East Bay student returns to school after bully removed

SAN PABLO, Calif. (KGO) -- After he was bullied and beaten, a boy has been reunited with his fifth grade class after a nearly two-month struggle to remove his attacker.

The boy who sent Nathan to the hospital with a severe concussion has been moved to another unnamed school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District and the teachers there have been notified. He is getting counseling.

Rebecca Ferrise nervously walked into Downer Elementary School in San Pablo on Wednesday afternoon. It was her son Nathan's first day back after a severe beating in January.

"The boy grabbed my son by his hair and kneed him in the forehead repeatedly until he was unconscious," Rebecca Ferrise, Nathan's mother said. "It was classified by police as assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder."

The boy who attacked her son was suspended for five days and then returned to school. That's when Nathan's parents pulled him out of school.

"In the last month or two, if I went back to school, I would feel really scared. But now since the bully is gone, I'm just really excited to be back here," Nathan said.

Last week, a confrontation with the school board finally led to a transfer for the boy accused of bullying.

ABC7 News spoke to West Contra Costa Unified School District board member Randy Enos.

Brinkley: "Their kid was beat up, they wanted him back in school, but feared for his safety. How does it take two months to figure it out?"
Enos: "If I had to answer to that, it wouldn't have happened. What we learned from this is we have to be more attentive in the manner that resolves situations. I don't think we can just sit there and go, 'Oh, OK.'"

For Nathan, life is getting back to normal. And for the boy accused of bullying, he's now getting counseling at a new school.

"Like it says in there, 'Be a buddy, not a bully,'" Nathan said.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.