PHOENIX - A Valley dad says he had no choice but to call the police on his second-grade son's bully, after he claims the school wasn't doing enough to protect him.
"He's friendly to everyone, "says Rick Heinrich about his son, a second-grade student at Sunset Elementary School in Maryvale. But, Rick also says, not everyone is so friendly in return.
"Everyday, he'd be crying, not wanting to go back to school."
Rick says that's because his son was getting bullied. He claims it started while he was in kindergarten, but got worse this year as a second grader.
Rick claims his son has been the victim of both verbal and physical abuse at the hands of other students at Sunset Elementary, claiming it all came to a head on Valentine's Day.
"That same kid beat him up pretty badly. Bent him over, socked him in the face, kneed him in the stomach five to seven times, dropped him on the floor and started putting boots to him."
Rick says his wife called him after the incident and he went right to principal's office. He claims the school didn't do enough to protect his son, and he had no choice but to call Phoenix Police.
"The most precious thing you have is your kids. You can't put a value on the family."
But the Cartwright School District says they appropriately handled what happened, sending ABC15 the following statement:
The Cartwright School District was alerted to two incidents involving one of our Sunset Elementary students, who claimed he was being bullied. Our administrators acted quickly and disciplinary action was taken against another student on campus. At no time were any students in danger of harm. The Cartwright School District takes accusations of bullying seriously and works to foster a safe and secure environment for all of our students.
We were also told the district takes a number of steps to prevent bullying, such as teaching anti-bullying skills, bringing a specialist to work with kids on behavioral issues, and encouraging good behavior.
We were also told according to a recent parent survey, 99 percent of parents agreed or strongly agreed the school was a safe place.