Mother: Son sexually assaulted by 10-year-olds

PHILADELPHIA - November 15, 2011

Inside the walls of Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia, one mother says her 8-year-old son couldn't fight off the three 4th graders who sexually assaulted him.

Action News is not identifying the mother to protect her son's identity.

"I felt helpless, it took him almost 7 hours to try to tell me what happened," the mother told Action News.

The advanced student is in the same grade and class as his alleged 10-year-old attackers.

He got permission to go to the bathroom late last month and the other boys followed.

His mother says a few weeks before the incident, he told the school the boys were bullying him.

Bryant investigated the assault and says it only found evidence of bullying and suspended the three students.

"Five days, they got five days for bullying, that's an outrage," the mother said.

But now the special victims unit is investigating.

The district says it knows policy was broken and all four students shouldn't have been allowed to go to the bathroom at the same time.

The school sent out a letter informing parents that counselors have already met with classes to discuss inappropriate behavior.

Next week, a resource officer will hold assemblies on bullying, good decision making, violence and respect.

"We only have limited information of what actually happened, our conversation is more about bullying at this point. We don't want to see this type of incident to happen again in the school," district spokesman Fernando Gallard said.

This mother says it's too late for her son.

"If the school board's policy is to protect our children, why aren't they doing that before a child gets hurt?" she said.

She says her son is in counseling and he's been transferred to another school.

The district couldn't tell Action News if a teacher was reprimanded for the policy violation.

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