7th grade beating victim: ‘Nobody helped me’

Student beaten unconscious in alleged school bus attack

By Kevin Spradlin

* How to lodge a bullying complaint in Richmond County Schools
* Prohibition against bullying, discrimination

At about 7:16 a.m. Tuesday, Linda Rogich heard this play on her answering machine. The message concerned her 13-year-old son, Daniel Ray Collins.

“He’s been in a fight on the bus and his nose is bleeding pretty heavily,” said an administrator’s voice from Washington Street Elementary School who was listening to the bus driver chatter on the school band radio. “The sheriff’s department and the rescue squad is on the way.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Only 15 minutes earlier, Daniel, a seventh grade student at Ellerbe Middle School, had left his Millstone Road home and boarded bus No. 200 to school. He never made it.

Despite working the night shift, the message woke up Rogich fully and quickly. The bus driver had pulled the bus, which carries only middle school students, over on Firetower Road to address the issue. The bus driver first called 911, then tried to call Rogich. The bus driver told Rogich she didn’t see much; it was still dark at the time, but she pulled the bus over as soon as she was alerted that something was happening.

Rogich arrived on scene. Daniel and two other boys were sitting along the road on an embankment. The police were already there. Daniel, she said, was bruised in front of his head and was complaining about soreness in the back of his head. Rogich said she gave the sheriff’s deputy her information and left.

“I didn’t stick around long enough to find out what transpired,” Rogich said. “I took him straight to the hospital.”

Mallory Brown, Richmond County Schools public relations director, said witness statements indicate only one other student was involved. The was no camera on the bus. Daniel thought there was — and said that it was broken — but Brown said that wasn’t the case.

“We regret any instance in which students resort to hitting,” Brown said in an email to The Pee Dee Post, “as safety is our No. 1 concern.”

That intent apparently failed to protect Daniel on Tuesday. From the emergency department at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham, Rogich said doctors diagnosed Daniel with tissue bruising in his nose and a concussion “from the back where they were hitting him so hard … which kind of worried me, because they were already bruising that fast.”

Dennis Quick, executive director of Richmond County Schools, visited Rogich while he was at the hospital and talked with Daniel about the incident. He followed up with a voicemail message. Quick said he was following up to “see how everything turned out … Hope all is going well.”

Daniel, who is autistic and suffers from a number of other medical issues, is able to tell the story quite clearly — at least, as much as he can remember.

“I was sitting on the bus,” Daniel said. “They were calling me names.”

There were three students involved at this point, Daniel said. “When I turned around to look … I got punched in the face.”

That punch knocked him out, he said.

“When I came to … they were punching me so hard it felt like a train was coming over me. I put my hands over my head and waited until the bus could slow down and stop. I remember the bus driver … yelling, telling them to get off of me.”

Nearly 30 hours after the incident, “my face is hurting me,” Daniel said. “They hit me in the chest. I could tell, ’cause my chest is hurting this morning.”

Daniel said this is not the first time he’s been picked on at school or on the way to school. It is, though, the first time it’s turned violent.

Daniel said he’s tried to tell teachers at school but so far, “no one has done anything about it. Nobody helped me.”

To hear Daniel say that concerns his mother. A lot.

“It hurts,” Rogich said. “Daniel is special. He has autism … so many things I can’t diagnose. He’s not like a normal child. He cannot process things just right. When he gets upset, he starts breaking down. He’s come this far.”

Daniel is a seventh-grader in a regular classroom, Rogich said. He’s a good student, regularly earning As and Bs on his report cards.

With Danie’s conditions, Rogich knew early on she needed help. A Richmond County family offered to help. For two years, Daniel lived with Tom and Lisa Luckey through the North Carolina Foster Care program. They were able to give Daniel the tough love he sometimes needed.

“I had no clue which way to go with his special needs,” Rogich said.

Now that Daniel has come so far, Rogich is afraid this event will set him back.

“He fears for his life,” she said of the idea of Daniel returning to school.

