Parents Say Bullied Boy Needed Brain Surgery

After a 7-year-old was sent home with a head injury, his school district changed its account of how he was hurt, his parents say

The parents of a 7-year-old boy allege their son was bullied so severely at a school in Arcadia, California, he suffered injuries that required brain surgery.

Eli Tsou and Jenny Yang learned their son Jeremy suffered a head injury May 19 when Arcadia Unified School District sent them a "Notification of Possible Head Injury" letter.

The letter stated in part that Jeremy had suffered a head injury, but the injury "did not appear serious; however head injuries occasionally cause trouble hours or days later."

Tsou and Yang said they discovered Jeremy had a fractured skull when he was taken to a hospital after he began vomiting and complained of headaches. Jeremy told his parents he was injured at Baldwin Stocker School when he was tripped by a fellow first-grade student and hit his head on a desk before he fell to the ground.

"He was vomiting in the bathroom and screaming from severe headaches, and Eli and I just knew that after having a head injury the day previous that it was not a good sign," Yang said. Jeremy received brain surgery the next day. 

The letter to his parents, signed by the school principal and district nurse, said Jeremy was pushed by another student.

"The boy that tripped me came back again in the office and now he is laughing about what he did," Jeremy said.

Tsou said the district later completed an investigation and claimed the district came to another conclusion, allegedly saying Jeremy caused injury to himself by slipping on a pencil.

Arcadia Unified School District released a written statement citing no findings of bullying or physical abuse.

"Numerous witnesses were interviewed, including the 7-year-old accused, other students, and staff. A second independent investigation was conducted by the Arcadia Police Department, and no findings of criminal conduct were determined," the statement said, in part.

Tsou and Yang said they want accountability and were grateful for the awareness generated by their social media campaign, which started with a Facebook post.

A spokesman for the district said many of the statements made in the Facebook post were factually inaccurate.

The parents challenged the district's findings and conclusions Tuesday night at a school board meeting, but the district spokesman again said that there would be "no comment."

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