3rd Grader Allegedly Bullied By Classmates Speaks Out

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A couple says their daughter has been beaten up several times at Liberty Elementary School in Shadyside.

“It’s really sad,” Isabel Mattick, a third grader at the school, said. “I don’t want this happening anymore. I want my school to be peaceful and nice like it should be every day.”

In the most recent attack, Isabel says she had mulch thrown in her eyes, stabbed with a stick and punched repeatedly.

“I don’t want to get hurt again … I don’t want anything bad to happen,” she said.

Her parents say the school isn’t doing enough and feel helpless.

“They violated that sense of trust,” Christopher Mattick, Isabel’s father, said. “ ‘We won’t protect your child, we can’t protect your child.’”

“I need to know that she’s safe and that somebody’s going to take care of her and the bullying will not be tolerated in the schools,” Laura Hodge, Isabel’s mother, said.

School officials tell a somewhat different story. They say it’s true a little girl threw mulch into Isabel’s eyes and another girl in a separate incident shoved her, but the school nurse found no signs of her being stabbed with a stick or punched repeatedly.

One little girl is being disciplined for Monday’s incident. They won’t say what the discipline is.

A spokesperson for the school says they’re unaware of any ongoing bullying at the school.

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  • Kathy Dodd

    My child is constantly being bullied at her school also. The school has done nothing about it. She comes home crying nearly everyday. It is heartbreaking. I wish I could afford to send her to another school, but I can’t. I just keep telling her it will get better, but I do not expect her to believe me when I don’t even believe myself. She goes to David E williams, part of the montour school district.

  • jose ciro

    people are bullied their entire lives — in school, in social settings and at work — until they stand up for themselves. reporting your child’s school to the news is going to accomplish nothing. as a matter of fact, it is going to get your child bullied even more.

    this wussification of America is ridiculous and you parents should be ashamed. also, kdka, you should be ashamed for posting this.

    i got a snowball thrown at me in the 4th grade. should i have reported that?


      Jose your a PUNK

      • jose

        blah blah.

    • Roz


      You hit the nail on the head! Parents need to teach kids to stand up for them selves and to stand up to a bully,n ot run and cry about it.

      • kate

        That is fine if you are raising jumbo-sized children who are big enough to stand up to the bully, who do not care about getting detention and have no interest in how it reflects on their future…actually that sounds like the definition of a bully. Bullies generally pick out their targets carefully. They are little kids who physically cannot defend themselves……thats why kids take guns to school these days.

      • Charles

        Roz. You and Jose are idiots. I remember the bullies in my junior high in 1974. One went to prison for murder and the other 2 are barely employed. That being said. Not one of them would want a piece of me now. Things have changed.

      • jose

        “they are little kids who physically cannot defend themselves……thats why kids take guns to school these days.”

        really, kate? this is a wildly false claim.

    • Laurie Mudge

      If it was done in anger, yes! Kids are kids, but when it goes too far, it is the responsibility of the adults, whoever is there, to reassure the one being bullied that it’s not their fault, and to correct the bullier. Teachers are the parents when we put our children in their hands. Parents need to take responsibility for their children. They learn from us adults. So what are the parents of the bulliers doing? Should they be investigated if it continues?

    • WENDY


    • Kathy Dodd

      Jose, words can not describe how low of a person you are, so I wont even try. By the tone in your post, everyone can tell that you were the bully in your school. My daughter did try to stand up for herself and the girls threatened to beat her up. My daughter is one of the smallest in her grade. The next time these girls threaten my daughter I am going to press charges,I have already told this to the school. How do you stand up to a group? My daughter has a speech deficit and that makes her a target. Should we allow bullying in school so that the can turn out as arrogant as you?

      • jose

        …not a low person, just one with a different point of view.

        i’m sorry to hear of your daughter’s speech impediment as well as the problems faced by you, your daughter, and the family in this article. however, i stand by my thoughts.

  • Aduzi

    “Unaware of any ongoing bullying” Bullying is an ongoing occurrence in any elementary or high highschool. What cabbage did those officials just crawl out from under. Learning to bully is picked up from our leadership and at home and spreads to the children. Teachers can not be everywhere but denying there is a problem makes them look like an outrage with its head in the sand. Bullying not only needs to end in our schools but in American culture as well.

  • mtpleasantmom

    some of the people commenting above apparently are not raising children now. times have changed and people are much, much more cruel. i can see where this was probably the last resort for these parents and i say good for them. more parents in this situation need to bring these issues to light. school districts seem to care more about football playoffs and standardized test scores than they do the welfare of their students.