“I want everybody to know,” she said of an issue that doesn’t get talked about much in a public forum — not specifics, anyway. “Last year, he was bullied as well. He and my other son. With my other son, he retaliated and protected himself and got suspended. When they stand up for themselves, after being bullied for so long and they can’t take it … (and the) other kids are not getting touched.”

Rogich is speaking out because she wants to people to know that bullying remains a problem in Richmond County Schools.

“I would like to know, is anything being done” to the students involved.

The case remains under investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. It has been assigned to Det. Stephen Gerald.


Filed in: Latest Headlines

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  • Felisha

    My son has also been bullied for the past year, there had been nothing done, I’ve talked with teachers and principles, nothing is fixed. He says it’s stopped this year, but it is the beginning.

    • Delores Sharpe

      this needs to stop

  • Bonnie Dillabough

    This is appalling. My grandson was bullied in junior high. He is a good student, but dreaded going to school every day. He came home discouraged and sad on a nearly daily basis. He has since qualified for early college and goes to school now every day cheerfully and is enjoying school for the first time in a long time. Teachers and administrators should take steps right from the beginning when mild bullying is reported, because when not discouraged, it always escalates.

    No child should have to go through this. I know classrooms are overcrowded and it is difficult to deal with the sheer numbers of students in our public schools, however there needs to be protocols put into place that says when a child is bullied he or she can go to someone in a safe environment and speak to someone who will listen and take action.

    • Delores Sharpe

      where was my protection. when we put our childern on Bus are they safee.
      thats so true no child needs to go thru this. so glad he whent on good job

    • lori williams

      If it happens to either one of my children again, I will be going to the Department of juvenile justice and pressing charges. Call me at 434-8071 if you are interested in forming a support group for families of bullied children and maybe we can defeat this! This is something I really feel strongly we as parents can do to help our children and help each other.

  • Daniel

    If it is possible I think it should be two bus drivers on buses from 7th grade up to 12th grade! That’s one driving and the other one sitting at the back!

  • Barbara Mozingo

    Many years ago my very smart son was also bullied in the Richmond County School System. He had many friends & was a good athlete. He was not bullied by other children but by several teachers and people in authority though the years. The abusive teachers were able to pick out a child who was “different” and abuse him emotionally. We had no idea my son was autistic until after he committed suicide at age 20. For that reason my autistic grandson is homeschooled. No child should ever be bullied by another student and certainly not by people in authority. These cruel people are in the school system just like the good people are. Protect your son so you will not have the guilt I live with every day of my life. I will be anxious to hear how the school system protects your precious son from now on.

    • Delores Sharpe

      i agree no child shoud be bully at all

    • lori williams

      The government made a law our kids are to go to school. This law should guarantee protection for our kids, but it can’t. This anitbullying law is not worth the title it has.

    • Wendy O’Brien

      My heart goes out to these families. This story and post is very frightening to me. My son has been experiencing bullying from students and we both have been experiencing bullying, discrimination, and harassment from several employees of this school district. You are so right about how they pick out someone who is “different” and the emotional abuse starts. My son has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, not only from the emotional and physical abuse but he too is a special needs child and they are not meeting his educational needs. He has been physically attacked by one staff member, which I witnessed, and this year he already has been attacked by 3 students. It is a constant battle everyday. School is suppose to be a place where children can come and feel safe, happiness, love, and acceptance. Not one of these individuals have had any consequences. However, my son has been suspended 17 times in one year for not doing his work, telling the teacher no, and throwing the work in the trash. Let me add this work was not on his ability level, verified by a doctor! Most cases are kept hush-hush, but something has to change for or unfortunately we are going to hear more stories like Ms.Mozingo’s.

    • unknown

      U guys …dont even know the “correct”version of this story…al ready judgin …dont jump to conclusions

      • Wendy O’Brien

        I think if you are going to make a comment, you should be brave enough to state your name.

