WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– A mother who says her child was assaulted by other kids while on his way home from school is speaking out. The parents are now seeking legal action to ensure this never happens again.
“I feel absolutely terrible. I feel helpless and it hurts my heart every day for my son to look at me and say ‘I love you mom, I’ll see you when I get home if they don’t kill me,'” says Jennifer LaBarge, the mother of child assaulted.
One February afternoon, 12-year-old Stephen LaBarge, a student at Andrew G. Curtin Intermediate in Williamsport, was walking home through the city’s Brandon Park when his mother, Jennifer LaBarge, says he was attacked by some classmates while another student recorded it.
“He suffered lacerations on his face from the children stomping his face into the cement and they stomped on the back of his knee,” says Jennifer Labarge.
Stephen’s mother showed Eyewitness news these pictures she says were taken after the assault. Labarge tells us she took him to the hospital and immediately called the police to file a report.
“He will be facing the child that assaulted him on June 1st in court. There are charges pending,” says Jennifer Labarge.
The Williamsport area school district issued Eyewitness News a statement. It reads in part, “The safety and security of our students is our number one priority. When we became aware of the incident that took place off school property, the school immediately reported it to the police, who took appropriate action.”
Since then, Stephen told his mom the bullying hasn’t stopped. “The bullies also continue to bring up the video and show it to Stephen and remind him every chance they get.”
Labarge says this experience has been a nightmare. She hopes that sharing Stephen’s story brings awareness against bullying and wants victims to know they’re not alone.
“We’d like to actually create a community support group for students that have been bullied and just find a comfortable safe environment for each other.”