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Bully victim's mother probed after allegedly boarding school bus

| Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011

A Monessen mother who claims her son has been bullied by other students is now the target of a school district probe.

Carla Brown is being investigated by district officials because she allegedly boarded her son's bus this week, yelling at and threatening students, school director Roberta Bergstedt told The Valley Independent.

The alleged incident occurred on 10th Street, Bergstedt said. She was unsure what day it occurred.

Classes resumed Monday in the Monessen School District.

The incident this week was reported to the district by a resident, Bergstedt said.

Police were called following the alleged incident, Bergstedt said.

Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Chelen said the case is "under investigation."

"There are legal issues involved," Chelen said. "I do not want to make any comments."

Bergstedt said the district likely will take some action against Carla Brown, adding she could not comment further on what that might involve.

Brown's son, Hunter Brown, was bullied by some students last school year, district officials acknowledged. Bergstedt acknowledged the boy - a first-grader last year - had his hearing aids taken from him and thrown out a school bus window.

"This is an old incident," Bergstedt said. "It happened last year and was taken care at that time. The students involved were suspended for five days."

Chelen said discipline taken against the students was not just for bullying Hunter Brown, but for alleged acts involving other students, as well.

Chelen said the district has received no reports from Carla Brown of any new bullying this year. Bergstedt, too, said she has heard of no new incidents this school year.

Carla Brown could not be reached for comment. Her listed telephone number is disconnected.

Bergstedt denied that the Brown family had to pay for new hearing aids for the boy, saying the state paid for the devices.

School security reviewed bus videotapes from last year and did not see any indication anything happened with the hearing aids, Bergstedt said.

She said Monessen School District Dean of Students Marlon Wheeler is now riding the bus in question during afternoon runs. District security chief John Bachinski will begin riding the bus in the morning, she added.

A Pittsburgh television station this week broadcast reports in which Carla Brown discussed bullying involving her son.

She told a TV reporter incidents involving bullying are a continuation of alleged abuse that occurred last year.

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