KINGSVILLE, Texas — Single mother Cassandra Lopez said her 12-year-old twins, Madison and Mason, have been assaulted by students at Gillett Intermediate School in Kingsville three times in the last couple weeks.
She said her concerns are falling on deaf ears.
"I don't want for my kids to feel like they are coming to me and they are telling me what's going on and I'm not protecting them," said Lopez, in tears.
Lopez, who has five children, said she is worried about the safety of her sixth-grade twins.
"The kids are not being verbal with the staff there because they are afraid they are going to get punished for what they are not doing," she said.
Lopez said in the last few weeks, her daughter Madison was shoved in the hallway.
"She has been pushed and Madison was mature enough to walk away to avoid any further physical altercations," Lopez said. "And (school officials) weren't really supportive when I had gone in there."
She said a couple days later Madison was slapped by the same student, so she hit back in self-defense and was sent to in-school suspension for fighting.
"They're making it seem like my children are the ones that are causing the problems," Lopez said.
She said her son Mason said he was punched in the nose, so he went to the nurse who sent him back to class. Mason told his mom that a student hit him, but he didn't want to tell school officials.
"The kids haven't been sharing what's been going on because when they do -- it turns out that they are the ones who are the perpetrators -- when they are really the victims," she said.
Lopez said it made her sad to hear what the kids allegedly did to her son next. She said her twins are biracial and are picked on because of their skin and hair. Lopez said Mason just got a haircut Wednesday, and was made fun of, so he wore his hood over his head in class.
"And that one of the boys had gone and pulled his hood off, so they all started laughing at him," she said, crying.
Kingsville ISD Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Daniel Smith said the district is aware of the issue and is investigating all allegations. He said the situation is being monitored, and also said it takes bullying very seriously and has an anonymous anti-bullying app on their website.