A South Carolina mother was arrested last month after she confronted her son’s elementary school bullies who physically and verbally tormented him for over a year.
Jamie Rathburn told CNN that she regrets breaking the law, but doesn’t regret standing up for her child who was called “gay” and “stupid” and would come home with bruises and scratch marks on his neck.
“I don’t regret standing up for my child one bit,” she says. “I regret the way I did it.”
After endless emails and meetings with faculty and administrators at Greenbrier Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina school failed to stop the bullying, Rathburn decided to take matters into her own hands.
The final straw for Rathburn came when administrators were forced to separate her son from other students for his protection. She said a teacher had to follow her son anywhere he went, including lunch and the playground.
Rathburn says that’s when she lost her “cool card.”
“I walked right in that school [and] told those children that bullying wasn’t okay,” she told CNN. “If they wanted to continue then I needed to talk to their mommas because the school wasn’t doing anything.”
She says she also cursed out her son’s third-grade teacher and the principal, according to a police report obtained by CNN.
“The appropriate reaction to unhappiness with a school response is to have a conversation with the adults in charge,” district communications director Elizabeth Brotherton told CNN in an email. “Ms. Rathburn did not enter the school and confront a specific bully or bullies, she yelled at and threatened dozens of eight and nine-year-old boys and girls because she didn’t know who she was looking for.”
Brotherton says the school was aware of the bullying accusations and that teacher and school administrators had met with Rathburn. The teacher was sending Rathburn regular updates about her son, and keeping a close eye on him as well as those accused of bullying, Brotherton said.
The school district says they were unwilling to release how the alleged bully was being punished, as it would have violated another family’s privacy. That, according to Brotherton, was one of Rathburn’s frustrations.
Four days after the incident, Rathburn was arrested and booked into Greenville County jail on a charge of nonstudent interfering, disrupting or disturbing schools.
Police say they became aware of the confrontation thanks to a Facebook video that Rathburn posted, and then deleted, after the incident.
Rathburn was issued a no trespass order that bars her from for all Greenville County schools because she illegally entered the school.
“I do owe the staff, parents and students an apology — absolutely,” Rathburn says. “My actions were wrong whether it was for the right reason or not. Putting myself in their shoes, I can understand how anyone would be upset.”