by Nate White
Upon learning people were bullying her daughter, Virginia mother Sarah Sims attempted to gain evidence. Last month, Sims put a recording device in her daughter’s backpack and sent her off to school.
Sims claimed she contacted school authorities about the bullying of her nine-year-old daughter, but nothing changed. She then called it upon herself to investigate the situation, which included the teacher whom she believed was speaking inappropriately to her daughter. After Sims sent her daughter to school with the device, school officials found the device, and they alerted the city’s attorney office, who then notified the police. Authorities charged Sims with a felony, illegally intercepting oral communications, and a misdemeanor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Sim’s lawyer, Kristin Paulding, claimed the charges were excessive and not necessary given what happened. In a statement Paulding said, “I was shocked to see that the school would decide to go to the police department and ultimately charge this mother as opposed to sitting her down and having just a simple conversation about what were her concerns and how could the school alleviate those concerns.”
An investigator for Paulding’s law firm, Thomas Shattuck, feels troubled that a police officer interviewed Sims’ nine-year-old daughter without Sim’s knowledge. Shattuck is also curious about why the school alerted the city’s attorney office immediately. He recognizes the recorder goes against school policy, but remains concerned that the school first listened to the recording and then alerted the attorney’s office. He wants to know what the recording contains, because “if it was just a blank recording, why call the city attorney’s office?”
As for Sims, the charges against her were dropped. Upon reviewing the story, the prosecutors decided not to charge her.
(Sources: Washington Post, NY Times, Washington Times)