HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — A new law will soon go into effect to crack down on bullying in Virginia schools. It will drastically change the timeline of how soon schools have to notify parents.
The goes into effect on July 1st. It will require school boards to enforce a rule that parents be notified within 24 hours of a reported bullying incident. Currently, Virginia Code only requires principals to inform parents within five days of the alleged incident.
News 3’s Leondra Head spoke to Suffolk mom Shareka Robinson, who’s child was bullied in the past.
“This law that’s coming into effect, I hope the school system takes it seriously. Put a stop to it or at least try,” Robinson said.
Robinson says her daughter Morgan was bullied two years ago.
“I ran into the school looking for my baby. It was devastating and heartbreaking,” she said. “When I finally saw her, her clothes were ripped up and her face was beaten up.”
Robinson says her daughter was bullied and attacked by a girl during class at King’s Fork Middle School in Suffolk. The fight was recorded and shared on social media.
Robinson says another adult in her neighborhood notified her.
Morgan was left with bald spots and bruises.
“I remember when my daughter was suicidal from being all over social media to being in her room and shutting out the world. When you have this friendly bubbly child and then she goes into isolation,” Robinson said.
Morgan turned her pain into purpose and started a .
“With my bullying situation, I wanted to reach out to kids. So I made it a clothing brand. Don’t be afraid to speak out. Don’t be afraid to tell somebody,” Morgan said.
Shant’a Miller-White, the president of Parents Against Bullying, believes this law will save more students.
“That 24 hours is very prevalent to be able to jump right on it,” Miller-White said.
She says her daughter was bullied several years ago at their bus stop.
“My twin was attacked by a bully. It turned from bullying to an assault and she was kicked into the head for a total of seven minutes on the school bus,” Miller-White said. “If this was in place with my children, that would have been a blessing for me.”
Carly Gelles, a Portsmouth High School teacher says either teachers or the administration notify parents of bullying.
“Having teachers report within 24 hours prevents any escalation or kids taking things into their own hands,” Carly Gelles, a high school teacher in Portsmouth said.