Tulsa Student Bullied At After School Program
TULSA, Oklahoma - It was Wednesday night that Deneka Wells said she first noticed her 'daughter was bullied' and her hair cut.
She contacted her daughter's school, Walt Whitman Elementary, and directors for the after-school program Youth at Heart.
"I empathize with her when she told me about what allegedly had taken place," said director of program management for Youth at Heart Rodney Gray.
Gray says he immediately began an investigation.
"If it did happen, we are concerned and we want to take the proper steps," stated Gray.
Gray says he spoke with the girl and could see something had happened to her hair.
"It was a weave and one of the braids was a little bit smaller than the other," he said.
After speaking with the family, Youth at Heart leaders also got a statement from a teacher that oversees the after-school program and spoke with the student that is being accused of cutting the girl's hair.
"Obviously, this is traumatic for them,” said Gray. “It's something that we don't like happening to any of our kids."
Youth at Heart is offered at four elementaries within Tulsa Public Schools. One hundred students, ages five to 12 attend the program at Walt Whitman.
"Something to give them something positive and constructive to do, as well as to help the parents," Gray stated.
Gray said he applauds the girl and family for speaking up and hopes that anyone else that feels like a victim of bullying knows there are people willing and wanting to help.
"Hopefully, from this, somebody who maybe bullied in another situation, they can know that there is a community out there that is concerned," he said.
While TPS is not directly involved with the after-school program, News On 6 reporter Marty Kasper was told the principal spoke with the mother and daughter and encouraged them to immediately report any type of bullying to the principal.
Youth at Heart and the family will meet next week to discuss the investigation and find a resolution.