The bullying Charles faced in middle school was so extreme that he developed posttraumatic stress disorder. He began to close himself off from the world. The situation got so bad that Charles left school to begin homebound instruction.
“It was unbelievably damaging,” said his father, Charles Sr.
Despite his son’s experience in middle school, Charles Sr. still wanted his son to discover the positive social elements that can come in a school setting. Charles eventually agreed to go back to school, and began his freshman year at the Villa’s Brook Road Academy. The small class sizes and conversational approach to learning sparked a transformation within Charles that went beyond his father’s expectations.
“Things started getting better as soon as I came here,” said Charles. “When the teachers say they don’t allow bullying, they really mean it. I started being nicer to people because they were nice to me.”
Charles used to go to school scared every day. Now he’s happily engaging with his classmates in Brook Road Academy’s new woodworking class, and in extracurricular activities like film club. He plays piano in the school foyer. His father believes Charles’s newfound confidence and declined stress levels are a direct result of Brook Road Academy.
“I can’t say enough good about this place. All the teachers are remarkable,” said Charles Sr. “Charles feels safe here at all times. He says he feels like he’s in heaven.”