A Norfolk, Virginia student's mother has been charged with a felony after putting a digital recorder in her daughter's backpack to catch bullying. She said that repeated calls and emails to the school's administration got no response.
Sims then chose to act on her own.
"I was mortified. The next thing I know, I'm a felon".
The district has stringent anti-bullying rules on its website, with parents and children alike encouraged to report incidents.
"They didn't protect my son, and I want something to be done about it, not just for him, but any other student that is being bullied", she said.
So, perhaps the nonresponsiveness Sarah Sims experienced this school year was not so surprising.
Ms Sims said she hid the recording device in her daughter's backpack in September to prove that no effort was being made to help her.
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"If I'm not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?"
About a month later, police charged Sims with felony use of a device to intercept oral communication. In addition, she was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor.
The attorney says the two charges are a stretch, she feels that neither will hold up in court.
"They aren't making this about that classroom. There are charges that carry jail time". She may face five years in prison.
"The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration", Sims added, via WAVY. "There is nothing fair about this".
Paulding is optimistic the two charges won't hold up when Sims has her preliminary hearing January 18, but she's concerned that other parents, fearful for the safety and well-being of their children and frustrated by unresponsive bureaucrats, could come to the same conclusion Sims did and open themselves to serious legal consequences. Meanwhile, the child has been moved to another classroom.
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