Exclusive: Mother takes action with 'extreme bullying' claims at Bronx school

SOUNDVIEW, Bronx (WABC) -- A Bronx mother who claims her sons have been victims of bullying in two different schools has filed a Notice of Claim against the NYC Department of Education and two school officials.

"This is extreme bullying," said Stephanie Sanchez who spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News. "And it's to the point that I have to protect my kids."

She claims the bullying began at PS 93 in Soundview. In 2016, her 9-year old son Jaidrean came home with a severely swollen black eye, which Stephanie says she was told was caused by an accident with another student.

"I feel like my children were literally targeted, even from the staff, because of my son's eye and that I was very upset at what happened and made complaints," she said.

Sanchez says that students and others learned that Jaidrean and his 6-year old brother Jabriel live with their family in a homeless shelter in the Bronx.

"The thing with the shelter started coming out," Sanchez said. "The name calling. And they started taking them out of activities from the school, like trips."

There were other incidents she and her attorney, Marcell Florestal, have outlined in their claim seeking $5.5 million.

"There is no place for this type of bullying in today's Department of Education schools," Florestal said. "There isn't."

After Jaidrean and Jabriel transferred to PS 136 in December of 2017, Sanchez said Jaidrean came home with a second black eye.

"A kid approaches him from the back, punches him," she said. "When he turns around he says why are you hitting me? The kid just him in the eye."

Six-year-old Jabriel came home with what Stephanie described as a badly sprained elbow after she says he was teased by other students and left unattended at the school. She believes school officials have not taken her concerns seriously.

"This parent has reached out to DOE on many occasions for help and she was gotten absolutely no help," Florestal said.

The NYC Law Department said the legal matter is pending and they will review the Notice of Claim.

The boys have now transferred to another school in hopes of not being bullied.

"I'm sending my children to school with not a scratch on them," Sanchez said. "They should come back the same way."

UPDATE 1/30: The Department of Education issued the following statement the day after this story was posted:
"Schools must provide safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning environments and we treat any allegations of bullying with the utmost seriousness. There are clear protocols in place to ensure all incidents are reported, investigated and addressed and we work closely with schools to ensure students and staff are trained on these procedures."

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