The mother of an elementary student facing a felony charge for placing a recorder in her daughter’s backpack to capture a bully on tape, spoke out about the incident on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” Monday.
Sarah Sims of Norfolk, Va., said her 9-year-old daughter was being harassed at Ocean View Elementary, and felt she had to take matters into her own hands when the school ignored her complaints, WAVY reported.
“I’m a full-time student, so I don’t always get the opportunity to be on the premises, and I thought that this would be a good way for me to learn the environment,” Sims told Lemon. “I did not want to just side with my child. I wanted to be fair.”
After the school discovered the recording device in her daughter’s desk, she was switched to a different classroom and her mother was charged a month later.
Sims was hit with a felony charge of using a device to intercept oral communications, and a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She could spend up to five years in jail if convicted.
“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.”
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 18, but Sims’ attorney believes the charges are flimsy and unwarranted. “Instead of comforting her she’s going to a magistrate and being handcuffed,” said Sims’ lawyer Kristin Paulding Monday night.
“I was shocked to see that the school would decide to go to the police department and ultimately charge this mother as opposed to sitting her down and having just a simple conversation,” Paulding concluded.
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