Mom Sent Child to School With Recorder, Now Faces Felony

Sarah Sims says Virginia school hadn't addressed bullying concerns around her 9-year-old daughter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2017 10:10 AM CST
Mom Sent Child to School With Recorder, Now Faces Felony
This file photo shows a digital audio recorder in Providence, RI.   (AP Photo/Matt O'Brien)

She says she only wanted to protect her daughter. Sarah Sims now faces the prospect of years behind bars after she sent her daughter to school with a digital audio recorder. Sims tells WAVY she first called and emailed administrators at Ocean View Elementary School in Norfolk, Va., to discuss bullying complaints made by her 9-year-old daughter, who's in fourth grade. When she didn't get a response by late September, Sims says she took matters into her own hands. She hoped the recorder would confirm her daughter's classroom was safe. It was instead confiscated by school administrators, who contacted police. Sims now faces a felony charge of intercepting wire, electronic or oral communications and a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, reports CNN.

Sims' lawyer says she was "shocked" and "appalled" by the charges, arguing the school should've engaged Sims in "a simple conversation" about her concerns. Sims says her daughter had been "kicked in her stomach and hit with a jump rope on the playground" while in third grade. "I removed her from the school because she was refusing to go," Sims notes. "She felt like she wasn't protected." Though the 9-year-old returned to school for the fourth grade, her complaints resumed, Sims says. "I thought [the recorder] would be a good way for me to learn the environment," she says, adding to WAVY: "If I'm not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?" The school and Norfolk police have declined to comment. Sims' daughter has been moved to a new classroom. (An 8-year-old committed suicide after a bullying incident.)

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