Barnwell mother, daughter speak out against bus bullying

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BARNWELL, S.C. (WRDW) -- Jahnae Jackson, 11, loves to read. Her family describes her as outgoing and she's been excited to celebrate her 12th birthday in just a few days.

But Tuesday's bus ride home left her in tears.

"Somebody yelled, 'Hit her,' and she just started punching me," Jahnae said.

When Jahnae rides the bus, she's dropped in front of her home. On Tuesday, her mom says she came inside crying with a bloody lip and a swollen nose.

"It hurts as a parent to see your child hurt and to know that she did nothing to cause it," said Tamika Hiers, Jahnae's mother.

Tamika and Jahnae have lived in the area for less than two years. She says her daughter never had problems like these before they moved.

In the last year, she says Jahnae has been targeted more than once.

"Several kids involved in jumping on her, hitting her, breaking her glasses," Tamika said.

Tamika says the school and the district have both done a good job responding to every report, and after the last incident in January, there were positive changes.

"I demanded in January for a camera to be on that bus," Tamika explained. "They assured me that it was, and in the meantime, they were going to put an aide on the bus."

But this time, Tamika was told the camera was not working and there was no aide on the bus.

"Every time this happens, I run to the front and she'll like chase me," Jahnae explained. "She'll chase behind me and still hit me [and it's like], there's really no place for me to get away from it."

Tamika was driving her children to and from school, but after losing her job, she says that's no longer an option.

Jahnae says she's just trying to move forward.

"God made everybody different, and I hope to all the bullies that they stop bullying one day," she said.

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