Mom wants SCS to change way it handles bullying - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Mom wants SCS to change way it handles bullying

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A mother of a Shelby County Schools student is pushing for the district to become more lenient on its requirements for security transfers after she claims her daughter was bullied at school.

After more than a full month into the new year, and 2014 has not brought Melissa Hinson the answers she hoped to find for her teenage daughter, who she says was bullied at a county school.

READ: Shelby County Schools Bullying policy, reporting procedures

"For her to come home and just completely break down or call me from the bathroom or text me, saying they're going to jump me in the gym today," Hinson said. "That's a very legitimate fear for a little girl."
 
Hinson's daughter attends Dexter Middle School. She says her request for a security transfer, which would have allowed her to take her child to another school, was denied.  

Hinson is not only disappointed with the response she got from the school district, but is confused with the process SCS uses when it's investigating bullying-claims for security transfers, requiring students to continue attending classes, where the alleged 'bullies' are also going to school.  

"So, the policy is, when you're going through a safety transfer, to continue putting them in the harmful situation you're trying to get them out of," she said.

But Hinson did not feel comfortable sending her daughter to school while SCS investigated her claims, so she kept her out of school,  which means Hinson could now face legal troubles.

"It had been 15 days," Hinson said. "The school called and said they were going to report my daughter as truant."

FOX13 News contacted SCS, asking about Hinson's case. While the district could not go into specific details about its investigation, a spokesperson released a statement, reading in part: "Shelby County Schools takes any allegations of bullying or harassment very seriously. When these accusations were brought to the attention of the staff at Dexter Middle School, an investigation immediately took place. After a careful review of the allegations and supporting documents by the district, there was not enough evidence to substantiate any claims of bullying."

Hinson disagrees with the district's findings and is frustrated because she can't enroll her daughter in a home-school program, or any other school as she's now considered, truant.   

"It's just a simple thing," Hinson said. "She just wants to go to school and just be able to go."

Hinson says she's not giving up. She'll continue to press the district. In the meantime, SCS officials said they encourage parents with any concerns about their child's safety to first contact the principal.

Additional assistance is available through the district's regional offices.

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