Bullies burn boy on school bus with lighter, pencil erasers

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- Cactus Canyon Junior High School student Reinhard Zorko has scars on his arm and neck.

A few weeks ago, two older Apache Junction High School students lit pencil erasers on fire and stuck them into his skin.

“It stings and it hurts a little bit,” said Zorko.

The teenager waited for weeks to tell his mother, Pamela Zorko, about being bullied on the school bus.

“They said that they were going to beat me up if I say something about it or they were going to have 8th graders come at me and stuff like that,” said Zorko.

The 13-year-old boy described keeping a secret from his parents as “hard and difficult.”

When Pamela finally found out what was happening to her son she was furious.

“If I had known where that individual was I would have probably wound up in jail that evening,” said Pamela.

Apache Junction School District spokesperson Brian Killgore confirmed the two suspected bullies were disciplined

Due to district policy, Killgore could not tell us if the boys were suspended or expelled.

This week a third kid was accused of hitting Zorko when he got off the school bus for telling on the other students.

The third student was also disciplined.

Because of the bullying, junior and high school students may no longer be allowed to ride on the same bus.

“If that's something we feel will increase safety for the students, that's something we will consider,” said Killgore.

According to Killgore, there's video cameras on their school buses.

The video tape on Zorko's bus was taped over because the amount of time that lapsed between when the abuse happened and when it was reported.

Both mom and school officials reported the abuse to the Apache Junction Police Department.

“You're not going to get away with it.  We will see every means possible to make sure you are punished by law,” said Pamela.

Captain Thomas Kelly with the Apache Junction Police Department told 3TV the case has been turned over to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office.

The three suspected bullies could face criminal charges.

Zorko stayed home from school on Wednesday, his mom said he will return soon.