Mother Gets Arrested For Confronting Her Child's Bullies

Jamie Rathburn's son was verbally abused and physically assaulted and one day she finally "lost her cool."

Marty Griffin and Wendy Bell
June 12, 2019 - 3:36 am
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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – A South Carolina mother was arrested for going to her son's school and confronting his bullies.

Jamie Rathburn told KDKA Radio’s Wendy Bell on Tuesday afternoon that her nine-year-old son was being bullied endlessly. “When you ask a police officer, they say there will be an investigation,” Rathburn said. “At nine years old, there are no laws that pertain to children, so it’s not like anything was going to happen.”

Rathburn said her son was being verbally abused by other students, including being called  “gay,” as an insult. “He didn’t even know what they word meant, much less why anyone would call him that,” Rathburn said.  “That’s a really uncomfortable conversation to have with your nine-year-old son when you aren’t prepared and that really bothered him.”

The children also made other remarks, which Rathburn said included phrases like “no one cares about you, that’s why they aren’t doing anything, you’re stupid, you’re ugly.”

Rathburn told Wendy that another child physically assaulted her son on the school playground. “He was jerked off a ladder slide backwards by his throat. The kid tried to choke him. There were marks on him from it.”

Teachers and the school principal were supposed to stay in contact with Rathburn regarding the bullying, but she said she only received two emails from them claiming that everything was going fine. “It really wasn’t,” said Rathburn. “The story they were giving me was not the story that my child was giving me.” Rathburn said that school never gave her the option to meet with the parents of the children bullying her son.

Rathburn threatened to file an administrative complaint against the school for their lack of response to the bullying. She said that the school retaliated against her son by separating him from the other students the same afternoon she made the threat. That’s when she told Wendy that she “lost her cool” and went to her son’s school.

“I wasn’t getting any reaction from anybody else, so I felt I was in my right to tell these children that their behavior was wrong and unacceptable,” Rathburn said. “If we needed to talk to their parents about it, meet me outside and let’s do it, because the school wasn’t doing anything about it.”

That incident led to Rathburn’s arrest. Rathburn told Wendy that she would go to court and accept responsibility for her actions. “I do owe those kids, the parents and other staff members an apology for my behavior. It wasn’t okay. If I put myself in their shoes, I would be unhappy with that situation as well. With saying that, I also feel that other parents should be asking more questions.”

Ashley Funyak contributed to this article.

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