PWCS Responds to Brentsville Viral Video of Alleged Bullying Incident

| October 13, 2017 | 0 Comments | Education

Photo of Brentsville District High School girl who had pencils thrown in her hair.

Prince William School administrators have responded publicly to what many are calling a bullying incident at Brentsville District High School in Nokesville that went viral via an internet video.

In the video, recorded Sept. 22, a white 9th grade girl is throwing pencils into an African American girl’s hair in her class. She is trying to get the pencils to stick and laughing.

The incident recorded on a smart phone was shared again and again on social media.

However, while the girl throwing the pencils intended the video to be funny, after being shared by teens, it was shared among adults in the community. Most who commented found it to be an unfortunate and poignant example of bullying and likely racial intolerance as well.

The victim’s mom, Ms. Taylor, made statements, saying the incident had happened before, and that her daughter was only wearing her hair naturally.

When Ms. Taylor became aware of the video, she contacted the school. However, after feeling that the student were not sufficiently disciplined for her actions, she and her husband hired an attorney.

In response, the other girl also hired an attorney, who claims the actions were not racially motivated nor bullying.

Prince William County Schools issued a statement about the incident:

In reference to the incident, it is deeply concerning. Cultural diversity is respected and celebrated in PWCS. This behavior is not condoned in any way and the PWCS “Code of Behavior” attests to that. In light of the fact that student privacy must be protected, administrators are not at liberty to speak directly to the issue of how the school addressed this incident. There is not any way to present both sides publicly. Additionally, discipline issues are confidential and cannot be discussed.

Racial discrimination is protected by the schools nondiscrimination policy.

Recently, Brentsville District High School Principal Katherine Meints addressed the incident on the schools website.

Dear Brentsville Parents/Guardians: I wish to express my deepest regret to Brentsville community in relation to the following: Our administration is aware of a classroom incident involving student behavior, which included the posting of a video. The incident was reported to administration and investigated. We continue to address the concerns of those involved. We work every day to achieve high standards of behavior from our students and staff. When this expectation is not met, we take it seriously.

We are working to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. This process includes communications directly with the parents. The process also includes not sharing any student’s disciplinary consequences publicly.

We will continue to remind students that acting out inappropriately in school or at school events is a violation of the Prince William County Public Schools “Code of Behavior.” We appreciate your help in reinforcing this message. Students play a key role in creating a welcoming environment where all students can focus on their education. We continue to ask that any student who is aware of violations of the Code report such violations to teachers or administrators immediately.

It is important to all that Brentsville District High School be a good place to learn and grow.

Bullying in Prince William County Schools has been an issue that parents are very concerned about especially because many believe that some bullying incidents have contributed to in victims taking their own lives.

Many Prince William County Schools have incorporated various anti-bullying programs. Last June, the school year extended its anti-discrimination policy to include LGBTQ students.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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