A South Carolina mother was sent to jail for defending her son… against elementary schoolers?
KTVU reports that Jamie Rathburn was one day seen yelling at a group of third-graders and a teacher at Greenbrier Elementary School. Rathburn had entered the school without permission to confront her son’s bullies.
After the fact, Beth Brotherton, the school district’s director of communications, says that Rathburn admitted to not knowing who exactly her son’s bullies were.
Brotherton then shared that the school knew of several isolated incidents between Jamie’s son and fellow classmates. That said, Brotherton says the school didn’t classify these incidents as bullying as they weren’t “repeated behavior by a specific individual or specific group of people.”
“Maybe in her mind she was going there to confront a bully or a couple of children, but in not knowing who those were and choosing to yell at dozens of innocent kids, there is nothing appropriate about yelling at other people’s children’s in a school setting after you’ve snuck in illegally,” Brotherton said.
But what were these incidents? Jamie says that her son dealt with fellow students insulting him.
“He was told that he was ugly, that he was stupid, nobody cared, and he was called gay, he was cussed out, and when he reported those things he was told to ignore it,” Rathburn told KTVU.
Sadly, insults to the son’s “silly hair” and verbal jabs like calling the son gay for appearing and looking different were just the first step in the son’s mistreatment, according to Rathburn. She says the situation became violent later on in the school year.
According to Jamie, her son started arriving home with scratch marks on his neck and bruises on his body. That’s when she reached out to the principal, but she received no response from the school. Greenville County schools says that if a parent feels school officials aren’t being responsive, they should contact the district. But the district says Rathburn never called.
In response to Rathburn’s allegations, the school district also says these incidents were simply cases of “boys playing rough.” Though, the elementary school did punish one child for pushing Rathburn’s son off a slide. They also insist that no employee called the police on Jamie Rathburn. Instead, it was a Facebook friend that reported her after Rathburn announced her plans online before going to the school.
Now after this incident, Jamie is currently on a no trespassing list for the Greenbrier Elementary School. In addition, her son has been removed from the school, but is being allowed to attend another one within the district.
Jamie Rathburn has since apologized for her behavior but says that she doesn’t regret attempting to address the situation.
“I understand what I did was wrong,” said Rathburn. “Like I said, I don’t condone it. I don’t recommend it. I wish I could change it. I can’t change it though, the only thing I can do is apologize, because that is sincere, and try to push forward and put the spotlight on what the real issues are, and that’s bullying.”