A Virginia mother was charged by police for putting a recording device in her daughter’s backpack to catch bullying, WAVY reports.
“I tried to be fair, but it’s not fair,” Sarah Sims told the station. “There is nothing fair about this.”
Sims said that in September she was fed up with her 9-year-old daughter being bullied at Ocean View Elementary School in Norfolk. She tried to reach out to the school but her calls and emails were unreturned.
“The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration,” Sims said.
Sims decided to put a recording device in her daughter’s backpack to catch the audio inside the classroom.
“If I’m not getting an answer from you what am I left to do?” she asked.
The recorder was found, her daughter was transferred to another class, and a month later police charged Sims with a felony.
“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?”
“They aren’t making this about that classroom,” added Sims’ lawyer Kristin Paulding. “There are charges that carry jail time.”
Sims is charged with felony use of a device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
She could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the felony charge.
“Instead of comforting her she’s going to a magistrate and being handcuffed,” Paulding said.
“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 happening, because any parent out there that is sending their child to school now could be at risk for something that happened to Sarah,” she added.