A family in Waterbury said their son has been the target of bullying on a school bus.
They said last Tuesday, 10-year-old Farooq Syed was taking the bus home from the Generali Elementary School when he was assaulted by two boys.
"First he spit pineapple juice at my son," Farooq's mother said. "My son told him stop. Then the boy spit in his hands and he put it in my son's hair."
The family told Channel 3 that their son has had problems in the past with the same boy. This time, a second became involved.
"Then another kid jumped and choked him and that boy that always hits him, hit him in his face and his stomach," the mother said.
Farooq's mother said she is wondering why the bus driver didn't go further than pulling over and just asking the boys to sit down.
"And the bus driver she didn't do anything and when I talked to her she gave me her back," she said.
The bus company said the driver followed protocol.
When she asked what was going on, she was told by the boys that they were just horsing around.
But now the family has been up at night worrying.
"Yesterday he said he wants to hurt himself and he doesn't want to live from everybody bullying him, everybody laughing at him and I can't leave my son like that," the mother said.
The boy's father, Fahd Syed, filed a report with the school and police. The mother said while one student has faced repercussions, more needs to be done.
"I really really think they need to take bullying seriously," she said. "I don't want anyone to hurt themselves or do anything."
The Waterbury Board of Education's bullying policy states that "any student who engages in bullying behavior shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action."
That could include suspension, expulsion or referral to police.
Fahd Syed is a local activist and part of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut. He said he does not believe that this recent attack on his son was ethnically or religiously charged.
"It hurts and as a leader I really have to do something not only for my son but for other kids," he said.
A neighbor that heard what had happened posted the photo of Farooq's bruised cheek on Facebook and other parents commented about their children's experiences with bullying.
"All those parents that we see on Facebook that are writing 'me too, me too, me too,' I feel bad so there's going to be a movement and we're not going to stop," Fahd Syed said.
Channel 3 spoke with the Durham Bus Company on Friday afternoon. It said surveillance video from the bus ride was turned over to the district for further assessment.
Its spokeswoman said the company takes bullying very seriously and it is still looking into it.
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