CBS) -- A father says instead of his son being treated as a hero for preventing a bully from attacking another student, he was suspended.

The Elmwood Park family says they are outraged over the schools decision.

CBS 2's Brad Edwards reports there's a stir in the halls of Elmwood Park over what happened to Mark Rivera.

"It's a really small community so I really can't stand for someone to be bullied in a community it's so small," said Mark.

The football player just back after wrapping a suspension for confronting a bully, he says he sat and had a conversation with him before walking away.

"He said some comments so I turned back and I took a step forward," Rivera said.

That, per the report, was physically assaultive, resulting in a suspension.

His father Cruz Rivera thinks they made the wrong decision.

"He should have been given a medal, an award," said Cruz Rivera.

Mark's stepmom Dawn Sanks says she is, "disappointed, really because it fosters an environment that is not conducive to learning."

The school's principal James Jennings wouldn't talk case specific, but generally - about their anti-bullying policy said: "Some students have good intentions of helping others but the way they go about it can become a problem if it involves threats and can escalate an incident."

While Rivera was suspended by the school, the fellow students applauded him.

"He shouldn't be getting in trouble for defending so everyone was like good job mark," said Norberto Romero.

The principal told CBS 2, "You can say stop it or leave him alone but if that doesn't work, get an adult involved."

Mark Rivera says the bullied student is no longer being picked on.

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