12 On Your Side: Bullies send 14-year-old to ER; mother blames school

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, April 26, 2012

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. -- A middle school student ended up in the emergency room after two students attacked her on school property earlier this month.

Linda Brown says her daughter started intentionally missing her school bus to avoid school bullies last month.

"I took her to school and said, 'You tell the principal that some girls want to jump you,'" she said.

Ottavia Brown is a seventh grader at Morgan Road Middle School. She says a group of girls began picking on her last year. Her mother told her to talk to the principal about her concern on April 10. The teen says the principal did not have time to talk to her and referred her to a coach. She says the coach told her she could not fight or she would be suspended. Three days after she went to the principal, she was attacked.

On April 13, Ottavia says she was walking home when some girls began following her. Cellphone video shows them coming up behind her and hitting her. Two middle school girls throw punches, push her to the ground, drag her by her hair and kick her in her head.

The teen ended up in the emergency room with a concussion.

"It's just a hurting feeling to see two children beating on her like she is some kind of dog or something," said Linda Brown after watching the video.

Brown spends everyday at dialysis clinics, but she still tries to protect her daughter. She relies on school officials to do the same when Ottavia is at school.

"She failed to protect my child," Brown said.

Mrs. Brown is furious, not just at the bullies attacking her daughter, but also with the school principal.

"I feel she failed to protect my child. My child went and told her. A teacher took her to her and she didn't have time for her and brushed her off," she said.

School officials say the middle school principal did follow protocol by sending Ottavia to a coach who is trained as an intervention specialist. School officials say she went to principal about concerns with other girls -- not the ones in the video.

Ottavia says the girls she tried to talk to the principal about are friends with the ones that attacked her.

"As a parent and as a law enforcement officer, it's something we don't want to see and that's why we dealt with it quickly and appropriately," said Chief Pay Clayton with Richmond County Schools Public Safety.

He says the two teens in the video are now charged with assault and face ten days suspension.

Ottavia still worries but not just about herself.

"I'm not the only one they pick on," she said.

12 On Your Side tried for two days to contact Richmond County school board members to find out how they are handling this situation.

Barbara Pulliam who represents the Morgan Road Middle School district told us she did not have time to talk about the incident because she was planning a fish fry. She did not return our calls the following day.

We also spoke with board member Venus Cain who was contacted by Ottavia's mom last week and represents the at-large district.
She told News 12 she didn't have all the facts to comment about the attack.

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