Mom suspended after filing bullying complaint

Posted on: 3:43 pm, November 7, 2012, by , updated on: 05:25pm, November 7, 2012

AGRA, Okla. – An Oklahoma mom is upset because she said three of her daughters are facing racially-charged bullying.

The mom of the middle school students said not only are her daughters being bullied for the color of their skin but now she has also lost her job as a result.

Amanda Russell’s daughters have been in the Agra schools their whole lives and until recently, the color of their skin had never been an issue.

She said a boy and his sister used a racial slur against the girls at school last week.

Since then, the situation has escalated.

Amanda said, “I grew up here. I graduated here. Now I teach here.”

Now Amanda is trying to figure out what to do next.

She said her daughters are victims of racial bullying after a fifth grader and an eighth grader used a racial slur in reference to the girls.

Ten-year-old Jasmine Russell tried to get to the bottom of the harassment.

Jasmine said, “My friend said, ‘Why don’t we text her and tell her why we are mad and why we told on her brother.’”

A back-and-forth exchange began but didn’t resolve the issue.

Amanda said, “I told the girls to stop and let us adults take care of it.”

Amanda saw the texts and told Jasmine to stop and then tried texting and calling the alleged bullies’ parents.

She said, “I couldn’t get a hold of him. I called three or four times, no answer. I left a voicemail.”

She said since she didn’t get a response, she texted one of the alleged bullies, telling her to stop texting Jasmine.

Amanda said reported the bullying to the school and what happened next left her in shock.

Amanda, a school employee, said she was suspended Tuesday and told she will be fired if she doesn’t resign.

Amanda said, “I told the superintendent everything. I told the principal everything.”

Amanda said administrators accused her of confronting the alleged bully; she denies the accusation.

She’s now working to file a police report.

She is collecting signed statements from others who heard the slurs directed at her daughters.

She said she is sad about her job but she stands by her actions.

Amanda said, “I don’t think it’s fair that they brought my job into it as me being a parent, taking it up as a parent to defend my daughter.”

We spoke with the superintendent of Agra schools.

He did not want to talk on camera and said he cannot discuss any specific situations.

However, he did say the school district takes bullying very seriously and they investigate all allegations.

Amanda is an Agra Head Start teacher which is part of Wewoka Public Schools.

We called the Wewoka superintendent but we were told he was not available Wednesday.