Parents Claim Muskogee District Not Doing Enough To Stop Bullying
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - Parents are saying Muskogee Public Schools isn't doing enough to protect their kids from bullying.
Cell phone video of a fight at Alice Robertson Middle School in Muskogee shows several girls start punching eighth grader Alaiyah Armstrong.
"That is when the first girl, that's when she hit me, and then everybody else jumped in," Alaiyah said. "A lot of people were surrounding me and it felt like I couldn't breathe at all."
Alaiyah says the name calling started in seventh grade, but by eighth grade, the physical bullying got so bad Alaiyah's mom told her she needed to start fighting back.
Alaiyah got suspended for 10 days from school and said when she got back the bullying started again, leading to the most recent fight that students recorded.
"One day I was just thinking about taking my life, but, I mean, it's not worth it because, like, I just think about my family," she said.
Alaiyah's mom, LaTonya Alexander, says the girls who she said punched her daughter were back at school within days.
While the bullying hasn't been physically violent since the video, Alexander said the emotional bullying continues.
“It's been really tough. It just seems like I am constantly at the school, having to make phone calls to the school to see what is going on, or even getting text messages that something is going on or somebody is bothering her," Alexander said. "What she goes through at school comes home with her."
Alexander said the school has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying, but, she said that it’s not being enforced strictly enough.
The parent of another child in the video who witnessed the fight also said bullying is a problem at the school.
"Just to be able to go to school and not have to worry about anybody bullying her, touching her, just really being in her personal space where she can just be her, and go to school to do what she needs to do, that's all I want," Alexander said.
We reached out to the district for a comment, which told us the appropriate disciplinary action was taken.
The district also said, "The safety and well-being of all students and staff at Muskogee Public Schools is one of the administration’s top priorities. We work diligently to create an environment where students and staff feel comfortable enough to share their concerns.”