Grandmother: Bullied teen suspended for not reporting bullying

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

LITHONIA, Ga.,None - A Lithonia High School student says she was suspended for two days for not reporting that she was being bullied.

Essance McDougald says she told her grandmother to report it instead, since she told teachers about the threats three weeks ago, but they never stopped.

“There’s supposed to be no bullying at school, but if I do something myself, then they would be like, ‘Oh, she is being bullied.’ Then they are going to do something about it,” Essance said.

Essance says two older girls locked her in the women’s bathroom at school and tried to fight her three weeks ago.

She wrote a three-page letter to her school counselor to report it, but she says the assistant principal gave her a stern warning.

“If someone tells me they are going to suspend me for 7-10 days if I am being bullied, I’m not going to that assistant principal and reporting anything because I don’t want to be suspended from school,” Essance’ grandmother, Cornelius McDougald, said.

 That’s why McDougald stepped in, but Essance says when she did, all of them were punished.

“Evidently they are saying that everybody is bullying everybody,” McDougald told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie.

Essance says when she was called into the assistant principal’s office, she was confronted by the girl constantly threatening her again.

“The girl, when we was walking into the office, she said, ‘I swear for God, if I’m suspended, I’m gonna whoop her (expletive),’” Essance said.

Lucie asked her, ‘So you’re scared?’ Essance replied, “A little bit.”

When Lucie contacted the DeKalb County School District, a spokesman said, “The relationship between this student and another has been going on for some weeks and months now. We’ve had numerous mediations to clear it up, and it’s a mutual dispute between both of them. We will continue to have mutual mediations to de-escalate the situation.”

Essance and her grandmother say there may not be any more mediation. She says she is too scared to go back to Lithonia High School. Her grandmother told Lucie she may start home schooling Essance this week.