Nasir Andrews is only 9 years old but she’s pleading for someone to help stop the racial bullying she’s experiencing in her fourth-grade classroom.
She is not suffering silently.
“I don’t feel like anybody is helping or cares,” Nasir posted in a heartrending video on Facebook. “I want kids and adults to know my story. Bullying is real. It hurts for myself and other kids. Help change the ending.”
Nasir, who is African-American, posted her video after she told reporters that she’s been kicked, punched in the face and choked at her school. She also found a drawing in her cubby shelf depicting bullets being fired from a gun with the words, “die, die, die.”
Nasir says she has been the victim of racial bullying at Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington since September and when school administrators refused to address the bigoted harassment, Nasir said, she decided to share her situation on social media because she couldn’t get anyone in her school to help her. Her video has been viewed more than 17,000 times.
It’s a shame that school officials ignored Nasir’s claims that white students called her “Nutella” and “servant” – references to her skin color and slavery.
“A student called me ‘Nutella’ and I told my after-school teacher, and she said it wasn’t racist and she made me write the definition of ‘racist,’” Nasir told KIRO 7 in Seattle.
Nasir told reporters that school bullies roughed her up, choked her; called her homeless and poor; and some took her snacks and threw it away.
“Everybody in my class does not like me, and I don’t have any friends in my class or in the other fourth-grade classes,” Nasir told the news station.
She also said a school worker – an adult – threw food at her.
What kind of school allows students to prey on an innocent, defenseless 9-year-old girl?
Nasir is not alone. More than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, according to educators who monitor bullying. Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying. 17% of American students report being bullied 2 to 3 times a month or more within a school semester. In one study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month.
Meanwhile, Nasir’s parents, Chantey and Travis Andrew, said they moved to Bellevue from Georgia last summer and they are transferring Nasir to another school in the fall.
“Our fear is there is a culture that has been established at the school where it is almost OK for the children to exercise different forms of treatment and bullying and harassment,” Chantey Andrews told reporters. “And there’s not a conversation being had with them saying, ‘No, this is unacceptable.’”
The school district released a statement about Nasir’s case:
“We are very concerned about the well-being of all of our students. We can assure you that district and central office leaders continue to work with the family to ensure that their daughter and every student at Ardmore is receiving the support they need. The harassment, intimidation and bullying of any student is unacceptable.”
Nasir’s parents told reporters that an internal school investigation concluded that the situation was simply a misunderstanding among “peers.”
That response is inexcusable.
Officials in Washington should investigate school administrators and teachers at Bellevue Elementary School for allowing bullying in their classrooms.
“I think that we need to stop bullying,” Nasir said, “and just know that if you’re doing it, you’re hurting people.”
Powerful words from a young student in pain. Someone in the Bellevue school system needs to help this kid.
What do you think?
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