Parent says her middle school student was ‘choked out’ in lunchroom

Parent Brittney Jackson also said a student brought a gun to her other child’s elementary school

RALEIGH — A parent with multiple children attending schools in Moore County says one of her children was bullied by another student. 

Brittney Jackson told North State Journal the bullying got so bad the student attempted to “choke out” her son in the lunchroom at Elise Middle School.

“He literally won’t even wear a string in his sweatshirt anymore because he’s tired of this kid choking and with it,” Jackson said. She also said the student was now threatening “to kill him and bring a gun on school property.”

According to Jackson, she’s gotten the runaround from the school’s principal, T.J. Martin.

“The principal will not respond to my emails, and I think he’s trying to, like, cover himself,” said Jackson, who said she was told the case was going to be given to the district’s superintendent, but she has not heard from him either.

Jackson said she felt like the school should tell her if they were suspending the student but said she has not been given any information. She also said the principal indicated to her that he was asking the school board to put an emergency session in place. That session never happened, and Jackson said a school board member told her they had not even heard about her son’s situation.

When the incident happened last month, Jackson said she reported it to the principal, the local police, and the sheriff’s department. She had hoped someone would contact her within a day or two, but no call came.

Jackson said she has a seven-year-old daughter at Robbins Elementary who told her a classmate brought a gun to school. Her daughter said now that child has to use a clear backpack when he comes to school so the contents can be seen by everyone.

This was the first Jackson had heard of the incident, and she questioned why parents were apparently not informed about it or about the clear backpack. 

Jackson has only lived in the state for three or so years and, up until now, has been quiet about things she has heard. 

“I’m not going to keep my mouth shut anymore because this is just crazy,” Jackson said. “These kids deserve to be safe everywhere.”

North State Journal reached out to Moore County Schools about the two incidents. 

“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Anytime there is an alleged threat, weapon, facsimile of a weapon, etc., on our campuses, the district investigates these incidents fully and follows through based on our Student Code of Conduct,” Moore County Schools Communications Director Catherine Nagy wrote in an email response. 

“MCS is prohibited by student privacy laws to share personally identifiable information related to student violations of the Student Code of Conduct as well as any resulting disciplinary action,” wrote Nagy. “In cases of disciplinary action, parents whose children are involved in an incident are notified as required. All parents and staff of the school are notified in incidents when a threat is made against the school and/or there may be a risk to the larger school community as soon as district and school administration can confirm the information is reliable.”

Jackson’s story is not the first of its kind in Moore County Schools. Last month videos of fights between students at Crain’s Creek Middle school appeared on social media. 

Parent Sami Ashburn told North State Journal in an interview that her 13-year-old son Noah was attacked by another student on Oct. 7 and has since been diagnosed with a concussion. 

Like Jackson, Ashburn also expressed frustration with communication involving school officials. Ashburn also got the runaround when it came to pressing charges. School officials told her it was up to the School Resource Officer (SRO) to press charges against Noah’s attacker; however, the SRO said it was up to the administration. The Moore County Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t act either, claiming it was “not their jurisdiction.”

By A.P. Dillon

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