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She Tried to Save Her Daughter from Bullying. Now She’s Facing Felony Charges

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A wave of public condemnation is building after news that a mother is facing felony charges after she put a recorder in her daughter’s backpack in an attempt to get evidence of the bullying the daughter reported. Sarah Sims, feeling a sense of desperation, took her story to a local news agency.

“I tried to be fair, but it’s not fair,” Sarah Sims said after she was charged by police in Norfolk, VA. “There is nothing fair about this.”

In Septemember, her 9-year-old daughter was being bullied at Ocean View Elementary. Sims reported the bullying to the schools, but had no response.

“The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration,” Sims added.

When the bullying went unchecked, Sims put a voice recorder in the fourth grader’s backpack.

“If I’m not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?” she asked.

The recorder got a result. It was found in the backpack. Shortly after, the child was moved to a new classroom, but the police charged Sims.

“I was mortified,” Sims said. “The next thing I know I’m a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I’m trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?”

The Norfolk Schools are not commenting on the matter. They do have a “no electronic devices” policy.

“They aren’t making this about that classroom,” Sims’ attorney Kristin Paulding said. “There are charges that carry jail time.”

“Sims was charged with felony use of device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” 8 News reports. “The felony charge could carry five years in prison.”

“Instead of comforting her she’s going to a magistrate and being handcuffed,” Paulding added.

“We are at the very early stages of this, but, even at the early stages, I think the community needs to know that this is happenin because any parent out there that is sending their child to school now could be at risk for something that happened to Sarah,” Paulding said.

Sims faces her first hearing Jan. 18.