A South Carolina mother is facing charges for marching down to her son’s elementary school and confronting a group of nine-year-olds whom she suspected of bullying her son.
Jamie Louise Rathburn, 34, a mother-of-two from Greenville, was arrested on May 20, three days after the county sheriff’s office said she entered the Greenbrier Elementary School during the morning drop-off and unleashed a furious tirade at her son’s classmates.
According to an arrest report, surveillance video captured Rathburn ‘lift her finger in a pointing manner and circle around as if making sure all the kids heard her and were listening.’
A teacher told Greenville County deputies investigating the incident that the mom yelled at the nine-year-olds about ‘not knowing who was bullying her son but that she was going to find them and their moms,’ reported Greenville News.
She also allegedly hurled expletives at a teacher before storming off.
Following the heated conformation, Rathburn uploaded a video to Facebook, in which she admitted that ‘she snuck into the school and confronted kids that she estimated to be 9 years old.’
The video has seen been taken down.
Three days after the May 17 incident, Rathburn was arrested and booked into the county jail on a charge of disturbing schools. She was later released on a personal recognizance and banned from school property.
In an interview with Greenville News, Rathburn apologized for her emotional outburst, but said she did not know when else to do.
She said her son has been subjected to bullying since at least last December. According to Rathburn, classmates teased the boy about his hair, called him names, struck him with a computer and once jerked him off the slide by his throat.
Rathburn said she repeatedly approached school administrators demanding they address the bullying, but she said nothing was being done, beyond separating her son from other students during recess so that teachers could keep an eye on him on the playground.
Rathburn, herself a victim of bullying that at age 13 had driven her to attempt suicide, said that as her son continued being picked on, he began suffering from nightmares and coming up with excuses not to go to school.
By May 17, the married mother-of-two had reached a breaking point.
‘I am absolutely ashamed of myself for the actions of walking up into that school,’ she said. ‘You know, I owe the parents, the children and the staff an apology for that. Absolutely, it was wrong. But honestly, I don’t know how I could have gotten my message across any other way.’
Rathburn said she does not known if her son’s bullies have been disciplined. She is now considering homeschooling her kids next year.
In the wake of her arrest, Rathburn has launched a Facebook group titled ‘Moms Over Bullies,’ inviting parents to share their own stories of dealing with bullying. As of Tuesday, that page had 137 followers.