Olympia bullying victim: 'It's constant, everyday harassment'

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- An Olympia teenager claims he's the victim of continuous bullying and said the school system is doing nothing about it.

Richard Crane's mother has filed a civil rights complaint with the United States Department of Education. It's the third complaint she's filed with the department's Office of Civil Rights, and she said she won't settle for anything less than action.

Richard, who is a sophomore at Olympia High School, said the bullying has been going on for some time.

"I ended up in the hospital that day, the last day of my eighth grade year," he said. "I've had some pretty depressing thoughts and I don't know what to do. It's constant, everyday harassment.

Richard's mom, Tamara, said the bullying has been both physical and psychological.

"It's not just name calling or whispering or pointing," she said. "It sometimes goes into actual threats of bodily harm, and for him it's not a hypothetical that someone might beat him up. He's been beaten up, so you can't really brush aside a threat like that."

But Tamara claims the Olympia School District has brushed the abuse aside.

"There just doesn't seem to be much response," she said.

Olympia High School principal Matt Grant said when a student doesn't feel included it's difficult to learn, and he's disappointed when anyone leaves the school feeling unwelcome.

Grant said he can't speak specifically about Richard's case, but said school officials are taking an active role to educate students about bullying.

"I think a big part of our practice would be trying to educate the whole student body and whole student community that bullying and harassment is not welcome at school," he said.

Richard said that anti-bullying sentiment isn't evident to him, and he said the bullying goes beyond the classroom and into Twitter and Facebook.

"I'm failing my classes because I'm too worried about what's going to happen or who's going to be there or what they're going to do," he said.

Richard said he was expelled from school last week. While he didn't specify what happened, he said he was reacting to a bully. Grant said he isn't allowed to respond to the claim.