JACKSONVILLE, FL — Erica Prince, 37, has a daughter in the Bridge to Success program at Matthew Gilbert Middle School.
“The only reason she is in the program is to get promoted to the right grade,” said Prince. “but I can’t keep sending her to school to keep getting beat up.”
Prince is tired of her child being bullied; the latest incident was Tuesday during the lunch hour in the cafeteria.
“That was not a fight,” she said. “That was an attack.”
And it was captured on cellphone, like many are these days, and posted in social media.
“It made me cry,” said Prince. “I couldn’t watch the whole video.”
The video is only 14 seconds long, but long enough to make her angry and to remind Sierra Prince of her environment. Prince is an ESE student in the eighth grade.
“I’m a good student,” she said. “I have my moments sometime, but I’m a good student.”
Prince,16, said bullying has been her biggest challenge all school year.
“They try to cut my hair, they throw stuff at me,” Sierra said. “They also try to push me down the stairs.”
She said it may not seem like a big deal to some, but to her it is too much. She told her mother she is ready to call it quits.
“I told her I want to kill myself because this is everyday,” said Prince.
Is it really that bad that it would drive a teenager to suicidal thoughts? She said it is that bad.
“There is a lot going on and I don’t want to go through that everyday,” she said.
Her mother is very concerned and is trying to save her daughter from the horrors of middle school bullying.
“I made countless reports to the bully hotline and they do nothing,” said Erica Prince.
The mother of four agrees that the middle school years can be challenging for students but she said that is no excuse for bullying.
“I want my daughter to be able to go to school without being attacked, without being threatened,” she said.
Prince wants the school district to do something; her daughter was sent home pending an investigation.
“They even bully her online,” said Prince. “What parent sends their child to school for this?”
Tia Ford, spokesperson for the Duval County School Board said the school administration has investigated the case and issued this statement:
“The school has conducted its investigation regarding this incident and is disciplining all students involved. Fighting is a major offense and a violation of the district’s Student Code of Conduct. Any student engaged in this behavior, and those who videotape, are disciplined for these violations.”
Ford said this so far this school year only 93 complaints have been reported to the bullying hotline, which is 390-CALL (2255).
This is the monthly breakdown of reports: