Heather Rorrer, the mother of a 7-year-old girl who reported being choked with a jump rope by a boy in her class during recess at , said Tuesday she is uncomfortable with sending her daughter back to school after meeting with the principal.
Rorrer met with principal Mary Miller to discuss what could be done to prevent her daughter, Jasmine, from being bullied again. Rorrer said school officials told her the boy would be placed into a different class and kept away from Jasmine while at recess. Rorrer does not think this is an acceptable solution.
"I just want my daughter to be safe at school," Rorrer said. "I don't think that child should be at Jasmine's school anymore. I think he needs to go to a special school where they can handle special problems like that."
Rorrer said Jasmine told her she was playing hide-and-seek with her friends last Thursday when the boy started to push her and call her names. He then chased her, jump rope in hand, to behind the trailers.
"He held her down and wrapped the jump rope around her neck," Rorrer said. Jasmine told her mom that the boy tied the jump rope around a pole and left her there. Rorrer said Jasmine told her she could only see one teacher, who was too far away to hear her cries for help. Two of Jasmine's friends found her and untied her. Rorrer said Jasmine said "he was laughing the whole time."
Rorrer said that after she was contacted and arrived at the school, she took Jasmine to Fair Oaks Hospital where the police were contacted. Don Gotthardt with the Fairfax County Police Department's Public Information Office confirmed that police responded to the hospital to "take a report of a simple assault." Gotthardt also said the investigation is ongoing.
Paul Regnier, spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools, would not discuss details related to this specific incident. "We take it very seriously and will take appropriate action," he said.
Rorrer said the same boy has been bullying her daughter since October 2010 by "calling her fat, ugly and things like that." Jasmine told her mom that he "picked up a chair and hit her in the head with it" about three or four months ago. After that incident, Jasmine's teacher e-mailed Rorrer to tell her the boy was sent home early and Jasmine was in the clinic. School officials would not tell Rorrer if, or to what extent, the boy was disciplined.
Rorrer said the latest incident could have been prevented if the school had taken better safety precautions. She feels that she relied too much on the school system to protect her child.
To ensure Jasmine's safety, Rorrer has sought legal counsel from Mayo J. Wilson of Patrick Henry LLP.
Jasmine had not returned to school on Tuesday. She told her mom that she missed her friends, but she was afraid to go back.
A video interview with Jasmine can be viewed here.