GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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August 15, 2013

Bullying brings police, Y action

A report of a group of 13-year-old boys allegedly bullying a 7-year-old in the Cape Ann YMCA locker room Tuesday afternoon drew police to investigate, and has led the YMCA to suspend the 13-year-olds’ memberships indefinitely.

“We have to take it seriously as far as following the guidelines we’re trying to establish,” Cape Ann Y Executive Director Tim Flaherty said.

He commended his staff on dealing with the incident properly and reporting it to police and to Y managements.

“We’ve got to take every incident here seriously. The kids need to understand the seriousness of what they’re trying to do,” Flaherty said. “The staff here did a good job investigating what happened.”

According to the police report, the three older boys “picked on” the younger boy, insulting his weight, then followed him into the shower, snapping towels at him. One boy struck the younger boy in the stomach, leaving a red mark, police said.

A YMCA director reported the incident to police, and an officer met with the 7-year-old’s parents, who did not wish to press charges but did want the parents of the 13-year-olds to hear about the bullying.

Police contacted two of the families, but said they had no access to current contact information for the third boy’s family. Officers said they would continue to search for a way of reaching that family as well.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.

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