It’s a scene sure to break your heart: A 9-year-old girl sits facing the camera, silently flipping through cue cards saying she’s been bullied at school.
“I don’t have any friends,” one card said. “I never felt included, liked or respected… I don’t feel like anyone is helping or cares.”
The video posted to her mom’s Facebook page has since gotten more than 5 million views and 161,000 shares, and her parents said they hope it will finally lead to some change.
Nasir Andrews’ parents said she’s been bullied since she started a new school in September.
Kids at lunch would call her names such as “servant” and “Nutella.”
A student drew a picture of a loaded gun and put it in Nasir’s cubby, her parents said. On it were the words “die die die die.”
“It’s just really difficult not knowing if your child is safe at school,” her mom, Chantey Andrews, told CNN. “It just plagues the wholeness and the happiness of our family.”
Nasir is one of about 40 black students at Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington, according to KIRO. There are other minorities at the school, but Nasir said she was singled out.
The district told KIRO, in a statement, it is “saddened” by what Nasir describes in the video.
“We are very concerned about the well-being of all of our students,” it said. “The harassment, intimidation and bullying of any student is unacceptable.”
The district statement said it’s investigating the allegations.
The new kid
Nasir’s family moved to Washington from Georgia last year. That meant a new school and new friends.
Her parents said they looked forward to Nasir coming home from school and sharing positive first-day-of-school stories. But, those stories never came.
“She said students would run away from her,” her mom said. “They were just treating her as if she didn’t belong.”
Her parents thought things would get better. They didn’t.
“For me, it’s been extremely unsettling to the point of emotionally paralyzing,” her mom said. “It was almost an expectation of how our day was going to go.”
Her parents noticed her demeanor improved over winter break – when she was away from school. Her dad said she was her “usually bubbly self” until Sunday night, the last day of break.
“She was extremely depressed knowing she had to go back to school,” her mom said, adding another child had threatened her to beat her up.
Nasir said she created the video to share her story in the hopes it would inspire others going through a similar situation. She also created her own anti-bullying campaign, #backdownbully.
“This is Nasir. This is her. This is what she’s looking to do,” said her dad, Travis. “We’re just helping her do the things she expressed she wanted to do.”
— CNN (@CNN) June 24, 2017
Since the video was posted, her mom’s Facebook page has been bombarded with thousands of positive messages from people around the country. Many messages are from mothers who said their children would love to be friends with Nasir.
As for next school year, Nasir’s parents said they are still weighing their options, trying to determine whether she’d be going back to the same school.