Sarah Sims was charged with a felony after she placed a recording device in her child’s backpack to gather evidence of her child being bullied at Ocean View Elementary in Norfolk, Virginia.
Sims told WAVY that she repeatedly called and emailed the school about her 4th grade daughter being bullied back in September, but the school didn’t respond:
The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration. If I’m not getting an answer from you what am I left to do?
Sims put a digital recorder in her daughter’s backpack to record audio of the bullying inside the school.
However, the recorded was found by the school staff, the girl was moved to a new classroom and Sims was charged by police:
I was mortified. 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?
Norfolk Schools refused to comment, but WAVY was told that no electronic devices are allowed.
Sims’ attorney Kristin Paulding stated:
They aren’t making this about that classroom. There are charges that carry jail time. Instead of comforting her she’s going to a magistrate and being handcuffed.
Sims was charged with felony use of device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Sims could go to jail for five years.
Paulding added that neither charge should hold up in court:
We are at the very early stages of this, but even at the early stages I think the community needs to know that this is happening, because any parent out there that is sending their child to school now could be at risk for something that happened to Sarah.