Gardner School District

Bullying Incident Lands Suburban 7th Grader In Hospital, Parents Say

The family of the 13-year-old are now seeking legal representation in connection to the incident

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When 13-year-old Charlee Funes attended gym class last Thursday, she wasn’t expecting a trip to the hospital a short time later.

The 7th grader attends Gardner Grade School, located in the village of Gardner, which is approximately 70 miles southwest of Chicago.

According to Charlee's parents, a bullying incident during gym class left Funes with a chipped tooth and cuts to her face and nose.

“I was scared about this,” said Funes. “She [put] her foot in-between my feet and took her chest and went straight into my body.”

Funes says she faceplanted into the asphalt in the parking lot where they were running laps.

Her mother, Kimberly Funes, says she showed up to the school after being called by administrators.

Kimberly says the school never called an ambulance, and that she took her daughter to the hospital herself.

Now, she has concerns that this could happen again.

“They said that the teachers will keep an eye on them and they will keep them separated as much as possible, but they’re in the same class,” said Kimberly Funes.

In a statement, the principal of the school told NBC 5 that the district immediately began an investigation.

“Throughout the investigation, the district worked collaboratively with law enforcement, and took immediate action in response to the student who committed the misconduct,” said Principal Dr. Michael Merritt.

The Grundy County Sheriff says their report on the incident has been forwarded to the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s office.

The mother of the other student involved told NBC 5’s Chris Hush that her child was suspended for multiple days and may not return to the school.

“The little girl was calling her names, mouthing words to her. My daughter came up behind her and kicked out her left leg,” said the mother. “But they’re considering it being slammed to the ground.”

The mother also says her child is now receiving threats from adults and kids because the story has circulated around social media.

It’s unclear at this point if charges will be filed, and the Grundy County State's Attorney is still reviewing the case.

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