The school bullying of a child was reported to Waukesha police, but instead of any action taken they ran a background check on the mother and never filed any reports about the initial complaint, according to the family.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
May 14, 2015
Waukesha, WI – On Thursday, a young Afro-American 10-year-old girl who attends Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha claims that she has been bullied constantly and even had life threats from a male classmate all because she has dark skin. The Heyer School Principal Heidi Williams, staff members, including teachers have been notified of Emica Underwood’s bullying dilemma to no avail. So far, the student who threaten Emica’s life multiple times at school was finally suspended today, Thursday. The suspended child’s parents were scheduled to meet with school officials today, but the parents failed to meet, according to Edna Brown, Underwood’s mother.
The Heyer Elementary School (HES) on their website has the following statement, “The School District of Waukesha prohibits discrimination related to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex/gender, sexual orientation, religion/creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability.”
Underwood’s mother has even reported the bullying and life threats that her daughter has endured to Waukesha police. When police visited Underwood’s residence, the first thing they did was run a background check of her mother and was more of an interrogation instead of taking a statement for a complaint concerning a repeated bullying incident at HES. The police didn’t even filed a report or have checked the matter out, according to Carmen Murguia, a family friend who exposed the incident in her Facebook account page. Murguia released several audio interview recordings to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) of the child confirming what she had alleged actually happened to her.
Murguia posted, “This beautiful, bright eyed, sharp 10-year-old talked candidly with me last night with her mom, Edna Brown, and aunt and brothers by her side that since her first day in school in January, she’s being bullied for being what she described as “a dark-skinned Black girl” by her White and Latina 5th grade classmates at Heyer Elementary School, 1209 Heyer Dr, Waukesha, WI 53186, (262) 970-1705.
“Emica has been punched in the face, attacked with a ruler, was called a smelly N-word, by other 5th graders, and last week Monday was threatened by a White boy named Dylan who threatened her life by saying he was “going to get a gun and kill her and the other dark skinned Black boy in her class.” The worst part of it is the school principal, classroom teachers, school nurse, school social worker, and school superintendent have not spoken out or had the families meet to explain why Emica has not been protected for her safety her rights as a child, and been treated for the racism, discrimination, and bullying that plagues her and her classmate who does not want to be named for protection (in a class of 48 children).
“On Friday, Emica was rushed to Waukesha Memorial hospital because she was unconscious after fainting from the stress and the depression according to the doctors, and her mother and father said, she was out for 4 hours–she had gone inside herself (exactly the way Maya Angelou had stopped talking when she was physically molested as a child and became depressed by her stress).
“The Waukesha police went to Edna Brown’s (Emica lives with her mother) home, and Edna describes the next two hours as interrogation rather than listening to her story about the bullying and violence and death threat Emica receives on a daily basis in Heyer elementary. In fact, the Waukesha police ran a background check on Edna Brown while there and never wrote a report of the series of incidents,” Murguia wrote.
Underwood has been released from the hospital and Brown is now trying to relocate to Milwaukee for fear, if she stays in the City of Waukesha and her daughter continues to attend HES, she could be placing Underwood in danger as a result of a lack of protection by school officials and police. Only about three weeks are left in the school year at HES.
HNNUSA has reached out to HES Principal Williams and the Waukesha police for comment concerning the allegations raised by Underwood and her mother.
Update: Todd Gray, the Superintendent of the Waukesha School District in a statement to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) would only say on Friday, “The information you have here is very inaccurate and the allegations made are unequivocally incorrect and/or false. Correct procedures were followed immediately and completely upon being informed of the situation. Since this involves minor students that is all we will report on this matter.”
Superintendent Gray failed to elaborate what information in the article was “incorrect and/or false” and when did he know of the bullying and life threat incidents made towards Emica Underwood, a 5th grader? When did the Heyer Elementary School Principal Heidi Williams take action to stop the bullying or whether the students involved were monitored to see, if in fact bullying or life threats were taking place? Gray seems to say, the information provided by the Brown family, including Underwood and Murguia’s allegations are “incorrect and/or false,” according to his limited statement and claiming to say that it involved student minors so, he couldn’t elaborate further on the matter.
According to Carmen Murguia, the Brown’s family friend, she confirmed that Mrs. Edna Brown had contacted a social worker at the school and Principal Williams numerous times in the last five months. Underwood had visited Principal Williams office at least 15 times concerning the bullying and life threats. Brown was never informed of those visits, Underwood finally told her mother, but when Brown contacted Principal Williams and a school social worker, nothing was actually done until Thursday, when the male student involved in the bullying was suspended.
Gray did not indicate whether he had met with Brown to determine the gravity of the bullying incidents.
HNNUSA has found no indication that Principal Williams or Superintendent Gray had send out any letters to students parents advising them that bullying or life threats would not be tolerated.
The mother only identified as (R.Y.) of the Heyer Elementary School student who was allegedly suspended contacted HNNUSA on Friday about the article and claims it was untrue. She did admit her child suffered the consequences, but she mentioned an incident involving her son with a BB gun that did not involved Underwood. She told HNNUSA, “The incident that involved my son has been resolved and consequences have been issued. It really has nothing to do with you (HNNUSA) or the Brown family…There was nothing with any afroamericans. This has nothing to do with color, race or whatnot. Whether she is being bullied by others in the school is another issue that had nothing to do with this incident.”
When the Brown family was contacted about Superintendent Gray’s statement and the suspended child’s mother comments, they would only indicate that they knew (school officials) what was happening and didn’t act appropriately to stop the bullying. Brown would only say, “Now it’s a BB gun and now, he wasnt talking to Emica WOW a threat is a threat and that mother and son knows that a BB gun can’t kill anyone.”
One thing for sure, there is a big difference between a BB gun and threatening to kill someone with a gun.
Brown confirmed that Superintendent Gray hadn’t contacted her to deal with the bullying issue.