Florida dad speaks out about bullying in Portland

Florida dad speaks out about bullying in Portland

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by Mike Benner

Bio | Email | Follow: @MikeBennerKGW

kgw.com

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM

PORTLAND -- Chances are you have seen the video of a Florida dad boarding a school bus and lashing out at the kids he believes were bullying his daughter.

"My daughter was reluctant to go to school," said James Jones. 

Jones and his daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy, told their story at the annual meeting of the National Association for Pupil Transportation at the Oregon Convention Center.

"My daughter starting telling me about what's going on in the bus," said Jones.  "About the condoms, getting poked, spitting in her hair, calling her black trash."

James said the torture was unacceptable.

"It was chaos and I was not going to put my daughter in those hands," added Jones.  "As a dad I'll protect my daughter."

"I certainly understand James' situation," said Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education Kevin Jennings.  "Any parent wants to protect their kids."

But Jennings said you cannot stop bullying with more bullying.  Instead, there needs to be clearer state laws and proper training.

"There is no magic bullet here," said Jennings.  "Everyone needs to get involved."

For James Jones, getting involved meant getting on that school bus.  Jones said he still wonders what may have happened had he not.

"I live with that everyday," said Jones.  "I'm just happy I'm still a dad, my heart goes out to those who don't have a kid."

Jennings said President Obama will convene a forum on bullying in January.  Superintendents from across the country will be invited.

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