        • edie

          My thoughts exactly Wendy

  • Delores Sharpe

    i feel the bus driver should havw interven but she just seat back….

  • Delores Sharpe

    where was the bus driver

  • Delores Sharpe

    why cant i get some help

    • peedeepost

      Ms. Sharpe, what kind of help are you looking for?

      • Delores Sharpe

        i agree no child shoud be bully at all
        think the bus driver should have stop that bus and at least broke up the abuse im not going to say fight cause two on one is not a fight. more training for bus drivers.

  • Delores Sharpe

    where was my protection. when we put our childern on Bus are they safee.

  • lori williams

    My daughter came home in 7th grade complaining of her back hurting after being slammed into the lockers at her school. I took her to the hospital. She had deep bruising you could not see from the outside. The school denied it happened. The bullying she endured not only from this student but others in addition to some other issues led to excessive absences and her being homebound. She got ridiculed by teachers and other staff members. She is now in 9th grade academy.

  • Sierra

    I am in the 12th grade at Richmond Senior High School. The amount of bullying I see on a daily bases is completely and utterly insane. As high school students and even middle school, we are expected to know right from wrong. But you would be highly surprised at the kids who have no respect for others at all. This down right disgust me.

  • KWF

    There should be cameras placed in all halls and classrooms and buses that record the students and teachers at all times. If there is any incidents at all the person that starts this should be suspended for a period of time. When they come back to school if they get into any trouble at all they should be removed from school and not allowed to return. If the teacher and administration does not take action immediately they should be charge by the Sheriff and remove from teaching in any school.

  • Mom

    First of all the driver did as she was trianed to do. As a bus driver we are not legally allowed to put our hand on a child. She called the cops as she was directed to do. If you have never drove a bus dont ridicule a driver. There are also many holes in this story. I am just glad this young man is gonna be alright.

    Driving a bus isnt an easy job. As far as two drivers on each bus that isnt gonna make any difference. Think about it… there are how many teachers in a school and fights each day?

    So it is with my opinion that before you point fingers at people look at the whole picture.

    • Virginia Tadrzynski

      I’ll jump. I want to know ‘what’ training a bus driver in this system gets? I CAN tell you what training I GOT in the state I live in….and to tell you the truth, this was reported as an ongoing issue, which should never have escalated to this point. I was trained to ‘deescalate’ as soon as a situation is identified. To have three children attack an unprotected child never should have happened, the bullying should have been stopped long before physical contact was ever a thought. And if the drivers aren’t taught this, then maybe the whole training of drivers needs to be re-evaluated.

  • Judy B. Mcneil-Long

    a good place to start would be to require all students in the 5th grade and above to take a course given free by the Richmond Co. Human Relations Council. THis should at least slow the problem down. If this gets the message through, then problem solved, if not completely solved (which I doubt) expel them and send them to juvenile court system. This will gets the parents serious attention!

  • http://peedeepost.com Trucker

    @Ms. Cyndi Goodman. We’ve yet to hear of any action taken by you. You’re the Richmond County School Supt. How bout it Ms. Goodman?

  • Ghostrider

    Apparently I missed this while skimming through the local paper but this should be headline news and something has to be done about it. Maybe I missed something but just stumbled upon all this and the comments. I have a 2nd grader and there has been a couple of instances already with my child that have just blown me away. I trust the teacher is and I think on top of the matter and I am sure teachers and principles have this as a top priority to handle accordingly. Some have mentioned teachers,bus drivers,”authority” figures as ones to blame and I don’t know if that to be true or not and certainly hope not as far as actually bullying or “singleling” out of students. There should be some sort school wide of no tolerance for bullying and classes for kids as soon as 1st grade not 5th on the harm bullying can do. HERE IS WHERE IT ALL STARTS IN MY OPINION……….

