Education system failed my bullied and traumatized son, says Yukon mom – North

A mother in Watson Lake, Yukon, says the education system failed her son as he was repeatedly victimized by bullies at elementary school. 

Roxanne Coles said the bullying was so bad that her son ended up missing about a third of the 2016/17 school year. She says one of his worst experiences was when another student choked him with a rope, and threatened to kill him.

Coles and her son moved from Whitehorse to Watson Lake last year. She says she trusted her son would be safe and welcomed at Johnston Elementary School, but trouble began soon after he started.

Coles says she trusted her son would be safe and welcomed at Johnston Elementary School, but trouble began soon after he started. (Roxanne Coles)

On his second day at the school, Coles says her son was “pushed into the wall, punched by another student in the next grade up.” 

The following day, she says students told her son “to move back to where he came from and he wasn’t welcome.”

Coles says her son became a regular target of a few children who would not stop threatening him.

One day, another parent witnessed Coles’ son terrified to leave the school boot room, and informed Coles, who immediately went to pick up her son. Coles says some older children wanted to physically harm her son, and they were telling him to “get outside, where they would be waiting.”

Coles says she talked to the school authorities numerous times regarding the bullying incidents, and was assured by school staff that all children involved, including her son, would be closely monitored.

But that night after the boot room incident, her son was in tears and begging, “do not let me go to school tomorrow.”

Coles says she should have listened, and kept him home. But she didn’t.

‘A serious incident’

Within half an hour of dropping him off the next day, Coles says her phone rang. It was the school calling to tell her there had been “a serious incident.”

“He put the rope around my son’s…

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