By John Coy, Chief Investigative Reporter


“…it was simply horseplay…” is what Wendy Estes reports was told to her by Carthage R9 school officials in response to the mother’s concerns about an incident she alleges took place aboard an R9 school bus. Her seven year old son Austin suffered through what the mother states was almost 30 minutes of being choked by another student who wanted little Austin’s seat.

According to Miss Estes, school district officials also informed her that she is not allowed to view any footage of the attack happening because of the other students on the bus. When Austin arrived home from school that day, his voice was very raspy. He also had red marks around his throat.

“Simply horseplay.”
A young boy is likely traumatized for God knows how long and the mother gets a “boys will be boys” like response from school officials.

“Simply horseplay.”
A mother loses trust in the very institution who is commissioned to assure her child’s safety while he is in their “care.” And she is given a message indicating her child is basically expendable.

“Simply horseplay.”
A bully is given the impression that he can choke a little boy out and suffer no consequences.

“Simply horseplay.”
What if there are medical costs incurred? Who is going to pay for that when the school district officials plea it out to a game of musical chairs gone bad?

“Simply horseplay.”
Tell that to the young boy who was beat senseless less than two weeks ago at a Carterville bus stop. That perpetrator was taken into custody. The victim required surgery.

If indeed these allegations pan out, then to put it mildly…this is crap. If we can’t trust that when our children climb aboard the big yellow Lord of the Flies roller derby, that they will be safe; then we are doomed. Our entire being will be consumed with fear that some smelly “big kid” is choking the life out of our little one.

Try functioning in that reality.

Joseph Johnson contributed to this story.

Some of the content of this story was gleaned from Facebook.