ELMWOOD PARK, Ill. -- An Illinois high school student says he was suspended for standing up to a bully, but the school says his actions were aggressive.
The family is outraged over the schools decision.
Mark Rivera told WBBM that he sat down to have a conversation with someone he thought was being bully.
“It’s a really small community so I really can’t stand for someone to be bullied in a community it’s so small,” Rivera said.
After he says he calmly walked away, he heard the student say comments so he turned to face him and stepped forward.
According to the school, that action was considered physically assaultive, resulting in a suspension.
His father Cruz Rivera thinks they made the wrong decision.
“He should have been given a medal, an award,” said Cruz Rivera.
Mark’s stepmom Dawn Sanks says she is, “disappointed, really because it fosters an environment that is not conducive to learning.”
The school’s principal James Jennings wouldn’t talk case specific, but generally – about their anti-bullying policy said: “Some students have good intentions of helping others but the way they go about it can become a problem if it involves threats and can escalate an incident.”
While Rivera was suspended by the school, the fellow students applauded him.
Mark Rivera says the bullied student is no longer being picked on.