Programming Change: Days of Our Lives to air at 2 a.m.

Harrah family says son victim of racism, bullying


HARRAH, Okla. — Bullying is a huge problem in schools throughout the nation.

Now parents in Harrah say it’s getting out of hand there, too.

They say their foster son is target of racism.

Seventh grader Arzell Gaddis said he gets called the n-word and was even tackled during P.E. class in a game the students allegedly named “smear the n-word.”

Gaddis said, “I just get mad about it when they call me that.”

The family said instead of taking care of the problem, teachers and the principal turned the other way and didn’t hand out severe enough consequences.

They said the boy’s brothers have tried to stand up against the bullying but were reprimanded for it.

Beth Winstead, Gaddis’ foster mother, said, “I wanted to make the public aware that it was going on and there were kids being bullied and that the schools were aware of it and not doing what I feel like they should be doing about it. They are proud to say they have a ‘no tolerance’ policy and I haven’t seen that that’s been implemented at all. You can’t learn if you go to school and you are afraid.”

Phil Stewart is the school resource officer for Harrah Schools.

He said the school officials simply want to know the full story before jumping to any conclusions or punishments.

Stewart said, “We are in the process of investigating that. We’re still speaking to witnesses and other students who may or may not be involved. That process will continue for a few days. We haven’t been able to wrap it up completely just yet.”

The family plans to hold a rally against bullying at the school in Harrah Thursday evening.