Morgan Hill police arrested and cited a 13-year-old boy for bullying a pair of 13-year-old classmates. NBC Bay Area's George Kiriyama reports.
Harassing phone calls. Threats on Facebook and in text messages. This was what life was like for two 13 year old boys at Britton Middle School in Morgan Hill the past few months.
But not any more.
"We're going to make sure that gets stopped," Britton Middle School principal Glen Webb said.
Webb has made it clear bullies do not belong on his campus even when most of the bullying is happening off campus.
"If it has an effect that reaches into the school where it affects the school climate, we're going to do whatever we can to work with law enforcement to make sure that that's corrected," Webb said.
Morgan Hill police arrested and cited a 13-year old boy for bullying his classmates. The boy received a juvenile contact report citation which police say is technically the same as an arrest for a juvenile. Investigators say the middle-school student harassed the two boys verbally and physicall -- even taunting them once by shooting plastic BB's at them. The victims say the bullying had been going on for a few months. Their names were not released because they are minors.
"The bully himself was trying to get the other two to use marijuana," Sgt. Troy Hoefling said. "And when they declined, the relationship was severed."
A school resource officer warned the boy to stop. But police say it was as if he didn't care.
"He shook his head stated he understood knew that his behavior was wrong and then went home and contacted the victims through text messages, Facebook and in person," Hoefling said.
Webb said a strong message of zero tolerance is what's needed, especially when teachers and parents want to keep students safe on campus.
"If kids could just stop for a minute, before they hit send, before they say that extra word, before they repeat that extra bit of gossip about how it feels when it comes around to them," Webb said.
The student has also been disciplined by the school. Since the issue is dealing with a juvenile, Webb declined to say how the child was disciplined.
In a press release, Morgan Hill police chief David Swing addressed the need to curb bullying.
“The outcome of this case exemplifies that the Morgan Hill Police Department recognizes the immediate and long-term damage caused by bullying and will not tolerate this behavior," he said. "I am proud of the swift and decisive actions of our staff that put an end to the student’s victimization. I encourage others who have been bullied by this suspect or by others to report it to a teacher or other responsible adult immediately so that they do not have to endure pain from immature and insecure children.”