NEWPORT (WATE) – A Cocke County mother wants answers after she claims a teenager assaulted her eight-year-old son on the school bus. It happened Wednesday afternoon, according to a report from the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department.
“He was gasping for air, trying to breathe, crying a lot. He had marks all around his neck,” said the child’s mother Ashley Caraker.
Her son told her that a high school student grabbed him by the throat, lifted him, then dragged him to the front of the bus.
“I was in shock with this one because it’s never gotten that bad but the other stuff, it’s all the time,” said Caraker.
She said her son has been bullied before by other children because he has severe ADHD and bipolar disorder, but it’s never gotten to this point.
Caraker talked with Cocke County school administrators and the bus driver several times, but claims nothing has been done to stop the bullying.
So she turned to WATE 6 On Your Side.
WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to the school district about the incident, but they haven’t issued a response. Caraker has also filed a report with the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the report, the eight-year-old boy told his mother and the sheriff’s department that the teen who goes to Cocke County High School got upset with him because he accidentally spit on him while talking on the bus.
The child’s mother said he now has problems swallowing and turning his head. Doctors said that’s because he has a soft tissue injury to the neck and that’s possibly from strangulation.
“I’m at my breaking point. It’s got to stop,” said Caraker.
WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to the family of the teen who Caraker says hurt her son. They said they weren’t aware of the situation until we told them about it. After learning about the incident, they didn’t want to comment.