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Bullying allegation in Kaukauna goes viral on social media


KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ) - We're expected to learn more Wednesday afternoon about a bullying complaint in the Kaukauna School District that has gone viral.

Matthew Bent of Kaukauna posted on his Facebook page Tuesday night his concern about his son being bullied all year at River View Middle School.

The Kaukauna School District has called a news conference this afternoon to address a complaint about bullying at one of its schools. The post has been shared more than 135,000 times.

According to his Facebook post, Bent says his son was physically assaulted by a fellow student on Monday. Bent says the same student has been bullying his son throughout the school year.

Bent also says he's upset the school district and the Kaukauna Police Department aren't doing enough to stop it. In his post, Bent says he spoke with the school police liaison officer Tuesday. Bent claims the officer said there was nothing that could be done.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, school district Superintendent Mark Duerwaechter said that's not true.

"I want to be clear, Kaukauna Area School District does not protect bullies,” Duerwaechter said according to FOX 11.

Duerwaechter says the school began an investigation as soon as the alleged incident was brought to the district Tuesday morning. Duerwaechter says the school and the police department interviewed 11 students and a teacher about the alleged bullying. Duerwaechter says the incident took place in a classroom with a teacher present, but Duerwaechter says it allegedly happened when the teacher was not looking.

"There was no criminal action and therefore no legal action that is going to be taken,” said Duerwaechter.

Duerwaechter says the investigation is still ongoing and it is possible school conduct codes could have been broken. Duerwaechter would not say if the alleged bully has been removed from the school.

"We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable place to work and to learn,” said Duerwaechter.

Bent on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon posted a statement, saying in part: "I wanted to make sure my son always knows that I am right there behind him and always will be, and to send a message to the school that bullying at every school in the world needs to end now! Hundreds of thousands have spoken loud and clear that bullying has to stop!"

Duerwaechter says he expects the district's investigation to wrap up in the coming days. 

He says he has made several attempts to reach out to Bent and the student's mother to set up a meeting to discuss their concerns. Duerwaechter says Bent has yet to return his calls.