BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Alicia Mullen’s son Cash has been picked on from the beginning of elementary school. But it’s gotten worse since his dad committed suicide.
Mullen said, “He was only 8 at the time. It came as a shock not only to us but to the entire community.” In 2015, Alicia’s husband, Branford Deputy Fire Chief Ron Mullen walked onto the railroad tracks not far from his home in Branford and was struck by a train. Mullen added, “Having to tell my son that night at 11 o’clock at night that his dad was gone and would never be back was the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
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Alicia said ever since Cash’s dad died the bullying at Mary Tisko School has gotten worse. Mullen said, “The kids started last year with saying things like you should go jump in front of a train like your dad. You should kill yourself.”
Her son’s emotionally distraught and has his missed many days of school. She said the bullies tell Cash he doesn’t deserve to live. Mullen added, “There’s an ongoing joke about him that everybody likes to say. Do you like trains? Why don’t you go down and do what your dad did?”
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Mullen said her son comes home and tells her, “My friend told me that I don’t deserve to live and I should die too and I should just go to the train track and do what my dad did.”
Cash just joined the Lacrosse team and now he is being bullied on the field as well. Mullen said, “They’ve been repeatedly telling him they’re going to take his teeth out when they see him on the field at Lacrosse.”
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It doesn’t end there. Cash is even bullied on social media. Mullen added, “They’ll talk about his dad and do funny memes and certain kids that are his friends but are in that group-chat (tell Cash) this is what they are saying about you. Now they have a video of a guy getting hit by a train.”
Mullen hopes by talking to NEWS8 it will open up the conversation about bullying in schools.
NEWS8 reached out to Branford Public Schools. Here’s a statement the superintendent released:
The safety and well being of each and every one of our students is of paramount concern. As a school district, we do not and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any of our students. When we become aware of any claim that inappropriate conduct is occurring or has occurred, we take the claim very seriously, and we investigate it properly and thoroughly.
If we find after an investigation that any student has in fact been treated inappropriately, we take appropriate action to address the matter promptly, based on the circumstances of the situation at hand. In each situation, our goal is to provide for the well being of all of our students, to educate students about the inappropriateness and harmfulness of improper conduct, and to prevent recurrences of inappropriate conduct. As a result of the federal laws regarding student confidentiality, I cannot comment on any individual student.”