Confusion might exist about the definition of bullying, but there is no doubt about the tears on Travis Tise’s face. They are a perfectly clear signal of pain.
On Friday, Tise and his mother, Tina Bowles, described weekly situations he faces at Washington Middle School.
“People always mess with me,” the seventh-grader said. “Classmates call me names. They tell me I’m fat.”
Tise’s mother claims her son’s weight has increased since the problems began at school.
“He comes home from school and sits in his room,” she said. “It’s like he is ashamed of the world to see him. He is shutting himself off from the world. I can’t get him to go out in public.”
The boy has threatened to commit suicide, his mother said.
“One time he fell in gym class, and the teacher told him to get up before he broke the floor,” she said.
Ms. Bowles has found her son with no shoes, no backpack, a torn T-shirt and juice stains covering his clothes.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people have come up to me to tell me that my son is being bullied,” she said. “I just want people to listen to me when I tell them what my son is going through.”
See Saturday's edition for more details.