BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A mother is demanding answers after her 10-year-old son was beaten at Buffalo Collegiate Charter School.
Zachary Walker was taken to the hospital for injuries and his mother Lisa claims she still hasn’t gotten details about what happened.
Walker and community groups are calling on the school to release the incident report from June 13.
“I still haven’t heard anything, I haven’t seen any incident report, I don’t know what’s happening and I think Buffalo Collegiate Charter School should let me know something because my son was assaulted at school,” she said.
Photos provided by the family show Zachary wearing a neck brace and covered in bruises and lumps. Walker also said he suffered a concussion.
Head of school Brian Pawloski said the school followed all protocols but the law prevents him from disclosing more details.
“New York State law requires that we do not produce information on other students disciplinary information to other parents,” Pawloski said. “We can’t disclose the health and safety and welfare of our students to the families or to the public in general.”
He said the incident will be reported to the state’s School Safety and Education Climate system on July 25. This is a self-reporting system where schools are required to submit yearly incident reports.
Aymanuel Radford from We the Parents said he’s unsure if the self-reporting model allows for an accurate representation of what’s going on in schools.
“If the school doesn’t feel like it rises to the level that it’s violent or disruptive they don’t have to report it,” Radford said.
Since it was founded in 2018, Buffalo Collegiate has reported three incidents to the state. All three were from the 2018-19 school year and the school went remote during the pandemic.
Radford is calling for an investigation from the Charter School Institute.
“In a situation where any kind of physical harm occurs any kind of a product of bullying those would be incidents that would be reported,” Pawloski said.
The school implemented a restorative practices coordinator, social worker, and mental health coordinator after the pandemic.
“Families and students deserve to come to schools that are safe environments. I think that should be the expectation and I will say that we work really hard to be able to partner with our families so that we have these conversations well in advance to make sure we’re all on the same page,” he said.
Walker said she just wants answers as to what happened to her son, not only for her family, but also for all families in the school.
“These are young kids who are gonna grow up to be adults one day and if this doesn’t stop now we don’t know what we’re gonna see in the future,” she said.