17 Bullies – An Elementary School that Failed a Child

bullies17 Bullies – An Elementary School that Failed a Child


Je’von was a happy young 10-year-old boy who enjoyed playing video games and playing with friends. Like any other 10-year-old, he loved having fun, laughing and doing what kids do. He even liked going to school. But, in October of 2016 things dramatically changed for him.

My son attended the same school for six years and I never heard anything but great reviews about the school. If I had written a review it would have been glowing, as well. But, my opinion has since changed.

Bullying Defined

The county’s definition of bullying, harassment or intimidation is, “An intentional, unwanted, or unprovoked repeated behavior that is meant to hurt or harm another student whether it is physical, verbal, written or social.” After hearing Je’von’s story, training is definitely needed at Berry Elementary.

The Bullies Start

Je’von moved to Maryland in late 2016. Around that time, he started attending elementary school. After hearing this young man’s story, I decided to research his school on GreatSchools.com. I found several glowing reviews about the school. But, there were some reviews that showed there were problems at the school; though, none rose to the level of what Je’von experienced. However, they did relate to the treatment of children by the teachers.

Shortly after starting school, Je’von began to tell his mother he was being bullied. Je’von’s mother, Virginia Wiggins, contacted the teacher to find out what was wrong. Je’von teacher, informed her that she would take care of the situation. She stated she would talk to the students to make sure they do not bother Je’von. His teacher did talk to the class on one occasion but, the bullying continued.

After more evening conversations, Virginia decided to write Je’von’s teacher using Class Dojo. Class Dojo is a system that connects teachers, parents, and students in the classroom together. This system allows parents and teachers to communicate on the child’s education.

A Few Months Later

After a few more months of back and forth between mother and teacher, the problem not only persisted, it worsened. To resolve the problem, Virginia visited the school onbullies three occasions. By the third visit, Je’von started to withdraw and exhibit symptoms of depression. He began sleeping a lot and having migraine headaches. He hated going to school.

The teacher’s resolution was for Je’von to change seats in the classroom and speak up to the other kids at recess. She specifically told him not to speak up to them on her time. On one occasion, Virginia purchased Je’von a pair of Jordans because the kids teased him about his shoes. Je’von was happy and excited to wear them to school. The kids tricked him into going outside and intentionally threw mud on his shoes as well as trying to step on them. When Je’von told his teacher what happened, she commented, “Je’von just move your feet”. Is this the type of help that a teacher is supposed to provide to a child in need?

Depression Sets In

On one occasion Je’von asked a classmate, “Will you go to Hell for suicide?” Shortly after that Je’von told his mother, “I feel like I’m dying.” This angered Virginia. Any mother would be angered that her child displayed symptoms of depression as a result of bullying.

Higher Authorities

Having had enough, Virginia decided to take her case to higher authorities. She went to the school for the fourth time and demanded to see the principal. Instead, the staff directed her to the vice principal. It seemed this was a blockade but it turned out to be the best thing for the situation.

Virginia consulted with the vice principal and she immediately took action to rescue Je’von. She called all the kids into the office that Je’von named. It turned out to be 17 kids!

The Bullies Admit to it

Each one of the kids admitted they bullied Je’von. The vice principal made each one of them write a letter apologizing to Je’von and she sent home letters to the parents informing them of the situation. She also went into the classroom and talked to the students as a group.

A few weeks later, vice principal left the school. This was unfortunate because Je’von’s heroine was no longer there to help him. Soon after her departure, the bullying began again. Je’von even admitted that now his teacher was yelling at him in class. Again, I reiterate my question, “Is this the type of person that should be teaching children?”

Alone at School Again
Despite it all Je’von made it through!

Je’von had no one to turn to at school. The counselor at Berry didn’t know anything about the bullying. She was told by Virginia in April…six months later. Shouldn’t she have been involved the first time Je’von mentioned it to the teacher? Shouldn’t the principal have been involved the first time he reported it? Does this school take bullying seriously? This should make you question the leadership and process there.

Je’von’s bullying continued and culminated with a fight with one of the students on the bus ride home. The bus driver was a substitute that day and did nothing to stop the fight. Everyone associated with the school and county let this child down.


What I find atrocious is that the teacher didn’t see over half her class bullying this one child. What’s worst is if she did, why she didn’t take action?

The schools’ website says, “… does not condone or allow bullying, harassment or intimidation in any form towards another student.” I’m guessing this school missed that memo. It seems none of the staff there except the vice principal, got involved enough to shut this down. Instead, they made excuses and tried to place the blame on Je’von.

While at school, we expect the adults supervising our children to protect them and keep them safe. Our children expect those over them to be there when they need help. After four months at school, Je’von no longer trusted any adult there. It’s only because of God that he didn’t take his own life. My only hope is that this school and county get it together. I pray that no other child will have to suffer what this young man suffered.