DENVER — When Crystal Alderete picked up her daughter from Force Elementary school in southwest Denver Thursday, her heart dropped.
“The moment I saw Priscilla, her face was swollen. It was red,” Alderete said. “Her bruising was starting to set in.”
Alderete says classmates hurt her daughter during recess.
Denver Public Schools released the following statement to FOX31 and Channel 2 on Friday:
“Leaders at Force Elementary are aware of yesterday’s physical altercation and will be following all of the district’s policies and procedures related to student conduct and discipline. School leaders met with the student and members of this student’s family this morning and are working closely with the family. Due to student privacy, we are unable to share any information about the students at this time.”
“She was being bullied because she is a tomboy, because they state that she is lesbian or that she is gay,” Alderete said. “For an 8-year-old to even have to worry about that is absolutely ridiculous. She’s a child.”
Since the incident, Alderete says Priscilla has been more withdrawn, wearing makeup to cover her black eye because she’s self-conscious. Alderete says a checkup at Denver Health Medical Center revealed her 8-year-old had a concussion.
As a mother, Alderete is also worried about the lasting impact bullying could have on her daughter.
“My daughter has come to me within the past day to ask me, ‘Mom, why am I different? Why do I talk different?’” Alderete said. “Talk to your kids, because it’s important. Some kids are so frightened to even say anything, and as a mother, pay attention to the little things.”