Mother: Son suffocated in class by another student

CRESWELL, Ore. - It's the phone call no mother ever wants to hear.

"I got a call from the school, from the special education teacher, that another child had placed a plastic bag over my sons head, his face in the classroom," said Karen Woody.

Woody said that on Oct. 10, her 12-year old son was the victim of harassment at Creswell Middle School.

"I said, 'What happened with the plastic bag at school?' And he said, 'Mom, somebody tried to kill me.' He said, 'A kid came up from behind me and put a plastic bag over my nose and mouth, I could not breathe.' "

And, she said, it all happened in the middle of class.

"There was a teacher present in the classroom but she, and there was only eight kids in there, and she did not see it happen," said Woody.

Instead, she said, a teacher walking down the hallway eventually broke it up before her son passed out.

"As a parent I want my kid to be safe all the time, and one of the safe places I thought would be in school, in the classroom," said Woody, "but apparently bad things can happen there too."

She said she met with the principal, teacher and school administrators requesting that the two not be in the same classroom anymore.

"They had said we're gonna have the child be escorted down the hallways between classes, that they would have him play out in a different area than my child and he would be supervised."

But she said so far, nothing has been done other than suspending the student for four days.

"They're still in the same classroom, they still don't have more supervision," she said. "It's the same situation that the suffocation happened in beforehand."

The Creswell School District could not give specific information about this particular incident but did acknowledge an incident had occurred.

Creswell superintendent Todd Hamilton said they do have policies in place to address these types of issues.

"We work with the students and when discipline is necessary, we go ahead and impose discipline that's consistent with school policies," Hamilton said.

Hamilton also said it's the goal of the entire district to keep kids safe.

"If there is a situation where we have ongoing concerns, then we try to look at scenarios around the school that might need to be addressed and what kind of accommodations can be made," he said. "Whether it's changing students schedules or increasing supervision in a way that helps all kids feel safe at school."

But Woody said she still feels that her son and other students at the school aren't safe.

"I don't feel like they are making the accommodations that are necessary to provide for the safety of my child and others when he's at school," she said.

Woody also said she has also filed harassment charges against the student with the Lane County Sheriff's Office.