  • Sydney B

    @Jose Ciro: I agree – Seeking to prove oneself above another is a deep-rooted part of human nature. That nature is aggravated in our culture, as he behaviors of adults show that “getting ahead” and “winning it all” are of utmost importance. So kids are bombarded with this message, and then many of them are not taught from early on (I’m talking from age 2) how to treat other people with respect.

    Children are permitted to bully their parents. Since this results in the attention they know, why wouldn’t they turn to bullying others at school?

    By the same token, our kids DO need to know how to stand up for themselves better.

    @Kathy Dodd – I’m so sorry that your daughter is being treated this way at school. My kids have been bullied, too. They come home & cry, but we talk it through and hug and they know there is such a thing as a safe place. In this world there will be many times they will have to cope with things going poorly for them.

    One thing that has worked very well (but no guarantee it will every time, of course) is that my kids know to seek opportunities to challenge the bully this way: “You know, I’d like to be your friend. But why do you have such a problem with me?” Just being so blunt and calling a spade a spade has often diffused the situation. The bully no longer feels in control, because the person they are picking on shows such confidence in confronting the problem straight on. My son has even gained a good friend out of this. But if his friend ever starts to pick on someone else, my son calls him out on it. He’s only 7.

    • Jose

      Most likely the most intelligent post on this page.

      5 stars.

  • Becca

    @Sydney B – it may be part of our human nature, but that doesn’t mean we just “deal with it.”

    There was a time when our natural tendency to mistreat others was labeled something else: SIN. But that’s a very intolerant word to use, isn’t it?

    I’ve been reading a book about how we are to treat each other. But the book meant nothing to me until I realized the only way to change my natural sin nature was to be changed supernaturally by Jesus Christ.

    Not that I never feel like bullying anyone, nor that I always know how to handle being bullied. But there is something bigger within me that gives me confidence in my identity.

    And I teach my young children this same confidence. My son is so small for his age, and frankly kind of a weird kid. I worried so much about him going to school. But he is so confident and secure in who he is, I think he’s one of the most popular kids in his class! Everywhere we go, other kids (in various grades!) greet him excitedly. He makes it a point to be friends with everyone. I’m so proud!

  • Tami M.

    As long as our society treats bullying as a “normal” occurrence, things will never improve. Yes, we should teach children to stand up for themselves, but one thing that is missing is teaching them to respect others. This means tolerating those around us, no matter how different they are from us.

    It is about time the bullying issue in the PPS gets some media attention. I suffered through 13 years of bullying while I attended PPS, most of which mirrors what this little girl is going through. I tried everything, from fighting back to telling adults. Guess what, my teachers sometimes punished me for complaining and of course I was punished in school if I fought back. Nothing helped, and I still suffer from the aftermath. It is at least going to take 13 years of therapy to fix things for me. So I am appalled that people treat this as a non-issue.

  • Paul

    First of all, there is absolutely NO control of students in the city schools. A lof of these kids act like animals, and the teachers are afraid to do anything to them. So, the average kid who wants to learn is not able to since they are surrounded by garbage. Secondly, I grew up in the city, but my parents sent all 7 of my brothers and sisters to a Catholic school through high school since they knew how bad the public schools were. My dad worked a regular job, plus many other jobs so that he could afford to give us an opportunity to learn, and yes, we all learned, and there was NO bullying in the Catholic schools. The city schools have been like this for a long time, and it is never going to change.

    • One Good Man

      Paul, your dad sounds like a GREAT MAN and did what he knew he had to do to keep you kids safe, and was FREE to do so.
      You see guys like Matt and others are part of the problem labeling you as a tea bag and promoting this irresponsible behavior.

  • Matt

    I have two words for you Paul “tea bag” Central Catholic. Bullying is everywhere even in catholic schools.

    • Paul

      Ok, Matt – I went to South Hills Catholic/Seton-LaSalle, and didn’t observe any bullying, but I’m lying, right? BTW – my dad went to Central Catholic, as did many of my friends, and I’m not quite sure where you find your facts, but you are wrong. One Good Man is right – it is easier to “blame” others for one’s shortcomings. Afterall, isn’t that what this site is all about – bullying others to make oneself look appealing?

      • susie

        I pulled my kids out of Catholic school in the Diocese of Greensburg because they were actually being injured by other children, not just bullied. I BLAME the diocese for this because while they could not control a bully they had no problem asking me to pay higher tuitions.

