• Family of bullying victim speaks out on Bainbridge Island schools

    By: David Ham


    Even though a judge has ordered Bainbridge Island Schools to pay $300,000 to Jay Webster's family because his son was sexually bullied seven years ago, he believes it's still not enough.

    "What went wrong is it wasn't dealt with it was ignored it was just swept under the rug," said Webster.

    His son was 15 years old in 2006 when he said a group of four teenage boys bullied him.

    "He was reporting to his mother that these boys were exposing their genitals to him and saying inappropriate things to him on a daily basis," said Webster.

    Court documents estimate there were at least 75 incidents where the teenage boys exposed themselves to Webster's son.

    His son is developmentally delayed and has a form of Asperger's syndrome.

    Webster believes his son was targeted because of his disability.

    "It should have been handled on the spot and would have handled the is whole entire situation for our family and it would have been a learning opportunity for the boys," said Webster.

    "No has been able to answer the serious question, 'why did this happen and why didn't do you anything to stop it,'" said Tom Vertetis, attorney for the Webster family.

    Webster's son is now 21 and attending a community college. Moved up-->He had to undergo dozens of sessions of psychotherapy and was on anti-depressants because of the bullying.

    Webster said after five months of bullying and no help from Bainbridge Island administrators, he went to police and took out a restraining order against the teenagers.

    They were eventually sentenced to three days in jail each, community service and restitution for the misdemeanor charges.

    Webster forgives the teenagers that bullied his son, but he said administrators should have done more.

    Superintendent Faith Chapel wasn't in charge back then, but said that the district regrets that the bullying happened and has changed its policies to make sure that type of bullying won't go on again.

    She said the district isn't making excuses, but there was confusion back then as to who was doing the bullying and that's why there were delays in stopping the bullying.

    Webster doesn't think that was the case.

    "They have not indicated to me to my satisfaction that they accept the problem," said Webster.

    Chapel said to the best her knowledge none of the administrators that were involved in the slow response to the bullying.

    We asked why no one was reprimanded and Chapel said that it's been seven years and the school has worked hard to solve the problem.

    Chapel also said the district does not plan to appeal the judge's ruling to pay the Webster family $300,000.



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