Brian Metzger has gone to drastic measures to protect his daughter. The Wisconsin dad filed a restraining order against her 5-year-old alleged bully.
Metzger’s daughter, 6, was repeatedly harassed by a male classmate at Prairie Lane Elementary School, according to a recent story published by Wisconsin local news affiliate WISN12. "She came home and said a student threatened her by saying, 'I want to slit your throat and watch you bleed,'" Metzger told WISN12. He explained that she and other students have been dealing with the same individual all year. Metzger had complained to school officials about the boy in the past, but they failed to remove him from his daughter's class, according to the New York Daily News. So Metzger decided to take the matter to the police.
The May 12 incident is described as "disorderly conduct” and involved the boy kicking the girl in the face and throwing sand and rocks at her during gym class, according to the Pleasant Prairie Police Department's report. He was sent home that day for his behavior.
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Metzger delivered the restraining order to the school on May 13, and on the following day, the boy was removed from his daughter’s class.
However, Metzger isn’t satisfied. He says his little girl used to love kindergarten but now doesn’t want to go to school. Metzger wants the boy removed from the school — and the Kenosha Unified School District. Prairie Lane Elementary School spokesperson Tanya Ruder could not elaborate on specifics however she emailed the following statement to Yahoo Shine. “KUSD is working directly with the families involved and will continue working with them. Providing a safe learning environment for all students is one of our top priorities.” A hearing on the restraining order is set for Tuesday, May 20th. Metzger could not be reached for comment and the identities of the boy and his parents are unknown, so Yahoo Shine could not confirm Metzger's allegations.
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“Although it's difficult to comment directly without knowing the specifics of the case, it sounds as though these types of verbal threats are extremely disturbing and a red flag that one needs professional attention,” Fran Walfish, PsyD, a Los Angeles based child psychologist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, tells Yahoo Shine. “However, the physical behavior — kicking and throwing things — is most concerning.” It’s possible that the boy was mimicking a scene he saw on television or in real life or that he himself was disciplined in a similar manner, says Walfish who is not involved in this case. But either way, getting help now is crucial because kids are most pliable before the age of seven. "From age 7 to 12, children go into Latency Phase — before adolescence — when their defenses begin to take shape and gel into place. It becomes more challenging to chip away emotionally to the root of their conflicts," she says. "The fact that the boy is only five, is a sign that he may be more receptive to getting help.”
Metzger may succeed at getting the boy transferred from his daughter's school, but removing him from the district could be challenging, says Walfish. "All public schools are required to provide free public education to children, whether or not they are disturbed. However the school could place the boy in special classes for children with disciplinary problems or provide him with a 'shadow' teacher, who would provide special attention," she says.
Metzger's actions against the boy may seem extreme, but he's just the latest parent to take legal action. Earlier this month, a father in Fairfield, Calif. took out a restraining order against a 9-year-old boy, who he says attacked his 10-year-old son, claiming the school failed to document the incident. The alleged attacker was later expelled for an unrelated incident.