North Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- All parents are concerned about the safety of their children at school. Monday night a group from North Syracuse came together to have their voices heard.
The group spoke about one specific case concerning a girl who was beaten during an art class. Her attacker, a classmate, is now coming back to school after several months of suspension. The girl's mother wants to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
According to a police report, the attacker told a school resource officer that she'd gotten into a verbal argument with another girl. She left the room and called home, claiming her mother gave her permission to fight. The girl returned to class and began beating 13 year old Anna Tschopp.
With a crowd of supporters behind her, Tschopp described the aftermath.
“I’ve gone through depression and bad anxiety. I had to go to three doctors appointments a week. I was too scared to leave my house sometimes…in fear of coming into contact with my attacker,” said Tschopp.
Tschopp says she was left with a concussion. Since June, she hasn't had to see the girl who hurt her. But, the school district opted to end the suspension next week.
“One hundred percent, I feel there is going to be danger for me and others,” Tschopp said.
“With Anna’s fears and not being able to go to school without being in fear…the suggestion was homeschooling,” said Anna’s mom Marcia Tschopp.
Anna would like to stay in public school, in the district where she grew up. Her superintendent feels it's crucial to allow the other student the same opportunity.
“There is an obligation to help both. Every student deserves an education," said Superintendent Kim Dyce Faucette. "The student who made the mistake understands what our expectations are."
Parents who spoke to the board say kids like Anna should be a higher priority. Many believe the attacker should have been expelled.
Stephanie Piston with “Love Is not Abuse Coalition” said, “I would assume as a parent, that a violent assault that leads to long-term mental and physical injuries, with an unknown length of recovery, would fall under highly serious infractions.
Anna realizes the decision has been made, but she encourages other classmates to speak up.
“Stay strong and keep fighting and you'll find some piece of mind,” Anna said.
Anna’s dad said the district met with him Friday to discuss a safety plan. He said teachers will let Anna leave classes early so she doesn’t pass her attacker in the hall. He worries that will interfere with Anna’s class time.
The Superintendent said she is confident that both students will have the resources they need moving forward.