    PARENTING. The teachers,principles,school officials can only do so much. It starts with the parenting or lack there of. We mold these kids young and from what I see daily some have never had those parenting skills of discipline and accountability. You see em running around Walmart or resturants. The language my child tells me he hears in the 2nd grade is inexcusable and if a teacher or principle calls parents it’s up to the parents to actually take some account and try to correct them young. But if the parents are setting the examples can we really totally blame the kids?Not saying we need to be perfect because none of us are but goodness we can certainly try and do better and teach right from wrong and here’s an idea. Take them to church?? School officials can only do so much. PARENTS are the ones that need to step up. You see it at the ballparks and school. Parents leave it up or expect coaches and teachers to do more than the realm of what they are there for and that is to learn how to play sports and become knowledgable in school work. And a lot of these authority figures will go above their duties as coaches and teachers but in the end it lies with parents! And I know some have single parent families and pressures are more than those us that were lucky to have both parents. But still there is RIGHT and there is WRONG. Don’t blame it on that old saying “this was how I was brought up” as an excuse to cuss and demean or allow your child to be a bully. It all starts at home folks. And it ends at home. As parents let’s take accountability and if you get mad or wanna get defensive then you are possible exactly what I am talking about. Fix it. Pray on it. I do.

  • Erica Morgan

    This issue of bullying continues through out the school systems. The bigger question is who are these school officals that Daniel says he has told he was getting bullied and they done nothing about it? Teachers and Prinicipals sometimes take it as a child being a tattle tale but there is a big difference in that and a child reaching out to an adult at school that is suppose to be protecting them like a parent. Yet when our kids come home and tell us that they are getting picked on or bullied and we try to handle it the correct way and nothing gets done and we tell our kids to take up for themselves and they do they get painted to be the bad kid. I agree that there needs to be more than one adult on a bus. One to do the driving and the other to pay attention to what is going on. I know the what would come out of the schools mouth “we don’t have the funds to pay someone extra to sit on the bus” guess what it is your job to make our kids feel safe and make us as parents feel safe by putting our kids in your hands. So if that means the Principal, Vice Principal, Teachers, or even Guidance Counselors have to ride a morning route or an evening route so be it.

  • Sherry Morgan

    I agree with you Wendy Obrien if you are gonna leave a comment then be brave enough to state your name and since “unknown” states that people don’t know the correct version of the story…guess we are to presume that “unknown” knows the correct version, hmmm this would place ” unknown” on the bus witness and seeing everything just as it happen….yes people are commenting on the story as reported by the “The Pee Dee Post” now if there is a different version or holes in the story then maybe “unknown” will enlighten us with their version and their sources!

    • Sherry Morgan

      Question for Pee Dee Post…. Will this story ever make the front page of the Daily Journal….. Or do we wait for the channel 9 highlights?????? I truly believe that a lot of kids are being bullied at school and they’re not speaking up about it because they are being bullied not to tell and this is wrong on so many levels! The law holds parents accountable for their child/children to go to school….maybe the law should hold parents accountable if their child/children are BULLYING other kids at school! Bet those parenting classes would be full!

  • VictoriaV

    This is horrible!! I would press charges, demand expulsion, and sue for hospital related charges! After I took care of the boys that abused my kid I would then turn my focus on the school and approach the board and/or legal system to set in place new policy that states two adults must be on the bus at all times and immediate installation of properly working digital real time video cameras! And I would not dare want to hear any lip about the gosh darn budget! FIND THE MONEY! They find it for everything else they DON’T need.
    This type of behavior has got to stop. Teaching begins in the home. Kids learn by watching and imitating what they see. The parents are their first teachers so sounds like their might be alot of parents out there that need to get more involved in their kids life before somebody named bubba joe does!!

  • william english

    What about the parents of the kid that actually struck the child knocking him unconcious? If kids are kids and can not be held legally responsible for their actions, then the parents of this little gem certainly should be. What about their names? No child should ever have to dread going to school, certainly not have to worry about their personal safety at the hands of other kids. The burden should be placed on the agressors..put their kids out of school, make their parents have to find means to educate their kids, and find their own transportation to and from school ,I bet that if that burden were placed on those parents of unruly kids, this problem would clear up immidiately.

