EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSKanawha County Mother Says 11-Year-Old Victim Of Bullying
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Katelyn Sykes
Reported: Oct. 8, 2013 12:13 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 9, 2013 9:21 AM EDT
Cedar Grove , Kanawha County , West Virginia
It is something a parent never wants to face.
You send you child to school in the morning only to have her come home in tears saying she never wants to go back because she is being bullied.
An 11-year-old Kanawha County girl said that is exactly what is happening to her.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Eyewitness News wants to bring awareness to a problem for thousands of students across the country. For Hailey Kennedy, being a sixth grade student at Cedar Grove Middle School isn't easy. For the past two years, she said she has been bullied. She said a group of girls put her down and make fun of her just about every day.
"Kids are talking about me and saying that I'm ugly and I'm too skinny and I don't belong in this world and I should go die and stuff," Hailey said.
The girl's mother, Tracy, said her daughter would come home from school crying. She said Hailey would lock herself in her bedroom and talked about suicide.
"It breaks my heart," Tracy said. "I just don't understand how children who are so small can be so mean. And the stuff that they say to her, I'm having to explain things to her, names, that I shouldn't even have to be explaining to her."
At one point Tracy said it even got physical and Hailey was attacked. She filed a police report and has asked for that student to be removed from her class. Tracy said she went down to the school to plead with administrators for help.
"My daughter has went around saying she's ugly, she wants to die, she has no friends, and I'm like, 'Baby, you're not ugly,' " Tracy said.
She said her daughter told her the children are always picking on her and nobody wants to listen
"That's why I keep fighting and going down there and keep begging and pleading," Tracy said.
Tracy said she encouraged her daughter to stand up to the bullies.
Hailey said she just wants "to tell them to leave me alone and stop messing with me."
So she did.
But Tracy said that resulted in two in-school suspensions and most recently, Hailey was suspended for three days for a death threat. Tracy said a girl told Hailey she was going to kill her and Hailey said she was going to kill the girl, too.
"Bless her heart, even though she's gotten in trouble now for standing up and just yelling and telling them to stop, leave me alone, I'm proud of her," Tracy said. "I've never been so proud of my daughter in all of my life."
Cedar Grove Middle School Vice Principal Kevin Lilly said he can't talk specifically about this case but said there is a zero tolerance policy for bullying. The school follows Kanawha County's policy on bullying, harassment and intimidation and each case is handled differently. If evidence proves bullying exists, punishment can vary from in-school suspensions to expulsion.
Tracy said the school was able to move her daughter out of the classes where she was being bullied.
"I'm her parent and there's not going to be no one to tell me I can't fight her battles when she's trying and nobody is helping her," Tracy said.
It's heartache a mother and a young girl said they are enduring all at the hands of a bully.
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