Mother says school district hasn’t done enough to protect daughter from bullying

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - A north St. Louis County mother is outraged with a school where she claims bullies beat up her daughter leaving her with scars. She said it isn't the first time her daughter was assaulted at Barack Obama Elementary School.

The Normandy School District said it's aware of the mother's complaints, but she says it's not enough as she is scared to send her daughter back to school.

"And I went up to her and said, 'Can you just please stop hitting my sister and bullying her,'" said Jerrica Bradford.

That was the plea from the fourth-grader when a classmate at Barack Obama Elementary School allegedly pushed her little sister against the wall inside of the school's cafeteria.

"Some of the kids had to break us up because the teacher was taking too long to walk over there and the teacher saw her hit me in the back of the head," Jerrica said.

Colleen Bradford, Jerrica's mom, said this isn't the first time her daughter has been a target of bullying.

"Two weeks ago, they got mad because they said she didn't deserve recess, but the teacher gave her recess so they started targeting her; like 12 different girls started targeting her," Colleen said.

The district said counselors and teachers were made aware of that particular incident and that the students involved in the incident wrote a letter of apology to Jerrica.

"How is this even happening in an elementary school?" Colleen said. "Whatever the case is, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense at all. It just killed me."

A district representative said the school principal has spoken with the mom and is meeting with her next week.

"I don't want to go back to that school," Jerrica said. "I'm scared I'm gonna get beaten up again."

The district released the following statement regarding Ms. Bradford's story.

"Student safety is a top priority for the Normandy Schools Collaborative. Anytime a student believes or a parent feels their child may be involved in a bullying situation or other conflict, please contact a teacher, principal or school counselor immediately. We have resources as well as systems and strategies to help students resolve their conflicts in a positive and productive manner. By working together with students and parents, our teachers and staff can help ensure the school is a safe place for learning and growth.

"Because of student privacy laws, we are unable to provide specific details about this particular situation. The students involved in this matter were disciplined according to our Student Code of Conduct."

- Normandy Schools Collaborative