  • Sherry Morgan

    What’s really heartbreaking in this situation is that this child truly felt as though he had no one that would or could help him, no child should ever have to feel this way EVER!

    • Joe Deberry

      That’s why after so long not getting help from the school or the administration they retaliate to protect them selves. We have kids being killed in schools and it will happen here in Richmond County and the blood will be on the Schools hands if they do not put a stop to it even if it cost them a football team .All kids live’s are more important than sports and they need to be active in sports but the chosen ones are the only ones that get to play if you go to a game you will see certain kids never get on the field . We have got to get control back in our schools or start home schooling to protect them but that takes them away from being social with kids their age but mine ( will not be abused or bullied ) while I have a breath in my lungs . They know these kids are being abused but choose to look the other way but It will stop.

  • Wendy

    As parents we should teach our children how to behave and treat others. This bullying starts and stops at home. I was bullied in school from JR High thru High School. In Jr High i learned to deal with it on my own with direction from my parents. We as parents should teach our children how not to be the bully and to respect everyone. This all needs to start at home.

  • http://yahoo Ronnie

    My son was bullied on a daily basis at Rockingham Middle. Here’s a story for you people to hear-a true one!! My son was in Beta club and was invited to go on a overnight school trip-the bus was not full so a last minute decision was made to allow “others” to go. The trip went with quite a few chaperones. However my son went to his room and was followed there by three students. None of which were in the Beta club. He was pushed around for some time and then body slamed on the floor by one and kicked by the others. His mother talked with the principle(who was not Mr.Carter) and she assured her that something would be done. Nothing happened. She then called and talked to or left messages with the entire school board. Still nothing happened, the principle said the three boys said he had “shined a flash light at them” and it was his fault!! Can you believe a principal offering that as an answer to him being beaten. Truth of the matter is that one was a law enforcement officer’s son and one was a lawyer’s son, the other was a victim of a bad homelife. This doesn’t excuse any one of them from this. Later when I asked the principal what had been done I was told ” I have punished all three of them” I then asked how were they punished? She said “she didn’t have to inform me what had been done, just that it had been taken care of!!!!!” I asked again and she told me the same. How frustrating-looking back now I would have pressed charges with the magistrate and probably filed suit against all three of the childrens parents and the school system with an out of town attorney. Don’t let this happen to your child-stand up and press criminal charges. Then perhaps the parents will become accountable for their children’s horrible behavior instead of condoning it!. Also Lori Williams has an excellent idea- so everyone having a problem could take the effort and join her in fighting this injustice. Lastly I will add-it seems that some of the children doing the bullying are being encouraged by their parents. Perhaps North Carolina should pass legislation requiring parents prove “they have common sense” before delivering a child??? As for the superintendant- she just started and I think she will do the right thing. She is having to pick up the peices of a “career” superintendant who didn’t seem to have everything in order. Thanks to the board for hiring a qualified local for the position.

