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9-year-old Pittsburgh Public Schools student hospitalized after alleged bullying incident

Boy Hospitalized After Alleged Bullying Incident 02:38

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The family of a 9-year-old special education student said a recent act of bullying landed the boy in the hospital.

"I know I'm not the only parent from this school, I know I'm not. But I'm the only parent taking it a step farther because it has to stop," Lisa Cook said. 

The boy's family is now crying out for help, saying attempts to stop the bullying keep falling short. 

KDKA Investigator Meghan Schiller talked to Cook, the child's grandmother. She said she is feeling helpless. Cook also fears if the bullying continues, something worse will happen.

"They need to really crack down on the bullying because these kids are suffering," said Cook.

Her grandson, Tian, told her he endures daily bullying.

"When they lash out when they get older, they're the bad person. But they just don't know their history, how much they've been bullied and taunted and everything. So, my plea is they need to step up," said Cook.

She told KDKA that the most recent act of bullying at Pittsburgh Arlington K-8 landed Tian in the hospital. The discharge paperwork talks about treatment for abdominal pain. Cook said the alleged bully kicked her grandson in the stomach.

"He's at risk at that school because they're not doing anything. There's no way he should have been kicked when a teacher's right here and he's in line," said Cook.

She also provided her grandson's Individualized Education Program paperwork. It says he's "eager to learn" and a "happy kid." Cook said this has always been the case despite his struggles with dyslexia and autism. But the bullying, Cook said, is causing him to turn inwards.

"He used to be so happy and, 'Grandma, let's do this and do that.' And now he's quiet, bites his nails," said Cook.

KDKA reached out to Pittsburgh Public Schools and learned that one student did receive school-based disciplinary action for kicking Tian. The district said it notified Tian's family and offered to switch his classroom.

The family argues that's not true. The family said it doesn't believe Tian should need to change classrooms because he's getting targeted by a school bully.

"I don't know what to do now. My back is against the wall," Cook said.

The full statement from PPS reads:

"Yesterday, two 2nd grade students who frequently play together were cutting each other in line when one student kicked the other. The student was examined by the school's nurse and released back to class. The student involved in the incident requested an opportunity to apologize for kicking his peer, and both students made up during a mediation held the same day. The school administration notified the parent of the incident after the school day ended, offering to switch the student's classroom due to the parent's concerns.   One student has received school-based disciplinary action for the incident. We are unable to discuss the disciplinary action of any student."

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