A nine-year-old Colorado boy has reportedly been suspended from his elementary school after standing up to a bully who was physically harming him.
Nathan Pemberton, a third grade student, claims that he was subject to beatings from another child and when he finally garnered the courage to stand up for himself he was punished and removed from West Elementary School in Colorado Springs, which his parents think is ludicrous, according to Mail Online.
"One kid kicked me in the back, then punched me in the face. Then I punched him in the face and then I got in trouble," Nathan told KDVR-TV.
Nathan had previously complained to the school about the constant bullying, but his parents claim that he did not receive the right assistance to properly resolve the problem.
"Finally, yeah, we told him, if you have to, if there's nobody else around, you do what you have to do," Deborah Pemberton, Nathan's mother, said.
"The school had told us and told him as well, just walk away. Walk away, find a teacher. Well, when those things happened, and he did find a teacher, there was hardly any repercussions," she added.
Although the accused bully was also punished, the boy's parents say Nathan's suspension was unjust, but school officials stand by their decision.
"If a student is involved in a physical altercation on school property, they are automatically suspended. District 11 schools employ many anti-bullying teaching techniques … and none of these methods include violence or retaliation," the school said in a statement to KDVR.
The case has raised serious questions about bullying within schools and what the appropriate methods are for teachers to assist in resolving these issues.
In 2011 an Australian teenager made international headlines after a video showing him standing up to his bully went viral on social networking site YouTube. The boy, identified only as Casey, warned the older and much larger boy to stop bullying him before knocking him out with a punch at Chifley College Dunheved Campus in St Marys North.
In a move that is similar to Nathan's case, the school suspended Casey for its zero tolerance to violence policy.