Middle School Bullying: “Until Something Bad Happens, The School Won’t Stop It”

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(Memphis) A Shelby County mother feels helpless after her daughter said she received death threats from a classmate.

The mother said she told police and the school weeks ago when she found the threats and a suicide note in her daughter's room.

So far, nothing has been done.

"I don't think they care," said Latisha. "She doesn't go to the restroom at school. She's still scared."

Wooten said her 12-year-old started receiving threats on social media in February when she enrolled into the 6th grade at Wooddale Middle and asked about a boy.

"I don't think you need to come to school. We are going to beat you to death. We are going to catch you when you least expect it," said Wooten as she read through some of the messages.

According to the police report, the bullies sent numerous messages on social media saying they were going to kill her with an AK-47.

One message was a picture of a casket.

The report was made on March 5.

Wooten said her daughter stayed home for three weeks and went to counseling.

She said the principal never called to check in on her.

"They are not protecting our children, because if they were, the little girl wouldn't be at school," said Wooten.

Shelby County Schools said it has zero tolerance for bullying, but since this happened online, they've turned it over to MPD. Police said they're still investigating.

Wooten hopes something is done before it's too late.

"Until something happens to her, that's when they are going to get on it, but right now, they don't care," said Wooten.

Wooten is trying to send her daughter to another school, but all the schools nearby don't have room, and transportation is an issue.

Since the threats happened online, criminal charges could be filed.


  • April Valentine

    I understand this concern. My daughter goes to Arlington High School. She is a sophomore. A bullyish-girl that she has never known sent a half naked picture of my daughter around to other kids on campus. This pic was taken by a neutral friend while MY KID WAS CHANGING. Close to 50 people saw the photo or received it by text from the bully. The worst part is her father is a Sergeant with Shelby County Sherriff!! He has obviously done a poor job parenting or his daughter would no better. Anyhow, when my daughter found out about the distribution of the photo by this bully and she punched her. The father (keep in mind a sheriff) is pursuing charges against my kid for simple assault! Can you imagine? Finding out your child did that to someone and then punishing the victim? As a Sheriff?? Im glad my daughter had the physical and emotional strength to deal w this bully brat before she broke my kid down! She will no longer bully my kid!!! We have to teach our children to stand up to this trash! The school won’t do a thing to protect your child until they are dead or shoot a school up in a rage of anger! Then all of the sudden they care. Its sick. Court date coming up – wish us luck!

    • sheila

      I send you prayers. I had a child capable of standing up to bullies too. Got some fall out for his doing so at times. But worth it. BTW capable does not mean enjoyable. Kids would rather NOT have to stand up to bullies.

  • Rebecca Cullum

    But the schools seem to be afraid to do what they need to do for fear of repercussions from parents. I do not know why the school administrators are so afraid of parents.

    • Aha!

      Part of the problem is the fact that school administrators have their hands tied when it comes to student discipline. The school board does not want to suspend or expel students. This directive comes from the school board. During one of my last years of teaching, I was hurt in a fight. To get the two boys out of my class and school, I had to press charges. I HAD to. The school never offered. They were given a 10 day suspension. After I pressed charges a 180 day suspension was given. When I got to court, the kids were just slapped on the wrist and had to do community service. What these kids needed was 3 years in old-fashioned reform school.

  • Realdeal

    The problem is investigative reporting, you can’t go by one side of the story and present it as fact. The other girls involved except one had nothing to do with it, their names were just put in the message. One girl did this and the news paints a picture, along with the mother that it was a group of girls. Whether it one or more, this should not happen and my heart goes out to the family. KIK is for 17 and older, why are these young girls on it, and how can the parents allow the children on KIK and not know it. All this can be avoided if you stay on your children about all the social media they are attracted to. Facebook, myspace, KIK, groupme, instagram, etc… are distracting our children from what they really should be focused on which is school. I wonder what their grades look like, I’m sure no one involved has straight A’s.

  • Hard Truths

    Parents in Memphis seem to be bereft of parenting skills, bereft even of an awareness that they aren’t doing their job as parents.

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