Caylend Childs, an East St. Louis seventh grader, says that he was resting his head on his desk when bullies wrote "fag" on the back of his neck -- in permanent marker.
"He didn't know what was on his neck," Ruth Childs, his mother tells KTVI, video below. "All the kids were laughing at him."
School officials confirm to the station that the incident occurred and say students responsible were disciplined.
But the mother says that the homophobic slur on his body was not the worst case of bullying her son has faced at Mason Clark Middle School.
The marker incident on Monday was the final straw in a day of name calling, Fox2 says.
But earlier this year, he faced a more serious physical attack, according to the mother.
While the twelve-year-old was using the bathroom, another student allegedly ran in and kicked the bathroom stall in -- leaving the student "soaked with urine."
"I really just didn't want to think about it no more," Caylend says.
"My son has gone from being a...student that loves going to school," his mom says, "to he wakes up every morning saying, 'Mama, I just don't want to go anymore.'"
Here's the footage.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.