Russell County

Parents concerned about sending their kids to school

RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. - Parents in one part of our area have a growing concern about alleged abusive bullying at their children's school.

We first told you about alleged bullying in Castlewood, Virginia last week. Now, more folks want to know why those accused of violent behavior are back in class.

"I worry about it and I think it is sickening that they are allowed to be there around our kids," said Castlewood parent Amy Graziano.

It is an issue that has almost everyone in Castlewood talking -- the alleged bullying of at least student that turned that violent and possibly worse.

News 5 met with over 40 parents who tell us the six minors who have been charged should not be allowed back into the school. "My kids have had problems at the school and they've been threatened to be sent to an alternative school for fighting, but they'll let these kids come to school and attend class with our kids," said Graziano.

We called Superintendent Brenda Hess, who said, "The situation is in the hands of the court system in Russell County and not the school system. The Russell County school system is acting in accordance with regulations, guidelines and laws that govern school policy. Students who are charged with offenses that have no connection with the school system or school property are entitled to receive an education."

LeeAnn Horne, a mother of a Castlewood student, tells News 5 she is not trying to take away their right to an education. "We're not denying these boys their education, we are not. I just feel like we should look into other options, like alternative programs that Russell County offers. That could be available to these boys. Just until the investigation is over," said Horne.

Horne says she believes the judicial system is not helping the alleged victims by allowing the students into the school. "I feel like these kids who were victimized are afraid to come out now, not only do they feel they are not being stood up for," said Horne.

Parent Scott Harris echoes that, but told us if there are other alleged victims they should not stay silent. "They need to speak up. If nobody speaks up, it'll continue to happen," said Harris.

The six minors will be in court tomorrow and we should learn more about the charges against them.

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