The parents of a bullied 15-year-old student are outraged after learning of the cruelty their son suffered at the hands of his peers. Then, if the humiliation wasn’t enough, the teacher, identified as Kyle Kostrzewski, was reportedly present while the incident took place and allegedly did nothing to prevent it. Although different accounts of the incident insist the teacher may have stepped out of the classroom momentarily, his parents still want answers.
According to Fox-Twin Cities, the alleged bullying incident took place during an industrial technology class at the Osakis High School in Minneapolis on Friday, Jan. 16. A student in the classroom reportedly snapped a picture of the incident and uploaded it to Snapchat.
The picture shows the boy sitting on the floor with his hands tied behind his back and the hood of his jacket over his head. Based on the picture, it also looks like the strings on the hoodie have been pulled tightly to cover his face. It has been reported that the alleged bullies used electrical cords to restrain him. However, that wasn’t the only use for the cords. It has also been reported that the boy was whipped and hit in the back with the same type of electrical cords.
Star Tribune reports Osakis Police Chief Chad Gulbranson stated that he was called to the school on Friday to investigate the alleged bullying incident that afternoon. Gulbranson revealed that he spoke with the alleged victim and other students who witnessed the incident. Based on the accounts he heard, it appears the student voluntarily chose to participate and the incident has been blown out of proportion.
“As horrible as the picture looks, it was determined that there was nothing criminal involved,” Gulbranson said.
Although teenagers tend to upload these types of pictures to social media for comical purposes, two people who definitely didn’t see the humor in it – his parents. The boy’s father, Dave Rochefort, recently spoke with Fox-Twin Cities where he revealed his son is still “shaken up” by the incident and “doesn’t want to go back to school.” He also shared details about their plans going forward to ensure the safety of their son.
“We’re gonna get him into a counselor here,” his father said.
The Osakis Review also reports the boy’s mother, Nicolette Rochefort, retrieved the picture and uploaded it to Facebook. She refuses to believe the claims regardless of what the students have said. She also revealed her son has been bullied by upperclassmen in the past so she doesn’t believe that he would have participated voluntarily. She reportedly shared details about the incident from her son’s perspective.
Here’s what she had to say:
“Bullies did this to my son today at school in a classroom with a teacher present who did nothing about it for 40 minutes. Tied up and on the floor with his hoody tied sound his face and neck for 40 minutes! Two of the bullies are 18 one is 17 my son is 15. Police say there is no criminal activity here! Apparently it’s okay to tie children up in school. Please share and pass on I want all of mn to see this. Bullying policies are NOT working!”
Since the picture was uploaded to Facebook on Friday, Jan. 16, it has received more than 40 comments and 19,000 shares. Needless to say, the picture has sparked outrage and many Facebook users have expressed their disdain for the teacher’s lack of control over classroom activities. The school’s bullying policies have also been questioned.
However, Chief Gulbranson has confirmed that the details of the preliminary investigation have been turned over to the Douglas County Attorney’s Office, no charges have been filed as of yet. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation.
Joe Broderick, superintendent, also released a statement in regards to the alleged bullying incident. “I can say that we as a district always investigate allegations of student or staff misconduct, and we take corrective action when misconduct is substantiated,” Broderick said.
Do you think the teacher should be held accountable for the allegedly bullied teen being tied up?
[Image via Facebook]