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‘It’s hurtful’: Mom says Catholic school ignored reports of her 11-year-old being bullied

By Shay O’Connor

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    NEW ORLEANS (WDSU) — Arial Ledet is the mother of 11-year-old Zechariah Ledet. She said since he started school in August at St. Rosalie Elementary School in Harvey, he’s been bullied. From name calling to being physically hurt by other kids on school grounds.

Ledet said, “First the incidents were small. Just teasing, name calling. Then they started to become more serious. Where they were talking about his appearance. Talking about him in a way that made him start to doubt himself and feel bad. He was tripped on a playground and it resulted in an elbow injury. The most recent one was yesterday. Where he was pushed into a brick wall by another student.”

A head injury caused Ledet to file a police report. Health officials confirmed Zech suffered a concussion from the incident.

Ledet said when she reached out to the school, she was told by administrators that her son’s allegations were false. But this is not the first time she and her son have felt unheard.

“It’s hurtful and disheartening. I have emailed the school and done conferences with the school. I have spoken with the teachers of the school. All we are told is ‘We are keeping an eye on it.’ Well you are not keeping an eye on it if my kid is being pushed into a brick wall.”

The Archdiocese, which runs the school, said in a statement that Zechariah was injured Tuesday while playing a game of tag among the boys in his class. They go on to say they could not comment on an open investigation or any disciplinary actions.

The statement also reads, “The Archdiocese of New Orleans takes accusations of bullying very seriously. We will continue to work with the family to resolve the issues at hand and cooperate fully should the police be in touch regarding any investigation.”

Ledet said the issue should have been addressed as soon as it was reported to authorities months ago.

“I would like someone to take accountability for what is happening. I would like to see actions. I would like actions behind the very words in your handbook on how you do not tolerate bullying,” Ledet said.

Ledet has a meeting with the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Thursday to figure out the next steps. She said given what has happened at the school, her son will not attend St. Rosalie next year.

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