NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Nicole Evans has a binder three inches thick of screenshots, a police report, a protective order and her pleas for help to school officials.
Her family’s ordeal began last November when one of her 11-year-old twin daughters enrolled in Virtual Virginia, the Department of Education’s online learning platform that began in 1984.
Evans says her daughter’s classmate began to stalk and harass her. In the months since, Evans says it’s morphed into something more sophisticated and more disturbing.
“It has gotten to the point where it is a life or death situation, and it’s gone way past bullying,” Evans said in a Monday morning interview with 10 On Your Side. “We’re now being terrorized. Every morning we wake up to a new terror.”
Her daughter shared with WAVY how it began. “I got a lot of cursing and nasty language and threats from her, and I felt very angry about it.”
Norfolk Public Schools said the division cannot comment on individual students. A spokesperson responded with a statement that “NPS provides multiple means to report bullying concerns, including anonymously by text, email or call through our Vector system. NPS takes all reports of bullying seriously, and each report is investigated.”
But then, according to Evans, the bully crossed over into identity theft. She somehow managed to hack into the victim’s online learning account, and began to submit failing classwork in the victim’s name, Evans says. Before that, the victim’s mother says she was an A student.
“I just believe that it was jealousy,” the daughter said. “She thought the teacher was giving me more attention than she was getting.”
So the daughter changed her password, but she says the bully got it again. The daughter was transferred to another teacher.
“[My daughter] was happy for one day, but this bully would not let it go,” Evans said.
The Evans family knows who the bully is and went to police in March and got a protective order, which was no deterrent.
“She continued to threaten us. I let police know and she even threatened the judge that gave us the order of protection. She threatened to kill her. So it got really serious.”
But the protective order ran out over the summer, and Evans says the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office told her the case was too hard to prove.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi told 10 On Your Side Tuesday afternoon that
“Children deserve to be safe at school, whether in person or online. We take all allegations of bullying and cyberbullying very seriously. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on any active cases or investigations.”
And then, Evans says, the harassment went up yet another level when she says the bully obtained personal information from her family, to include mobile phone numbers.
As recently as Sunday, she says the bully disguised herself as the victim, texting police that her mother had locked her in a closet and was hurting her. Evans says this has happened repeatedly.
“Sometimes when [the police] come they have their weapons drawn and it’s scary,” the daughter said.
One of the twins says it’s giving her nightmares and she just wants her life back. “I don’t want her to get arrested, I don’t want somebody to go to jail, I just want her to learn her lesson to stop.”
The family wants to pursue felony charges for stalking and computer harassment with threats to do bodily harm, but it’s unclear where that will go.
Keep up to date with the latest news on WAVY.com.