Mother seeking policy changes after bullying incident

Local News

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (localmemphis.com)- A mother said she had no choice but to pull her daughter out of Southaven High School after a violent fight erupted with a bully.

She wishes to remain anonymous for her daughters safety, but she wants to share their story to hopefully create policy change.

“I’m at work and I get a call from the Southaven Police Department telling me to come pick up my daughter and that she’s been in an altercation,” said the mother.

Her daughter was just blocks away from Southaven High School when she said a girl who had been bullying her daughter was “waiting on her at the end of the street to walk up.”

The fight was caught on video by another student and was shared with the victim’s mother.

After police were called by a nearby neighbor, the mother found her daughter with her mouth covered in blood. The neighbor told the mom what she witnessed.

“This girl was beating her head on the ground and while I was standing there talking to the lady my daughter faints,” the mother said.

 Her daughter was brought to Baptist Memorial Hospital in DeSoto as they tried to revive her. After hours went by, she was then brought to the trauma center at Regional One where she was revived. 

She immediately pleaded with DeSoto County Schools to have her daughter transferred to DeSoto Central High School to get away from the bully. The answer was “no.” 

“She’s a sweet girl,” the mother said. “Typical teenager growing up trying to figure out who she is.”

In the video, the victim throws the first punch in self-defense and the mother said the school district said that was unacceptable. She said after numerous meetings with Southaven High School administrators, they put in place an intervention tactic to separate the two girls.

However, the mother said the taunting did not stop from the bully. 

“You all are setting up counseling for my daughter but we need to figure out what’s wrong with this little girl because to the extent of the fight that was anger and hatred,” the mother said. 

When the girl returned to Southaven High School for her junior year, not even a week into school, the bully and the victim got into a fight in the hallway. After this, the mother said she pulled her daughter out of the school, moved across town, and enrolled her into DeSoto Central. 

“I feel like her getting away with it and getting a slap on the wrist that’s not going to make it any easier for her in dealing with situations like that because there is always someone bigger and badder,” said the mother.

 She said her daughter has been at DeSoto Central High School for the past three weeks and said she has been better. However, she said the school district needs to change it’s bullying policies, bring parents from both sides to the table, and figure out why bullying is a problem. 

Local 24 News reached to DeSoto County Schools about what it has done for bullying prevention in the past month. The response is below:

“Specifically during the month of October, each school participated in two national campaigns to raise awareness about bullying prevention. World Day of Bullying Prevention happens during the first week of October and Pacer’s Unity Day happens around the third week. Our students participated in many different activities that promote kindness, unity, and respect toward all. We invited guest speakers to motivate our students and we used law enforcement to build trust and work with our students on making the right decision. Red Ribbon Week was tied into many of our activities to promote good choices. Students were encouraged to stand up for one another and report incidents of bad behavior. “

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