f you're a parent, you know that you would do anything to protect your child. And that's exactly what this Virginia mother did when her 9-year-old daughter was being bullied at school.
Sarah Sims of Norfolk now faces felony charges because she took matters into her own hands when her daughter's school all but ignored complaints that her daughter was being bullied. Are the charges justified?
Sarah Sims told WAVY-TV that her 9-year-old daughter was getting bullied at Ocean View Elementary school in Norfolk, Virginia.
She called and emailed the school repeatedly to report the bullying but told WAVY-TV that all of her messages went unanswered.
That's when she took matters into her own hands.
“If I’m not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?” she said. In order to prove that her daughter was being bullied, Sims put a digital recorder in her daughter’s backpack.
She hoped to catch the bullies in action and finally have some evidence to bring forward to the school's administrators.
Instead, she got charged with a felony.
The recorder was found in her daughter’s backpack, the girl was moved to a new classroom, and a month later, Sims was charged by the police.
"I was mortified," Sims told WAVY-TV. "The next thing I know I'm a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I'm trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?"
Sims is charged with the use of a device to intercept oral communications, which is a felony in Virginia. She’s also charged with misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Sims faces up to five years in prison.
Norfolk Schools refused to comment on the incident because it is a pending investigation. All they said was that in elementary schools electronic devices are prohibited.
All Sims was trying to do was to protect her child. “They aren’t making this about that classroom,” said Sims’ attorney, Kristin Paulding. “There are charges that carry jail time. Instead of comforting her, she’s going to a magistrate and being handcuffed.”
Reactions to this harrowing story were varied…