Bullying is a prominent issue throughout the world and, to many parents, it’s a monster keeping them up at night. So, when one mother became convinced her daughter was being relentlessly tormented at school, she did everything in her power to save her baby girl.
Sarah Sims, 47, reached out to administrators of Ocean View Elementary School when her nine-year-old daughter confessed to her mother that she was being bullied. However, the school never responded to her complaints.
The Virginian mother was absolutely horrified. This wasn’t the first time her daughter had been bullied. At her previous school, Sims’ daughter,Georgialin, was kicked in the stomach and smacked with a jump rope. The school didn’t even notify her.
Sims was worried that not only were other students bullied her daughter. “. . . Sarah had a concern her daughter’s teacher may have actually been speaking inappropriately to her. . . And unfortunately, to this day, we don’t know what was said in this classroom on that day,” stated Sims’ attorney, Kristen Paulding, in an interview with CNN.
When Sims failed to hear back from the school about her daughter’s complaints, she took matters into her own hands. She planted a recording device in her daughter’s backpack to gather evidence against the bullies. This was eventually discovered by the school, but instead of simply confiscating the device or having an in-depth conversation with the mother on her fears and their responses, they charged her with intercepting wire, electronic, and oral communications (which is a felony) and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (which is a misdemeanor). Between these charges, she was facing up to five years in prison.
Sims was never even properly addressed by her daughter’s school. They simply notified the police of the incident without even attempting to talk it over with the concerned mother.
Sims, alongside many others, was horrified by this news. “I thought that this would be a good way for me to learn the environment,” Sims said, in light of these charges. “I did not want to just side with my child. I wanted to be fair.”
Her attorney commented on the case, saying, “I was appalled when I heard these charges. I was shocked to see that the school would go to the police department and ultimately charge this mother as opposed to just sitting her down and having just a simple conversation about what were her concerns and how could the school alleviate those concerns.”
The charges against her were eventually dropped, but many are still criticizing administrators for wasting the time and resources of the court, state, and school. It raises the question, what can we do to prevent incidents like this from happening again?