An Orland Park mother says her son was eager to start high school, but a bully is reportedly threatening the boy. Candy Cartolano wants to keep her 14-year-old son's name and picture private to protect him from further abuse.
The school year had just begun a few weeks earlier. It was the start of high school for the eager freshman. That's when the harassment began, says Cartolano.
"He's screaming at him. He's gonna beat him up," she told ABC7.
Cartolano says the abuse is coming from another 14-year-old, a former friend of her son's. And it's getting worse. He allegedly sent several threatening text messages to her son's friend. One, in teenage shorthand says, "ya wen sum 1 pulls a knife then ya bt well see wat bout to happen. Another says, "hes dien tonight."
Cartolano says the most recent text was the most disturbing. It reads, "I got a bleeping gun in my pocket in front of da house. You tell me what's gonna happen."
She has reported the incidents to police and the school district which issued this statement: "Student safety is our top priority and we take any allegations involving students very seriously...We can assure you that a thorough investigation in conjunction with local police has taken place and appropriate disciplinary action has been taken."
Bullying experts say the pattern is typical in this electronic age.
"Bullying should be taken very seriously. It's not a rite of passage anymore...it's taken on a life of its own," said Karen Wojcikowski, The Bully Police.
It has also led to several highly publicized incidents of suicide including the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer who took his own life last month after years of years of bullying.
Cartolano is worried about violence against her son.
"I'm so upset I can't sleep at night. Neither can my son. It's not fair," she said.
Orland Park police tell ABC7 they investigated the allegations and took corrective measures. The victim's mother, however, says the incidents have continued.
Experts say by law it's the school district's responsibility to handle situations related to bullying.