  • Brantley Lyerly

    I experienced bullying growing up but is nothing like what it has become to day with texts and social media and parents who don’t care what there kid is doing as long as they are outta their hair so they can do what they wanna do! I experienced bullying firsthand at RMS via our daughter, a student there because teachers only heard our daughter handling the situation as advise calmly. No one did ANYTHING to the girl bothering & threatening our daughter. We were always the parents who got called in forr her protecting her self and standing up for herself like she’s been taught in so many seminars given by RCSs!!. We finally had enough of the girl when the bully was going to catch our daughter on fire and even caught with the lighter, there was no punishment! And there is a punishment for that in ruule. I went to everyone, school board, asst. superintent who i only got to speak with his secretary and the superintendent. The only punishment came from when school officials actually saw with thier own eyes the girl bothering our daughter. But yet who still suffered? The day after they changed the schedule of one one of the girls to cut down risk of running into each other. Yet our daughter’s schedule is who’s schedule got changed. So far she’s the one who being punished. Schools preach anti bully but they have more important things to worry about. And when it happy they ignore it to what degree? I even had my youngest daughter bullied by an teacher assistant. Finally I was able to move her class. OUR kids may not be special to RCS but they are to US and this is one of the primary reasons kids are being taking BEING out of these godless institutions and going to private and online school or being home schooled. Our kids aren’t bullies and are taught not to hit or be ugly to others. But if a situation comes up and they are being physical harmed with no adult supervision or someone there to assist in matter, they will defend themselves! I am not punishing my children for standing up for yhemselves or others against a bully. I am not punishing my children for defending themslves instead of laying there getting the crap beat out of them. I can assure you we raised them to take up for what is right, always be a good friend, & never throw the first punch! But our wonderful school system punishes those who stand up for themselves and others being hurt by bullies too. We lock them in cause all the bad guys are outside when they are going thru hell with bullies every day and being told not to tattle. I find it sufficient that if th farm eacher or adyult was told once, that was your warning to up from ur cozy seat and do something about hen# u up yourmind already! And after being knocked out riding a school bus, seeing fights with weapons they’ve had with them all day at dchool and bus was never stopped, the selling and use of drugs and sexual acts until my halfway thru my tenth grade year and I got off bus and got a ride to school. My youngest daughter may never ride a bus since I know from our older daughter things haven’t changed a bit! RCSS has a lot to legwork on outside of score and such. Try making sure that us parents DON’T have ANYTHING to worry about when entrusted you with our children daily. They are out future!

    • Earlybird54

      I know this problem well and the schools from the middle schools to the High School are the worst .My older kids graduated and hated the schools here with so much Bulling going on and the ones doing it know nothing will be done like standing in the lunch line with staff watching and its was bad. Kids getting shoved back in line and no adult would make a attempt to make these group of kids go to their place in line. Unless something is done by the schools and Administration some of these kids are going to retaliate to protect their selves and will be the one’s punished for finally having enough even after making all attempts to tell staff what is going on ,but is never fixed.This is why kids carry weapon’s to school to protect their selves with the schools refusing to STOP it when they know it is going on. The day is coming when we have a shooting at our schools and it will be the Richmond County Schools and the School Boards fault. We are made by law to send them to school so do you job and protect our children or resign before we have a disaster here in our schools.

  • http://aol Jimmy

    To all who have written on the subject, thank you and I believe you. I also have experienced it when I was in school and now with my child. Everyone needs to remember this when it is election time! Get the old wood out-if they aren’t willing to even acknowledge that the problem is there. Power is in the peoples hands-join together and attend the next school board meeting-that is if they decide not to go behind closed doors? And by the way why do they so often go behind closed doors? I will give them credit though, as someone else said “at least they hired a competent local for the superintendent”. Now is the time to speak up, elected officials are supposed to work for the voters!

  • Joe Deberry

    This is why all North Carolina school buses need cameras and the lottery is supposed to be used in the schools .Why does Richmond County not have them when others County’s in NC have them . This is a easy way to have no proof of the incident this school system can hide these problems as this happens in the middle schools through the high school even in the lunch room kids being shoved back in line by certain students when staff even see’s it but can not stop it or want. A camera in place will stop all this crap

  • Joe Deberry

    These kids are ours not Richmond County’s at all and if they can not put a stop to it we have the wrong ones leading this school system and it has got to change .We as parents can put enough pressure on these that turn their heads to avoid being involved needs to be fired and charged for not stopping this when they see it in schools that try to cover it up by saying they did not see nothing so these Bully’s keep on with their abuse and should be in jail . The high school want do nothing because of their Football team will be involved in some of this abuse .IF you can not stop it and are scared to step up to protect these kids ,we do not need none of you in our schools and if it was a teachers kid or staff it gets taken care of . ( Fix it ). or we will go over your heads to get things here done to protect all kids here.

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