SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Springfield woman says a bully is harassing her son because of his race. The pictures have been circulating over social media.
The question for the teen and his family is how the district has handled it. Part of the frustration is that the school is bound by a law that states they can't tell the teen's parents what kind of punishment was given to the accused bullies, which is always the case related to student punishments.
But in this case, the family says they are pretty certain it wasn't harsh enough.
The images are disturbing. Four pictures were photo-shopped by a Cherokee Middle School student. In one, it was made to show the principal branding a slave, showing 8th grade Isaiah's face twice.
It circulated on Instagram with the caption "slave branding."
"I'm not shocked, I'm disgusted, but I'm not shocked," said the victim's
mom Kierra Nabors. Nabors says one of the most difficult things to deal with has been the aftermath, and still having to part with her son every morning.
"He's in a hostile environment right now and yeah, I feel like my hands are tied," Nabors explained.
Springfield Public Schools tell us they have handled-- and are handling it, according to policy. It's handbook policy for this case, or any bullying or harassment case.
"The administrator would meet with the student and parent or guardian and deal with that situation and establish discipline which would include in school suspension, up to out of school suspension and it can include up to three days of out of school suspension according to our handbook," said SPS Chief Communications Officer Stephen Hall.
The school isn't allowed to say exactly what happened to the students behind the images, but Nabors says it doesn't seem the harshest punishment was handed down.
"He wasn't expelled. Isaiah still sees him at school," Kierra said. "He's still there, so how is that zero tolerance? To me he got a slap on the hand."
"If students are participating in that type of behavior, we will investigate it and make sure that that activity ceases and that is what has happened in this case," Hall said.
"I would like for him to be able to go to school and not have to worry about what is going to happen to me next!"
The district urges all parents to monitor what their kids are doing online, even outside of school hours.
Parents and students can also contact the state's school violence hotline at 1-866-748-7047, toll-free. They will follow-up with the district to make sure your concerns are heard.
Also, SPS says anyone in the community can text the Springfield schools text to tip line to report bullying at 319-2901.