EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A 12-year-old middle school student was branded with a homophobic slur in the latest school bullying incident, in which his mother describes as the “last straw.”
Caylend Childs, a seventh grader at Mason Clark Middle School in East St. Louis, says that he was resting his head on his desk when bullies wrote “fag” on the back of his neck — in permanent marker.
“He was resting his head on his desk and a boy wrote it on his neck,” said Caylend’s mother, Ruth Childs. “I saw it when he got home and called the school after taking a picture of it.”
Childs said the incident happened on Monday.
KTVI-TV reported that school officials confirmed the incident and said that the students responsible were disciplined.
But Caylend’s mother says the slur on his body was not the worst case of bullying her son has faced at Mason Clark Middle School, she says it’s just the final straw.
Childs said that earlier this year, while Caylend was using the bathroom, another student allegedly ran in and kicked the bathroom stall in — leaving Caylend “soaked with urine.”
“My son has gone from being a…student that loves going to school,” she said, “to he wakes up every morning saying, ‘Mama, I just don’t want to go anymore.’”
In a statement, school officials said each incident has been “investigated and the students responsible were immediately disciplined according to district guidelines.”
But Childs said Caylend been “damaged” by the incidents. “It is heartbreaking for me,” she said.
A video report from KTVI-TV is here.