2 teens charged after student burned by bullies, beaten - Tucson News Now

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2 teens charged after student burned by bullies, beaten for tattling

Reinhard Zorko (Source: KPHO-TV) Reinhard Zorko (Source: KPHO-TV)
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (CBS5) -

An Apache Junction middle school student could have permanent scars after he says his own classmates burned him on the bus.

Pinal County attorney Lando Voyles announced Monday that he has filed misdemeanor charges against two juveniles in connection to the incident.

The victim's mother is demanding the school protect her son from bullies.

Cactus Canyon Junior High School seventh-grader Reinhard Zorko, 13, has missed school the last couple of days. Instead, he's hanging at his father's auto shop because he's afraid to go back.

"It's hard to be bullied and it hurts," said Reinhard.

Reinhard says the bullying started in February. He finally told the school psychologist he was being hurt on the school bus.

"Cause I got tired of it," he said.

Reinhard says a couple of high school boys used a lighter to heat up the eraser part of the pencil to burn him. It's an act district officials haven't even heard of kids doing until now.

An Apache Junction Unified School District representative said there are cameras on the bus and drivers have a list of kids who are allowed to ride. The alleged bullies were on that list, even though the mother initially said they weren't.

"Shocked, I was appalled someone in high school was actually harming my son who's in junior high on the bus and that there wasn't safer transportation being provided for our children," said Pamela Zorko.

She called the police and the school about the situation. They started investigating. But even after all that, Reinhard says he was beaten up again on Monday after school for tattling.

He says it happened after he got off the bus.

"We want our students to feel safe on our campuses. Can we say with 100 percent certainty that we're going to be able to do that? No," said Rep. Brian Kilgore. He said three students were disciplined. The school's punishment for bullying can be anywhere from detention to expulsion.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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