CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A mother says her daughter has been beaten up and bullied for months, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools leaders are refusing to relocate her daughter to another school.
“I’m fighting for everybody,” Evelyn Padilla says. “I'm fighting for everybody in that school.”
Including her 8-year-old daughter Aliviya Plyer.
“I want to go to school where I can learn and be safe,” Aliviya says.
But ever since Aliviya got to Sedgefield Elementary last year, she says she’s been the target of bullies.
“It was happening mostly on a school bus or it was happening in the after school,” Padilla says.
Aliviya says the bullies would often wait until after school or the school bus ride home when there were no teachers watching.
“I try to tell the bus driver. She can't handle it,” Aliviya says. “She's trying to watch the kids and drive at the same time.”
Padilla says her daughter came home crying and having nightmares after being attacked multiple times on the bus. It was so bad, Padilla says, her daughter needed counseling.
“Those small little things start to put chips on these children's shoulders,” Padilla says. “These small little things become bigger later.”
Padilla removed her daughter from the after school program and tried to remove her from the school itself. She penned a hardship letter asking for a transfer. Padilla was denied, and her daughter returned to Sedgefield.
School leaders offered to move the girl’s seat in class or switch her class altogether.
Within days of Aliviya starting third grade, the problems returned.
“There was another little boy who actually punched her in the face,” Padilla says. “He had smacked her first, punched her in the face and they never removed that child.”
Padilla showed NBC Charlotte the pictures of bruises on her daughter’s arms, text messages she exchanged with teachers, and the letters she wrote to school administrators.
A teacher told Padilla in one of the messages that she was trying to resolve the bullying the best she could. The teacher reportedly said she attempted to separate the bully from Aliviya, but once he got on the bus there was nothing she could do.
“[He] got on the bus, went up to her, strangled her, and then hit her,” Padilla says.
She says she immediately called the police and filed a report.
Padilla shared with NBC Charlotte a number of emails she has sent to school administrators asking for sit-down meetings. She says those meetings did not happen.
After the most recent incident, she says she feared for her daughter’s safety.
“She was strangled,” Padilla says. “If it was an adult, he'd be in jail.”
Padilla says she asked the school leaders to remove the bully from the school. When that did not happen, she disenrolled her daughter.
Padilla says she is now facing a new hurdle: when she went down to CMS offices, she says they refused to enroll her daughter in another school. For the last few days, Aliviya has not been attending school. The 8-year-old says she just wants to get back to learning.
“I would feel happy and excited to get to go to a new school because I like school, and then I would get to learn again and I wouldn't have to deal with these kinds of situations,” Aliviya says.
A CMS spokesperson issued the following response to our questions about this incident.
“Reports of bullying at any CMS school are taken very seriously. Any student involved in bullying another student is disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct. Federal student privacy laws prohibit the district from sharing specific information regarding any student, but in all situations school administrators work with all parents to resolve the issue and implement interventions to address the issue.”
Friday afternoon, a CMS spokesperson said they couldn't comment on why they won't transfer Aliviya, but said, "anytime a student is involved in an incident on a school bus or in a classroom, the process is the same... and there is an investigation".
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