JCPS parent seeking restraining order against 9-year-old "bully" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS parent seeking restraining order against 9-year-old "bully"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A restraining order, against a fourth-grader?  It's almost unheard of, yet that's exactly what one parent says she needs to protect her 9-year-old from being bullied at a Jefferson County public school.

While JCPS teachers prepare for state testing, consequences may be the lesson of the day at Foster Traditional Academy.  Attorney Teddy Gordon explains, "We want to make sure the school does what it's supposed to do, which is keep all of our children, especially this young little lady, safe in a school setting.  Free of bullying and intimidation and threats and if they won't do it we hope the court system will."

Teddy Gordon represents Joy Furman and her 9-year old daughter, seeking a 500-foot protection order against one of her young classmates.  Court records say the boy, also nine years old, has terrorized Furman's daughter for two years.

Gordon says, "She has to go through hell and back every day, and that's not what school is supposed to be for."

Gordon lists harassment, threats, even a May 2011 incident where the girl was taken to the hospital after the boy allegedly karate kicked her in the chest during recess.

Jack Jacobs of JCPS student assignments says, "There are a lot of different things we do to work with bullying cases.  Sometimes it's as simple as moving the kids to opposite ends of the classroom. A lot of times we work it out between the two children and the two families."

Court records say the girl was transferred to a different classroom last year in third grade, but then JCPS put the pair right back together this year in fourth grade. Now both teachers, the principal from the school, and the young boy's parents are all being sued.

It's the latest case from the man who has been a thorn in the side of JCPS and leads the charge to take down the student assignment plan.  In addition to the restraining order, Gordon wants compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.  "We asked for a transfer of the school, it was all denied," he says.  "It's very sad. It is a systemic problem in JCPS and instead of solving the problem they make it worse."

Jacobs replies, "I think it starts in the home and with the family and when it comes to school we have to educate the children and stop it right there."

JCPS says it has a comprehensive anti-bullying program in place and instances of bullying are on the decline this year.

Representatives add that the protection order is the first they've heard in a bullying complaint between these two students outside the issue last year.  On Monday, the judge set the restraining order hearing for May 2nd.

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