Willard parents looking for answers after they say bullying escalates to tragic ending
Weeks after her son committed suicide, Anna Hershiser and dozens of supporters demanded answers and change from the Willard School Board Monday night.
14-year-old Caleb Hershiser took his life April 2nd after years of being bullied and harassed by fellow classmates.
Anna says it started when he was much younger.
Caleb would come home crying nearly every day and ask his mother “why the kids were so mean to him,” she said, “But when I called the school... they didn’t take it seriously.. for them it was just kids being kids.”
The distraught mom thought things had gotten better, and only learned after Caleb's death that the treatment had actually escalated.
“Some of his classmates have come forward and told me things that were happening on a daily basis that I wish I knew about,” said a tearful Anna. “I wish I knew they were knocking his books out of his hands every day, pushing him into the lockers every day I didn’t know, he didn’t come home and tell me.”
Several other parents stood up and told the board that their children had also been bullied at Willard schools and that their complaints were equally ignored.
One mom, Lori Leis, said she eventually removed her kids from the district.
The board says they’re taking Caleb’s death very seriously and have already formed a task force to examine the problem, current policies and prevention.
A community meeting is also scheduled for May 25th at 7 pm at the middle/ high school to discuss polices and take suggestions from the public.
All of the parents, students and concerned citizens at the meeting Monday plan to be there, wearing the same “anti bullying” t-shirts. Money raised from selling the tees is going to a scholarship fund in Caleb's name. Mrs. Hershiser is also starting a non-profit organization to combat bullying. Donations can be made at Directions Credit Union in Willard.