School to investigate after girl, 8, punched repeatedly by classmate

A Makaha couple is questioning school policy after their eight-year-old daughter was punched several times by another student.

Amy Burgess-Rosa said her daughter has been teased by other students at Kamaile Academy since December.

Her daughter said she told the teacher and Burgess-Rosa was shocked by the teacher’s response.

“She said that the teacher doesn’t want her tattling on the other kids. She only wants to know about things if somebody’s hurt or bleeding, which is really sad,” she said.

Burgess-Rosa went to the school and brought it up with the teacher and administrators. “They say that they were going to address the problem, but the problem still persists,” she said.

The abuse just got worse. Last week, Burgess-Rosa said her daughter was punched by a boy eight times while they were in the cafeteria. There was another teacher there, and Burgess-Rosa said the teacher told her daughter she would deal with the boy later.

KHON2 went to the school to find out if anything has been done about it.

The principal, Emma Weiss, didn’t want to say anything on camera, but she told KHON2 she didn’t even know about it. Now that she does, she will launch an investigation, she said.

Weiss said that if there is such an incident, teachers and associate principals are supposed to notify the principal.

Burgess-Rosa and her husband were shocked that the principal didn’t know. The school called the family after our visit, so they called the associate principal and let us listen in.

The associate principal told both parents that the boy has been disciplined, but would not elaborate. She said she also decided to handle the matter herself and didn’t notify the principal.

“I’m just shocked that after the second meeting that we had when I broke down in your office that you never even took it to Ms. Weiss and let her know about it,” said Cliff Rosa, the girl’s father.

The parents want the school to have some type of anti-bullying training for the faculty. They were told that it will happen next year.

The head of the Public Charter School Commission confirmed that whenever any type of abuse or bullying is reported in the school, teachers and counselors must report it to the principal.

“Absolutely. The principal needs to know and to do an investigation herself and find out what happened,” said chair Catherine Payne.

Payne said each charter school has its own governing board to decide how to deal with the matter, but the commission says the principal needs to be notified.

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