Clovis Unified mom calling for change after 13-year-old son assaulted

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- An attack on 13-year-old Jaden Hayes spilled into the aisles of a grocery store but it started at school.

He was followed into the business by the bullies who recorded it then even proudly posted it.

But the victim is the one paying the price.

"I have removed my son from Kastner Intermediate," says his mom, Holly Hayes.

Jaden is now victimized twice. Robbed of his school experience, he's forced to take the district's online program because the bullies are still at school.

But Holly Hayes won't stay silent. She's created a Facebook page -- Justice for Jaden. It has 535 group members and growing who are just as fed up.

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"People having the same problems that we have," she said. "Their cases are not being handled appropriately, that they're not being listened to."

We sought answers directly with the district, which has a "no tolerance" policy on bullying and harassment.

Officials say the attack on Jaden is being investigated but claim there is not a culture of bullying at Kastner.

"A lot of things can be put out into social media that rarely reflect the full version of what has happened, so that's just a cautionary tale to everyone," says Clovis Unified Spokesperson Kelly Avants. "This is an isolated single individual making this allegation and so we are definitely then looking into that specific incident and that particular circumstance."

That's not good enough for parents like Holly.

"I want them to see that this is not just me, this is not just my son," she said. "This is an entire community problem."

Experts say it even goes beyond the community.

"The tendency in California schools and throughout the nation is that it's under-reported, late being reported and often kids have suffered a lot longer than you think," says retired Superintendent of Fresno County Schools Larry Powell.

Powell says districts have many options to remedy bad behavior.

"The California Education Code has 30 different education codes that deal with bullying in one way or another," he said.

But Powell says schools need to enforce those codes to keep kids safe at school.

"Separation from the school is one of those things you have to do if you have someone who does not stop," he said.
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