Parents concerned for child safety following bullying incident

Parents concerned for child safety following bullying incident

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Social media bullying is a problem the parents of a Long Beach Middle School student say their child is having to deal with all too often, and as a result, they're concerned for his safety.

"He could have easily gotten killed at this fight. He didn't know what he was getting into," said Donnie Tatum. 

Tatum's son is in the 7th grade. Earlier this week, his parents say he came home with his face bruised.

According to Tatum, a series of bullying messages on Snapchat during school hours led to his son being pressured into a fight off school grounds. 

"They're peer pressuring other kids into this situation by calling them names, and they're just picking weak minded people that they know they can get over on," Tatum said. 

Tatum believes his son was pressured into fighting, just so it could be recorded and shared on social media. 

"As far as somebody to peer pressure just so they can make a video, they should go hit a tree," Tatum said. "You want to video it then video it, but don't bring my son into it."

Tatum's concerns were expressed to school officials.

The Long Beach School District released a statement saying:

The Long Beach School District takes all forms of student harassment and conflict seriously. When school administrators are made aware of incidents, the incidents are investigated and handled appropriately.

Still, Tatum would like to see more done to eliminate threatening behavior at school and extra measures taken to limit phone use. 

"We don't want this drama. We don't want this chaos of kids jumping on each other, sending pictures and doing things they shouldn't be doing in school."

Tatum doesn't hold the school entirely responsible for eliminating bullying, saying parents need to step up and take a more active role.

"You have to walk up, reach and grab your child's phone, open it up and look at it. If you don't address your issues and you let your child go wherever and do whatever, these are things that happen."

The Long Beach School district does have a bullying, harassment complaint form on their website for problems to be reported.

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