Union County parents forming coalition for policy change


INDIAN TRAIL, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Union County parents are fed up with their school district. Allegations of bullying, threats of deadly violence, even sexual assault of special needs child have all come out of Porter Ridge Middle School. 

The Burke family, whose son was threatened by another student who brought a knife to school, is now forming a coalition of parents for policy change. 

“What would you want to be done for someone to threaten your child to slit their throat?” 

“Within the last two months, my son has been assaulted twice. The first time slapped in the face, the second time punched in the face by the same student,” said another parent whose son was assaulted. 

“He was crying and couldn’t sit down on the couch, he was crying and said do not touch me, do not touch me and he’s never been like that,” said the mother of a child who was sexually assaulted in a school bathroom.

Parents say the superintendent’s silence speaks volumes. Fox 46 charlotte tracked him down.

“I can’t go on camera,” Houlian said. 

“Why can’t you go on camera?” FOX 46 Charlotte’s David Sentendrey asked. 

“It’s an active investigation, I can’t comment.” 

That was outside Tuesday night’s board meeting. While, legally, the superintendent says he can’t talk specifics as to these active investigations. There are policy questions he can address but is refusing to.

Meanwhile, board member Gary Sides had no problem, speaking out publically at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I can assure you there have been many conversations about these issues in closed session,” he said. 

Parents say the district is not protecting victims by allowing their alleged attackers back in school.

“How are these kids able to bring weapons to school and threaten someone’s life and return to school?”

They’ll continue to fight for policy change. 

FOX 46 has been covering all of the issues at this school. Click below to explore our previous reporting.

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