‘It’s very frustrating’: VB woman shares continued struggles trying to get granddaughter into safe school after being bullied

Education

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A grandmother is updating us on the struggles she and her family continue to face as they try to move her granddaughter after she faced countless threats from bullies.

Kim Cousins and her daughter Natasha first shared their story at the beginning of December, after their 12-year-old was out of school at Southside STEM Academy in Norfolk for almost a month.

Cousins filed and was granted a 14-day protective order for her granddaughter against one of her alleged bullies.

On Wednesday, Cousins says a Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge denied the request for an extension to the order.

Since 10 On Your Side’s previous reporting, she says she’s heard from former teachers at the school.

“It’s just frustrating. It’s very frustrating,” she said. “When I hear it coming from other teachers that were there that are letting me know that a lot of this stuff has been going on and they’ve been letting their administrators know, and it’s not going no further than the administrators and nothing is being done, it’s really sad.”

She says she hasn’t heard anything from current school or district officials about the situation, but hopes to see some changes made at the school in the new year.

“I think they just need to redo the whole administrative and start fresh in that school,” said Cousins. “They need more resources, people in there. They just need to redo the whole school.”

Cousins says she’s been talking to the Virginia Department of Education about the threats, as well as an incident where she says a student leaked a semi-nude photo of her granddaughter.

She says nothing will stop her or her daughter from backing down to help.

“A lot of people will just say it’s not worth it. It’s worth it to me because I need to see her succeed,” she said. “I need to let her know that I’m here. I’m going to be here. I’m going to do what I can do to make sure you get what you need.”

In the face of so much uncertainty in the new year, she feels one thing: optimism.

“The good is going to come and I believe out of all of this, some good is going to come out of it. I really do cause I want the best for her.”

Cousins says she’s working to get custody of her granddaughter so she can get into a safer school in Virginia Beach.

Norfolk Public Schools released a new bullying prevention tool, which allows anyone in the school community to notify the district of incidents.

To learn more about the program and report a tip, visit https://nps-va.safeschoolsalert.com.

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