LITHONIA, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A high school student in Georgia said she was suspended from school for not informing officials of her problems with a bully.
United Press International reports that Essance McDougald was given a suspension after writing a three-page letter to her school counselor about her abusers.
She alleged that two older female students locked her in a bathroom at Lithonia High School after receiving threats from them.
When her grandmother, Cornelius McDougald, tried to intervene, all three students involved allegedly received a two-day suspension.
“If someone tells me they are going to suspend me for seven to 10 days if I am being bullied, I’m not going to that assistant principal and reporting anything,” she told United Press International. “Evidently they are saying everybody is bullying everybody.”
Essance is reportedly fearful of returning to school, and is considering home-schooling with her grandmother as an alternative.
A spokesperson for the school said that trouble between the girls has allegedly been ongoing for months.
“We will continue to have mutual mediations to de-escalate the situation,” the representative told UPI.
The student code of conduct given out by the Dekalb County School District strictly prohibits bullying of any sort.
“A student shall not verbally threaten and/or intimidate teachers, administrators, bus drivers, other school personnel, other students, or persons attending school-related functions, with or without the use of physical contact,” the document states. “[A Student] shall not attempt to hurt any such persons without physical contact; and shall not engage in verbal altercations and/or actions which cause such persons to be in reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm.”
In a bold and underlined font, it continues, “NOTE: Threatening witnesses may result in expulsion.”
Attempts made by CBS Atlanta to reach the Dekalb County School Board were not immediately returned.