  • Matt

    Paul, I was not calling you a Tea Bag. I was refering to a bullying issue at Central Catholic years ago in which boys where Bullying others in grafic ways.
    I was not suggesting there was anything wrong with Catholic schools I was just pointing out they aren’t perfect either.
    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  • Tracy

    My son was bullied in two different city elementary and middle schools. when he stood up for himself, he was the one that was punished and made to see a therapist because of his anger issues. I don’t even want to mention that there were two different races involved and my son was white. nothing ever happened to the kids that bullied him. i contemplated putting him in cyber school just so i didn’t have to go thru this in high school. he begged me not to and is very happy in high school. he doesn’t go to school with the kids that did bully him and is now a very socialized and happy teenager. If it continued into highschool and nothing was done about it I would have probably resorted to the media as well. until you have it done to your own child you shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Christine

      Tracy – that is the problem in a nutshell. As Paul stated, it is how you are reared that determines your character. When you have kids from single-family homes without the support of a true family unit, and by that I mean a father and mother who are married and who are contributing to society, then this is the outcome. These kids have no guidance and will never become a contributing factor of society. I’m thankful my kids are being raised in a very nice community, and though you may have your cliques, at least my kids can go to school without the fear of being shot, stabbed, beat up, etc. The city schools are on the roadway to destruction. If it wasn’t for the city employees being required to live there, no one would.

  • Dave

    Today’s kids are a lot different than in past years. They are being brought up with expectations of entitlement, whether that means free housing, food, cell phones, internet, computers, etc. These kids are being raised in an environment where they are not taught to take pride in acquiring things on their own, so they resort to bullying, intimidation, harassment, etc., and take pride in the fact that they can do this and get away with it. Back in the day, people would make fun of others or do something minimal, but in today’s world, these little brats are stealing from other students, jumping them, punching them, etc., anything they can do to instill fear in another child. More than likely, these same kids that are bullying will not even graduate, and if they do, will wind up in prison. For the student who wants to learn, it is very difficult dealing with kids of this nature, and the schools are not doing anything to prevent it, regardless of what they say.

  • LISA G



    • Jefferson Samolet

      Lisa G –

      You’re an unwed mother with a failed education and here you are blaming a child for being the victim of violence.


      Also, your keyboard seems to be broken. Perhaps you should look into that.

      • lisa g

        to jefferson samolet i was married to my childrens father . my children know right from wrong and would never bully anothr child. my youngest was bullyed i did not go to the media i handled it with the proper authorities, i have an degree in childcare.. and i was not blaming the child.. did you listen there she was check out by the school nurse and the nures found no evidence that she was poked with the stick and no mulch was found in her eyes

  • Ron

    It’s sad all around. My son in Junior High was horribly teased because he had cleft palate surgery and had a misshapen nose. The result? He stood up for himself – my rule was that he touch no one until he was touched and he was touched a lot – – and he fought back – – I don’t know how many times I was at the Principals office – – and always asked the same questions – was he being teased? Was he touched? And always the answers were yes from the administration – – I told him that he was following my instructions to protect himself and stand up for himself and he would receive no punishment from me as long as he did what he was told. The principal told me that fighting was unacceptable – I agreed and told him to curb the behavior of the bullies and insure my son wasn’t touched — he couldn’t make that guarantee so I told him that as long as my son was touched he would fight back and we would see him the next time – – the result? My son is well-adjusted an an armed Security Officer now with a great sense of confidence and self worth – – I am sure that if he was poked with a sharp stick he would popped the assailant with it. Failing that, call the cops and get an assault charge lodged.

  • Michellesmith009

    When I was younger, bullying meant getting roughed up, having someone hide your things or say cruel words to your face or behind your back, and being isolated from your peers. While Cyber-bullying is ten times worse than the bullying I knew when I was younger, because while you may know your tormentors in school, on the web, people can hide as “Anonymous” or under their usernames, and yet deal the same damage. As a parent the most important thing is my child’s safety. This blog covers how a mother is dealing with a heartbreaking experience and how you can better protect your kids. This is the link: http://www.tsue-thatswhatshesaid.com/2011/08/your-childs-safety-your-piece-of-mind.html

  • Kelly

    My son was being verbally and mentally Bullied at a charter school in mckeesport, I have went to the principal and my son has went to his teachers and no intervention was done last school year and this school year. This has been going on with the same child from the last school year.My son had asked the teacher not to put him near him because he bothers him, it was ignored. The teacher made them work together anyway. After the boy assaulted him by pushing a pencil in my sons side repeatedly and throwing a pencil and hitting my son in the face, my son later approached him and retaliated. Now my son was suspended for 3 days upon return the extended to 7 more days and recommend my son to be expelled. Can someone help. My son is an Honor Student and I don’t want his future messed up. Is there a Law for the school to Intervene when Bulling is reported?


  • Jefferson Samolet

    Unfortunately, Kelly, the moment your son retaliated, you lost all rights. Best bet for you and your son is to move to a different school district.

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