ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Family says son beaten at elementary school in San Pablo

SAN PABLO, Calif. (KGO) -- In a story you'll see only on ABC7 News, a little boy in the East Bay says he is afraid to go back to school because of a bully. The 11-year-old was badly roughed up and ended up in the hospital. Now, his family says the school district is taking side.

ABC7 News was told that the bully served a suspension of five days, but was able to return to school. It was his second suspension. He served one day in December for another serious incident involving the same victim, a boy named Nathan Ferrise.

When asked what happened the time before, the 11-year-old said, "He almost choked me."

Nathan hasn't been to his San Pablo elementary school in five weeks, not since he was beaten into unconsciousness by another student in January when the two boys got into a shoving match.

"I got back up, then he pushed me to the ground, hit the back of my head, got up halfway, he kneed me straight here in the head, and I fell on the side of my head," Nathan said.

The fifth-grader's mother Rebecca Ferrise added, "The boy held my son by his hair and kneed him repeatedly in the forehead. Even after knowing he was unconscious, he held him up and continued to strike him."

His parents say Nathan was unconscious for six minutes and had a severe concussion. He hasn't been back to Downer Elementary School since the incident because his alleged bully, another fifth-grader, is still there.

"We were told that the boy would be removed and somehow he wasn't," Rebecca said.

Nathan was supposed to go back to school last week.

"When I showed up, the principal told me they'd had a meeting the week before, that they didn't inform us about, and decided that the other child was going to stay at the school," said Nathan's father, Josh Younger.

A school district spokesman cited privacy concerns, but released a statement that said: "In situations such as this one, there is a process that must be followed. The district is still working through that process and believes that a solution will be found."

"Both kids have a right to a free and appropriate education," said West Contra Costa School Board President Todd Groves. "My profound, profound sentiments go out to the family and we'll make sure that things get set right."

When asked if he feels safe to go back to school, Nathan said, "Not at all."

The fifth-grader hasn't been to class in five weeks. His parents tell ABC7 News that they don't want to move him to another school because he has friends at Downer, along with two younger siblings.
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