• Parent says bullied daughter punished along with girl who attacked her

    By: Erica Byfield


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A frustrated DeKalb County parent said his daughter was bullied and she was punished just as severely as the girl who attacked her.
    Tremayne McMurray's daughter is a 9th-grader at Cedar Grove High School.
    "I'm not going to let this go," he said.
    The father of two spoke to Channel 2’s Erica Byfield.
    McMurray said his daughter endured teasing and taunting from a group of girls.  He added she and he told school leaders about it, they organized mediation sessions, but in April the alleged bullying got physical.
    Byfield asked McMurray if his daughter provoked the attack.
    "No," he responded. "She went into class and a young lady came in and swung at her so she defended herself."
    As a result of the fight the school's principal suspended both girls for 10 days.
    "I appealed and they said 'we'll drop it down to five days'," he told Byfield.
    His daughter served five days and he is not happy about it.  McMurray is now pushing to get his daughter's name cleared.
    "When you are defending yourself you shouldn't be punished for defending yourself," he said.
    A DeKalb County Schools spokesperson told Channel Two Action News parents are encouraged to appeal decisions and student health and safety is a top priority.
    McMurray's appeal is now on the desk of the regional superintendent.
    We also learned school leaders put together a safety plan for McMurray's daughter.
    He told Byfield it is not enough.
    "The principal told me, 'Hey, we can’t guarantee her safety, but we can move her in some other areas'. I told the principal you need to remove these kids from this school, my daughter is not safe, she can't focus," McMurray said.
    A DeKalb County Schools spokesperson, Quinn Hudson, sent Channel Two Action News the following statement:

    “We take seriously the health and safety of our students and work diligently to ensure proper due process protocols and policies are followed when we receive reports of fighting or violence involving students. 

    "The principal of Cedar Grove HS investigated an in-school conflict between two students on April 4, 2014.  Initially, the principal placed both students on suspension for ten days; however, following an appeal by one of the parents, the suspension was reduced on April 15 by the principal to five days for one of the students.  Both students served their suspensions and returned to school.

    "The parent making the initial appeal subsequently requested that the school records of his child be expunged of the fighting charge and suspension.  Upon investigation, the principal decided against changing the student's school records as requested.  The parent was notified that an appeal could be made to the Regional Superintendent.
    “The parent contacted the Regional Superintendent on May 16 and requested expungement. The matter is currently under review. The District's due process protocol allows a parent to appeal student disciplinary decisions to the Regional Superintendent and then to the Deputy Superintendent and, if needed, to the Office of Legal Affairs, then to the Superintendent and, ultimately, the Board of Education.”

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