Two 11-year-old Glenwood Middle School students have been charged with assault after they fought with another boy, breaking his arm. The victim’s mother says her son was being bullied because he is a male cheerleader.
It started out as teasing, said the boy’s mother, Kristy Wilson, but then it turned physical, eventually leading to her son Tyler’s arm being broken Aug. 31 in an after-school fight.
County Prosecutor Mark Miller said charges were filed this week against two boys in Hancock County Juvenile Court. One was charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and the other with assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Findlay Schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Kupferberg said there were “consequences” for the boys involved in the fight, but he would not elaborate on the punishment. He said the fight started on school grounds and later resumed off campus.
Kupferberg also said school officials are working to resolve the problem between the boys.
Tyler, also 11 and a student at Glenwood, became interested in cheerleading after attending one of his sister’s cheerleading practices this summer. He joined in on a couple of practices and was later asked by an adviser for Flag City Youth Cheerleading to join the squad, Kristy Wilson said.
This wasn’t a problem, she said, until some of Tyler’s classmates spotted him cheering at a Flag City Youth Football game the day before school started.
“By the time he got to school the next day, pretty much everyone had seen Tyler cheer,” Wilson said.
They teased, and later they jumped on Tyler’s back on multiple occasions, Wilson said, which culminated with the fight on Aug. 31.
That day, Tyler tried taking a different route walking home from school, but one of the boys caught up with him near the bike rack at the middle school and allegedly punched him, according to a Findlay police report.
Following this, there were several struggles on Tyler’s walk home from school, involving kicking and punching between Tyler and the two other boys, according to the report.
It ended on Ely Avenue after one of the males, who Kristy Wilson said is a Flag City Youth Football player, picked Tyler up and slammed him to the ground, according to the report. When he came down, he hit the curb and broke his arm, his mother said.
Kristy Wilson said after the incident, Tyler’s “spirit kind of dropped” but he still attends his squad’s games, although he can’t fully participate because of his arm.