Parent irate after bullied kindergartner left school, walked down Broadway unnoticed
DENVER — Instead of spending time with other kids on the playground at school, five year old Benicia Martin plays at home with her brother Friday. Her father says he has zero confidence in the staff at Clayton Elementary in Englewood, “we won’t send her back there.”
Jerome Martin learned his daughter walked out of school on Thursday, March 15 without being noticed. She and a friend ended up walking a mile away, venturing down South Broadway.
Bencia says she’s being bullied at the school and wanted to get away from those who are targeting her.
Scars remain on her hand from one encounter.
“She was tracing her hand on a piece of paper and a little girl walked up and stabbed her in the hand with a pencil,” her father said.
Jerome Martin says it is incredible that no one on the school staff noticed his daughter walking out of the door “all the way up two long hallways and out the front door which is guarded by two people.”
Eventually Benicia ended up at her friend’s grandmother’s house and the school was contacted.
Martin says, “[the school] wanted to impose punishment on her and the other little girl by taking away their recesses and their free times. We’re not punishing her for your mistake. You guys should have been watching them.”
Martin is now making plans to place his daughter in another school, one he hopes will protect her from being a target of bullying … and make sure she never ends up walking the streets again.
“If I have to move to a different city to put her in a different school where she will be safe then that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
FOX31 received this official statement from the Englewood school district:
“On the afternoon of March 15, a kindergarten teacher at Clayton Elementary School alerted the school office that two students were not in class where they were supposed to be following their scheduled specials time. It was discovered that the students had left the school building unsupervised and undetected. Thankfully, they were later found safe at the home of a relative of one of the students. Englewood Schools finds it absolutely unacceptable that these young students left school unsupervised. The district is currently conducting a thorough investigation regarding how this occurred. Employees responsible for the direct supervision of these students during the time in question have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.” In addition to the district’s investigation of this incident, all of our supervision processes and protocols at both district and school levels will continue to be examined carefully and thoroughly to ensure this never happens again. As a district, we are deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our students. We sincerely apologize to the students and families involved, as well as anyone else this incident may have impacted. We will work deliberately and diligently to grow the trust and confidence of not only these students and their families, but of our greater Englewood community.”