Ian Ziering said that a school’s refusal to do anything about a classroom bully left parents with no option other than a protest.
As CBS LA reported, the actor, known for his roles in “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Sharknado,” joined other frustrated parents in a demonstration outside West Hollywood Elementary School. Ziering has two daughters who attend the school.
He told CBS LA that the school has ignored repeated requests to deal with a second-grade bully:
“[The bully’s] classroom now has been evacuated twice this year. He has brandished scissors, he has verbally assaulted children, he has threatened to kill them. He has held scissors in his hands, and the school is not doing anything.”
According to TMZ, Ziering and other parents have asked the school board to step in but to no avail. Meanwhile, the bully has reportedly attacked at least 10 other students this year. The incidents go back to kindergarten, and Ziering said the bully once tried to suffocate another student with a bean bag.
Ziering and the other parents said they’re worried that continued inaction from the school could result in an escalating situation — or even a tragedy like Parkland.
The actor told TMZ that he feels “complicit” in not stopping the problem earlier. Though some parents have removed their children from the school, Ziering told TMZ that he didn’t want to do so since the bullying student will still be there causing a problem for others:
“I’m an actor, but my best role to date has been ‘father,’ and I can’t let this go another minute without raising attention to this problem.”
After the parent protest, the Los Angeles Unified School District released a statement to CBS LA, affirming that the district has a “strict no-tolerance policy” regarding bullying and threatening behavior.
Ziering told ET Canada that his issue isn’t with the bully:
“My heart breaks for that kid as well as for all those that have been assaulted.”
Rather, he’s upset that the school district didn’t follow its own protocol for dealing with the problem.
After meeting with representatives from the school and school board, Ziering told ET he is now confident they’ll do what’s necessary to address the issue.
He added: “What’s perhaps the saddest takeaway from all this is that it took a Herculean effort to get the system to do what it’s supposed to do on a daily basis, keep our children safe.”