Two more moms come forward to talk about bullying in Cocke County

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--A local 8 investigation into bullying in Cocke County Schools uncovered more possible cases. Two more parents got in touch with us saying bullying is a big problem and nothing is being done to stop it. Not one, but two more kids claim they were bullied. One mother moved to Nashville to get away from it. She said the only thing they told her was her son was psychotic and needed counseling.

Cherokee Stepp used to love school, but after being bullied by the same group of girls since September, she hates it. Cherokee Stepp says, "I think it should be stopped. People think it's funny, but it's not. That's why kids go home and hang themselves and drink bleach."
Her mom went to school officials twice and talked to the principal and assistant principal. It still continues. Cherokee's Mom Lisa Stepp says, "They follow behind her saying things constantly. This other girl came and rammed into her at the bins. That's physical contact. They continue to do this everyday. "

Lisa taught cherokee not to fight back, but it's getting harder. Cherokee said, "It makes me angry. I think of some pretty mean stuff I could do to people that's how angry it makes me."

Michelle Gaglione got out of Cocke County to save her 10 year-old son Joseph. She says kids bullied him so badly that now his eyesight suffers. Michelle Gaglione said, "His whole forehead was completely bruised. The second time it was completely bruised and his eyes were bruised."

She tells me when she went to Cocke County authorities, they said Joseph was. Gaglione said, "They stated my son had a vivid imagination and he needed psychiatric evaluation and he needed counseling with his lying."

The principal at Cocke County High School, Dr. Marvin Stewart told us if nothing is working, parents need to contact him. Lisa says she's going to make an appointment with Dr. Stewart again and if that doesn't work she's going to contact central office.

Cocke County School's Safety Supervisor Casey Kelley said they take bullying seriously and investigate all complaints.


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