The mother of a 14-year-old Iowa girl is being charged with assault after confronting her daughter’s bully.
Alisha Morton says her daughter Morgan was being bullied relentlessly at school and the district administration was repeatedly made aware of the problem but failed to address it, Yahoo Parenting reports.
The bullying was so severe that the teen told her mom she wanted to die.
“For my child to come home and tell me that she wants to die because this child is still doing something that I’ve confronted the school and superintendent about, that kills me inside,” Morton told news station WHO-HD.
So on Jan. 11, Morton and her daughter confronted the bully – an eighth grade boy – but another student reportedly got involved in response, telling the mom, “I’m going to beat your a**. Get the hell out of here.”
Morton apparently put an arm out to block the threatening ninth-grade girl, but then the girl tried to punch Morton, Yahoo Parenting reports. Morgan then got involved, grabbing the teenage girl’s hands and saying, “You’re not going to hit my mom.”
The mother was ultimately charged with assault for “admittedly shoving (the student) during a verbal altercation,” according to WHO-HD.
The Ankeny Community School District initially declined to comment to the news station but later issued the following statement:
“It is Ankeny’s policy to investigate and work to eliminate bullying and harassing conduct between students, including steps to minimize interaction between alleged harassers and victims. We work hard to change conduct that shames or demeans any of our students. We understand that both students and parents get frustrated by violations of these standards. But physical confrontations between parents and students are completely inappropriate, do not contribute to safe schools, and will not be tolerated.”
It doesn’t sound like Morton was intending to get into a physical confrontation with a student, though, and it’s unclear what district officials expected this mother to do instead. She might have more aggressively pushed the school for a resolution or even asked police to get involved, but it’s possible she already tried those options. A parent shouldn’t be expected to stand idly by while their child is bullied so badly that they want to die.
Regardless of what happened during the confrontation, the mother shouldn’t have needed to resort to approaching the bully herself to begin with.
It seems an all-too-common occurrence in today’s schools where bullying is not adequately addressed. Depression among teens is serious and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that kids who are bullied are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, health complaints and decreased academic achievement.
Schools like this need more effective consequences for bullying behaviors and a better system to ensure students’ reports of bullying are addressed. In the meantime, this district should be held responsible for any legal fees Morton faces and for any counseling Morgan may need due to the bullying she’s had to endure.
Morton was right to be seriously concerned about her daughter and the bullying she was facing at school on a regular basis. Why wasn’t the school district doing more?
What would you have done in this situation? Tell us in the comments.
Photo courtesy Yahoo Parenting