JURUPA VALLEY (CBS) — Chris Casteel, 10, is believed to be the first fourth grader to have a temporary restraining order — issued against a classmate.
He spoke with Jeff Nguyen, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9. “The substitute teacher was writing our homework page on the board. And when he took it out and showed it to me and whispered I’m going to get you after school.”
The “it” says Casteel was a small knife. He says a classmate named Chris — a boy who had already elbowed him in the throat during a basketball game earlier in the day — brandished the weapon and the threat.
When Chris got home his father, Robert, took immediate action. The elder Casteel says he contacted Mission Bell Elementary in Jurupa Valley on January 11th and reported the threat.
A school investigation, reports Nguyen, led to the discovery of a 2 and 1/2 half-inch pocket knife on the classmate. Casteel wanted the boy to be expelled. “The kid only had a 5 day suspension and that was it.”
Casteel says he was frustrated with the school’s handling of the case. So he filed the temporary restraining order — which a judge granted.
The classmate was ordered to keep at least 20 feet away from Chris and his younger siblings.
Casteel admits he’s faced criticism from people who say making a legal matter over something that happened between two 10-year-olds is a bit over the top. But he doesn’t see it that way.
“Bullying needs to stop. It’s not just my son. It’s everywhere. It’s on the Internet. It’s in high school. It’s now in elementary and we’re getting younger and younger.”
In regards to the restraining order the superintendent tells Nguyen, “the school will fully cooperate with the court and law enforcement. However, we do not have authority to enforce a restraining order.”
Casteel has been told the boy’s mother has pulled him out of Mission Bell but it’s not clear if it’s for good.
Says a frustrated father, “If he can get his hands on a knife…what’s to say he can’t get his hands on a gun?”
The temporary restraining is in effect until February 8th — that is when Casteel goes back to court to see if the judge will extend it to 3 years.