Gabriel Harps doesn’t want to go back to school. Yet the 7-year-old boy has a legit reason.
“Because I keep getting bullied,” he said.
Harps’ mother Badia Barnes told NBC10 bullies attacked her son and knocked out his tooth, which she placed in a small box. She says the second-grader was knocked to the ground at lunch by two older boys at Steel Elementary School in Philadelphia’s Nicetown neighborhood.
One of the boys slammed Gabriel’s face to the ground, according to Barnes. He was taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital Tuesday morning for treatment. Barnes showed NBC10 a photo of the cuts on the side of her son’s mouth.
“I just held him,” she said. “All I could do is just hold him while he cried and tell him, ‘It’s going to be alright. We’re going to take care of this.’”
Barnes says her son is emotionally distressed and has been dealing with bullying the entire school year.
“You do not pick on children that’s not your size,” she said. “You don’t pick on children you don’t know for any reason.”
A spokesperson for the Philadelphia School District told NBC10 they’re investigating and will take the right actions if necessary.
“We are still looking into the reports of violence against a 2nd grade Steel Elementary student,” the spokesperson said. “At Steel, and across all of our schools, we are focused on improving school climates so that our students are not involved in these types of incidents.”