SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Sparta Police plan to refer a 12-year-old boy to the county's Department of Human Services on several charges related to their investigation into a bullying incident on a school bus last month.
Chief Michael Kass states in a department release they believe the actions of the boy constitute a crime. The department will now refer the youth to juvenile court for charges of Disorderly Conduct, Harassment, and Battery for the February 19th incident.
The 13-year-old victim told police when the complaint was made that he was being teased about a stain on his shirt. Chief Kass states the 12-year-old boy aggressively targeted the victim. Kass says the 12-year-old could be seen in the bus video performing lewd acts directed at the 13-year-old.
The two eventually began fighting according to Chief Kass. Based on the department's interviews with witnesses and the video, it appears the victim was acting in self-defense and was being targeted by the 12-year-old.
Because of his age, the 12-year-old will be referred to Juvenile Court through the Monroe County Department of Human Services.
Misty Morales, the mother of the bullied boy, is relieved that charges have been made.
"I am very pleased and I can't begin to share how excited I am that there are charges being made...that our family can start to feel that a little justice is being made here" said Morales.
The bullied boy did ride the bus once after the incident, "when they first saw him step onto that bus after his altercation they just stood up and said 'oh my gosh, we missed you, we're so glad you're back are you okay? We've been thinking about you' and he just smiled and he knew it's okay...the bus isn't out to get me...it's not all the children on the bus" said Morales.
Morales says that she has pulled all four of her children off of the bus route.
The Sparta School District plans to re-visit the incident at a School Board meeting on Tuesday, March 12th.
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