Huntsville parent removes child from school because of bullying - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville parent removes child from school because of bullying

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A threat against your child in school can drive you to make extreme decisions. That's what happened to one local woman.

The family explained about why anti-bullying programs in schools are so important.

“She got to where she didn't even want to go anymore. At all. She'd wake up in the morning, she'd cry. She didn't even want to go," said Brandy Dumas.

She lives in Huntsville and is a mother of two girls, 8-year-old Val and 5-year-old Lele.

Two years ago, Dumas said Val was a victim of bullying.

"Picking at her and calling her names and not wanting to play with her. She told me sometimes she would hide underneath the slide because she didn't want anyone to mess with her," said Dumas.

"Recess was awful," said Val.

When Val went to the teacher, she said the teacher acted like she didn't care.

"Every time it was just, 'Well, that's OK. It's - recess is almost over,'" said Val.

"I was asking her, 'What's the matter?' and she said everybody hated her," said Dumas.

Dumas took the issue up with the teacher. But Dumas said the teacher did nothing to help. That's when she decided to take Val out of school and out of the situation.

"We go through Alabama Virtual Academy. I decided that was the best thing. She gets to spend time with me and I get to make sure she gets the attention," said Dumas.

Dr. Kenneth Sullivan is a psychologist at the Hearth in Huntsville who speaks with kids who deal with bullying.

"It doesn't help to toughen kids up. It leads kids to notice that when someone is ganging up on them, that no one is brave enough to help them," said Sullivan.

Sullivan and Dumas stressed the importance of anti-bullying programs in schools.

"Know that it's a major issue because it can give a child major self-esteem issues later on in life," said Dumas.

"Encouraging and fostering a good commitment from the schools and school systems to work against bullying. If the main issue is the kids wants to join with the group that is doing it, if we can make a larger group, a group everyone wants to be in, and it doesn't bully, having a culture in the school that it's popular to not bully," said Sullivan.

WAFF 48 News called every district in north Alabama to find out what they do to prevent bullying in their schools. Some districts followed up with information about their programs and training. You can find that information here.

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