BRADY, Texas — Hunter Gilseth is a fourth grade student with a lot on his mind this week as STARR examinations are taking place, but he's also had to worry about avoiding bullies at Brady Elementary School.
"They call me names, they pick on me, they kick me. All kinds of stuff," Hunter said on Thursday.
His father, Jeffrey Scott Gilseth, said that on Tuesday night, he filed a police report after Hunter was reportedly punched in the face while waiting for the school bus, which left the 10-year-old boy with a knot on his face when he came home from school.
"It makes me feel lonely," Hunter said. "Every time they push me, I kind of get sad or mad. Probably a little frustrating when they push me."
Jeffrey said that Tuesday’s incident was the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of his son being bullied.
"This has been a continuous thing with Hunter about being bullied," Jeffrey Gilseth said.
The Gilseth family moved to Brady from San Antonio last summer after Jeffrey retired from the military and ever since Hunter began school in August, Jeffrey said that his son has been victimized nonstop by bullies.
"He has some special needs," Jeffrey said of his son. "When you look at him, you can't physically see the needs."
Brady Independent School District Superintendent Duane Limbaugh told KTXS News that he can't comment on specific incidents involving children, but said that Brady ISD does not tolerate any kinds of bullying inside of its schools.
"Know that Brady ISD takes bullying, takes student safety, to be the number one thing, even over educating the child," Limbaugh said.
However, the Gilseth family strongly disagrees that Brady ISD genuinely cares about the welfare of its student body, at least when it comes to their own children.
Maria Gilseth, Hunter's mother, said that it nearly broke her heart when she learned that her son thought that killing himself was a potential option to escape from being bullied by other children.
"That hurts to hear as a mother that he wants to end his life because these kids are hurting him that much," Maria Gilseth said.
The Gilseth family withdrew Hunter and his younger brother from Brady Elementary School on Wednesday, choosing to teach their two sons at home instead of having to deal with the prospect of either of their sons being tormented by their classmates.
Brady ISD has a link on their website where people can anonymously report bullying, which can be visited by clicking on this link.