Authorities: Bullied student bound in plastic wrap at bus stop
Volusia middle school student says bullying has gone on for years
Volusia County School District authorities are investigating a case of bullying after a middle school girl said she was bound with plastic wrap by two classmates at an Ormond Beach bus stop.
Melanie Conn, 13, said there was enough plastic wrap to cover her from her waist to over her chin. She said she couldn't move her arms, and when it was close to covering her nose and mouth, she knew the prank had gone too far.
"It was kind of scary, but then shocking at the same time," said Conn, as she unfurled the heap of plastic that had covered her body last Thursday.
"You figure it goes around her 10 to 15 times. It's childish. It's at the same time very scary," said her mother, Holley Angerson-Conn. "This is not a joke. This could have become very serious if they would have had a little bit more and nobody was able to get it off of her."
Angerson-Conn said the bullying has gone too far -- and for too long.
She said the bus attendant heard the boys threaten her daughter two days before the incident but did nothing. She blames the school for not stepping in sooner.
In a statement to Local 6, Volusia County Schools spokeswoman Nancy Wait said it "takes every reported incident of bullying seriously, fully investigates them and, if substantiated, takes disciplinary action."
"I feel that the boys were wrong for doing it," said the mother of one of the boys accused of bullying. "He's been harassed all his school years. That's why I don't understand why he's doing it."
She did not want to be identified, and Local 6 is not naming the student because he is a minor.
Although she said her son's actions were wrong, she said none of the children involved are innocent. The bullying has been going back and forth for years.
Now, both families simply want it to stop.
"My daughter still has to go to that bus stop every day," said Angerson-Conn. "Is this just the beginning? What's next?"
Wait said both boys were disciplined and neither will be taking the bus with the girl.
However, the mother of one of the boys said her son was only was given a 10-day suspension from riding the bus.
Conn's mother worries the bullying will continue when the suspension is over.
Wait said the district will be investigating the bus attendant's actions to see if she took the appropriate steps to curb the bullying or whether she reported complaints to superiors.
"If they did their job the way they were supposed to, this should have been settled and we wouldn't be dealing with any of this," said Angerson-Conn.
Conn told Local 6 that she saw one of the boys at school on Wednesday, but didn't say anything to him. She also said the bus driver and attendant have been pleasant to her as school board officials investigate.
"The driver asked how I was doing today. I was like, fine," said Conn.
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Conn's mother said she is so concerned the bullying will happen again that she plans to walk her to the bus stop every day.
"Unfortunately for her its kinda embarrassing, but what can you do? A mother wants to make sure her child is safe," Angerson-Conn said.
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
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