TAYLORSVILLE, Ind. — Nearly a week after a Taylorsville Elementary School student was suspended for making a supposed hit list of classmates, his mother says there's more to the story.
The Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department says the 8-year-old student shared the list with another student on the bus.
Officials say the 8-year-old also made a comment about a gun to another student, and that student told her parents. The parents notified law enforcement.
The child's mother said her son knows what he did was wrong, but she's not sure he fully understood the implications.
She believes the list was inspired by the movie "Suicide Squad."
"My first thought was, what 8-year-old makes a hit list?" said Amberly Kreinop. "When everything started coming out, it’s a bully list. It’s a list of bullies."
Kreinop claims the bullying began at the beginning of the school year, and it was reported multiple times.
She claims older kids in the school made fun of his red hair, called him names, and one student even told him to go home and kill himself.
"He wanted to retaliate. How would you feel if you went to school every day and got called 'firehead,' 'fireball,' 'go commit suicide because your hair is red?'"
She said he currently sees the school therapist once a week to deal with issues stemming from his father, who is no longer in the picture.
"I’m not sure of what his [thought] process would be. I know he’s been through a lot, a lot for 8 years old," said Kreinop.
Still, she says it doesn't excuse his reaction, and he will have consequences at school and at home.
"He does have restrictions. He is isolated. He knows what he did was wrong, making a list and saying things like that. But for a school allowing bullying to go so far that a kid thinks he has to retaliate is sad," she said.
While she supports the restrictions, she says she wants to see more done to discipline the bullies.
She also says they are making plans to prevent this from happening again.
"We are going to increase his therapy. He goes one day a week, but I think something makes him feel that way. I don’t know if it’s the disappearance of his father, or if he’s just … I’m sure it is anger, being bullied every day," she said.
She says she does not own a gun, and she doesn't believe he has access to one.
The student returned Monday, and she says he is searched before entering the school.
CBS4 left two messages with the district, but have not heard back regarding Kreinop's accusations.
The school's bullying policy states all incidents are investigated and goes on to say:
"If the investigator finds an instance of bullying behavior has occurred, prompt and appropriate action or responses shall be taken to address the bullying behavior wherever it occurs including, as appropriate, disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion for students, discharge for employees, exclusion for parents, guests, volunteers, and contractors, and removal from any official position and/or a request to resign for Board members. Bullying acts shall be reported to law enforcement officials immediately upon determining that a report to law enforcement is necessary."
The student's mother wonders if action will be taken against the students she says harassed her son.