PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A 15-year-old Pensacola girl is under investigation by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office after bringing weapons to school last week.
The girl’s grandmother says bullying and fear led her to bring the weapons to school.
Patricia Thomas told WKRG News 5 her granddaughter brought a taser and a knife to Ferry Pass Middle School on Thursday. Thomas says the day before, the girl was stuck in a bathroom after bullies threatened to beat her up.
“They threatened her by jumping on her, and she’s afraid of them,” Thomas said. “Some of them are very big over her and she’s just afraid. She’s been afraid since last year. You can’t sweep stuff under the rug until something happens like this.”
Thomas said Tuesday the bullying at Ferry Pass led her granddaughter to pay off some of the bullies and caused her to have thoughts of suicide.
“She took a knife to school on Thursday to protect herself. She’s real fearful,” Thomas said. “Anytime you’re fearful for your life, you do stuff like that.”
Thomas wants more to be done to prevent bullying in schools. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says it is still investigating her granddaughter’s alleged actions and a warrant is pending.
“She wouldn’t have taken the weapon to school if (the school district) had intervened before it happened,” she said. “But they did nothing. They sat on their nothing and did nothing.”
The Escambia County School District did not comment on the current investigation but did release this statement:
“The schools in Escambia County are established for the benefit of all students. The educational purposes of the schools are accomplished best in a climate of student behavior that is socially acceptable and conducive to the learning and teaching process. Student behavior that disrupts this process or that infringes upon the rights of other individuals will not be tolerated. The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, endorses a zero tolerance policy toward school related violence, harassment, and violent crime. Additionally the Board endorses a zero tolerance policy toward bullying, dating violence, abuse and harassment. The Board reaffirms its support of the administrative staff and teachers in taking all necessary steps to enforce and implement all Board rules pertaining to the maintenance of appropriate student behavior.”
Parents can report bullying on the school district website — something Thomas said she was not aware of until Monday. However, she said the bullying was reported to the school before Thursday’s incident and it continued.
“Make it known to the students at school that you do not tolerate bullying,” Thomas said, addressing the Escambia County School District. “It is not acceptable.”