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Parents find CMSD’s Bullying Response Hard to Swallow

An X-ray shows the nickle inside the victim’s stomach.

The parents of a Columbus Middle School student are furious with school officials after their son swallowed a nickle while being bullied in class. According to his mother, the young man, whose name is being withheld, swallowed the currency while being harassed by two other students during class on Sept. 27th. (The names of the mother and child have been left out for their protection. -CK)
His mother said that the two young men were grabbing and pulling at her sons pockets, allegedly trying to steal a pencil and some change he had in his pocket. At some point, the mother claims her son was in such fear from the bullying that he placed the coin in his mouth. The boy said that his tormentors continued prodding and hitting him and eventually one of them smacked him on the back so hard it caused him to swallow the nickle.
The mother said that the teacher did not notice the bullying in her classroom when the incident occurred, “How could she not see that? How could she not notice that kind of behavior?”
When the boy told his mother of the incident later that night, she immediately rushed him to the hospital for an exam. She said that the doctors were worried for a while that the coin might fall into his lungs and cause severe damage. After several hours at the hospital, x-rays showed that the coin had dropped into his stomach and would likely no longer cause any serious danger. The hospital advised her that the coin should naturally exit his system within a short time.
The mother said that her son had been bullied several times, but he told her he was afraid to complain to the teacher because the teacher doesn’t like him (he has since been moved to another class).
“Bullying is alive and well at Columbus Middle School- they say it is not, but it is!” said the mother.
The mother said that her son, who is 13, is a grade ahead for his age and has not fit in well at the school since their move from out of state a year and a half ago. She says she pulled her son from the school last year after he reported that students were talking about drugs and playing violent games, such as “bloody knuckles.”
“They are supposed to be kids…children. They are talking about sex, guns, gangs and smoking weed- in middle school. He is educated…and we came here to Columbus and a lot of these kids just don’t care,” said the mother.
She claims that school officials are compounding the issue by making her son feel like he did something wrong. She claims that school officials “interrogated” her son for over an hour after the other two boys told authorities the incident never happened.
“It’s like they didn’t even believe him. No wonder kids don’t complain- no one is listening!” she said.
The mother said the she expected a response from the school and she feels as though the are more worried about their public image, “They absolutely acted as if they didn’t care. I can’t get (CMSD Superintendent) Martha Liddell on the phone…but I’m going to make sure everyone knows about this, the DIspatch, WCBI, everybody. Something has to be done.”
The mother included an x-ray of the nickle lodged in the boy’s stomach and noted that October is National Bullying Prevention Month. She said she hopes the media attention will cause the CMSD to pay more attention to issues such as this. Multiple phone calls made by The Packet to the CMSD office of Dr. Martha Liddell were not returned.



  1. MoralActivist

    When I read about situations like this one, I get a feeling there is more to this than what is written on the page.

  2. mother

    We have had similar problems with Dr. Lidell. She is not going to punish anyone for bullying.
    I warned the school board that bullying would continue. I would get a lawyer.

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