An American mum has been arrested after sneaking in to her son’s school and confronting his classmates about bullying him.
Jamie Rathburn, from South Carolina, US, reportedly entered Greenbrier Elementary School on May 17 during the morning drop-off.
The mother had sent a teacher an email about her son being bullied in December last year, however the child continued to be picked on throughout the school year. After one incident Rathburn’s son was allegedly told by a member of staff to ‘ignore’ the bully and ‘be the bigger man’.
According to USA Today, Rathburn told school administrators she was considering reporting them for not addressing the bullying. In response to her complaints, staff separated her son on the playground so they could watch him more easily.
The following day the mother took matters in to her own hands and decided to talk to the children herself.
Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were made aware of the incident after the frustrated mother posted a six-minute, 44-second ‘video rant’ on Facebook, in which she admitted she ‘snuck into the school and confronted kids that she estimated to be 9 years old’.
Rathburn wasn’t sure which child she was looking for but wanted them to know ‘she was not playing around and that they better stop messing with her kid’. In the since-deleted video she also described herself as a ‘class mum’, meaning those at the school knew her from bringing in supplies for events.
A deputy assessed the school’s security footage and watched Rathburn enter the school without signing in, despite signs encouraging her to do so. She walked towards her son’s classroom where students were lined up in the hall, waiting for their lessons to begin.
Although the video had no audio, the deputy watched the mother ‘lift her finger in a pointing manner and circle around as if making sure all the kids heard her and were listening’.
Written statements from teachers who witnessed the incident described how the suspect was ‘pointing her finger at the kids and getting in their faces’ and yelling about how she was going to find the child who had been bulling her son.
Another teacher said he took Rathburn into his classroom but she stormed out before administrators could get there.
The mother was arrested three days after the incident, when she was charged with disturbing schools and booked into the Greenville County Detention Center.
According to USA Today the mother said she was ‘ashamed’ of herself for the way she behaved.
South Carolina mom arrested after confronting classmates who allegedly bullied her son pic.twitter.com/nwPSyW7qmh
— Sauce Carolina 🌙🌴 (@SauceCarolina) June 11, 2019
I am absolutely ashamed of myself for the actions of walking up into that school.
You know, I owe the parents, the children and the staff an apology for that. Absolutely, it was wrong. But honestly, I don’t know how I could have gotten my message across any other way.
The mother was released from the detention centre on bond but has been placed on a trespass notice for all Greenville County schools, meaning she isn’t allowed on school property.
I can’t go eat lunch with my children. I can’t watch them on field day. As class mom, that’s devastating.
Beth Brotherton, director of communications for Greenville County Schools, explained Greenbrier has added a second staff member to work 10 feet back from the front doors in order to catch parents who may need to sign in.
Rathburn’s next court date is set for June 18. She has since set up a GoFundMe page to help cover her legal costs.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.