Family of Iowa Boy Killed By Falling Safe Was Moving Due to Bullying

May 25, 2018 12:06 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- A 12-year-old Nora Springs boy who was killed when a safe he was loading onto a trailer fell on top of him had been severely bullied in school, prompting the family to move, his mom and aunt tell ABC 6 News.

Karson Ott died in the accident May 6. Days later, dozens of community members gathered for a candlelight vigil.


Now, his family is opening up about the circumstances that led to the tragic accident that took Karson's life.

"We've been dealing with a lot of bullying at school and around town," his mom Kristin said.

In November, they decided to move for the kids' safety.

"On the bus there was quite a bit of bullying and I just said enough is enough," she said.

They planned to move to a neighboring district after the bullying affected all five kids for months, Kristin said, but tragedy struck before they could finish moving.

"Karson's death is not a direct response because of the bullying but nonetheless it didn't stop," his aunt Andrea Campbell said.

Even after Karson's death, his family said his siblings continued to face taunting.

"Jaxon had an altercation on the bus and ended up with a black and blue eye the very first day back after Karson's funeral," Campbell said.

Now the family is calling on the school and others to act to prevent future bullying for other kids.

"All (the superintendent) keeps telling us is he hasn't been notified on anything that goes on, Just that they'd watch the videos that they had. I've asked to watch the videos; they never let the parents watch the videos," Ott said.

Campbell said she wants to see nationwide toughening of anti-bullying laws and a system implemented that standardizes punishments and makes it clear to kids and families that bullying is unacceptable.

"Allow the parents and the administration to hand out punishments that are standardized, it's not like they have to come up with 'Oh, I'm going to make you stand in a corner for four hours,'" she said.

Campbell also turned to Facebook to express her frustration in a post that's now been shared more than 600 times. The post has more than 300 comments, many from other parents who have seen similar issues for their kids.

ABC 6 News reached out to the school district for information but an interview request was denied.

Watch Betsy Singer's in-depth interview with Kristin Ott by clicking here.

Watch Betsy Singer's in-depth interview with Mary Ehmke whose daughter Rachel who took her own life because of bullying, click here.


Logan Reigstad

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