Exclusive: 3rd grader says bullying forced her to walk away from school by herself
AURORA, Colo. — An 8-year-old girl in Aurora walked off of her school playground this week after she says she was bullied repeatedly by older kids.
Onesty Meriwether is in the 3rd grade at Side Creek Elementary School. She says the bullying has been going on for at least a year and it’s the same group of 4th graders calling her names and singing songs about her.
She says one of the girls even slapped her. Her Mom, Audra was very upset by what happened this week. “When she came home this year telling me about the song, that’s when I decided it was too much.”
On Tuesday, Onesty did what she has been told to do, she walked away. Only walking away wasn’t just across the playground.
Onesty walked off the playground and down the street. She walked more than a quarter of a mile from school and was picked up by the school secretary at a nearby Walgreens.
Her Mom Audrea says, “As a mom, a million things went through my head. She could have been kidnapped, she could have been hit by a car crossing those busy streets.”
The school’s principal says that Onesty was never alone and the Aurora Public School district sent us the following statement:
“Aurora Public Schools takes this matter very seriously. We would not allow a student to leave campus unsupervised during the school day. If a student attempted to leave school, a staff member would follow the student.”
But Onesty says she walked off freely and no one followed her.
In regards to bullying, the school district sent us this statement:
“Bullying is not tolerated in any form in Aurora Public Schools. The APS Bully Prevention Campaign is a systematic, district-wide process for dealing with bullying at school sites. More information is available at http://equity.aurorak12.org/pbis/bully-prevention/. This site includes resources for students, parents and staff members. The safety of APS students and staff is a top priority.”
Onesty says, “I’ve told them to stop and they don’t.” Her Mom says teaching our kids to stand up for themselves is simply not enough. Audra Meriwether says we need to teach our kids that calling each other names, singing mean songs and hurting another person’s feelings is just wrong.
The school district says that because of privacy issues they can’t comment on Onesty’s situation but that all bullying cases are taken seriously.