A Virginia mother who says that she just wanted to find out if her daughter was being bullied at school is now facing a felony charge that could land her behind bars for five years. Why? She put a digital recorder in her daughter’s backpack.
Sarah Sims was arrested and charged with use of device to intercept oral communication, a felony, and a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, WAVY reported. The Norfolk resident was taken into custody a month after the recording device was discovered in her 9-year-old daughter’s bag.
Sims’ legal nightmare began in September, when she decided to take action into her own hands after her daughter described getting bullied at Ocean View Elementary. She had tried to get in touch with school administrators, but nobody would return her calls or messages.
“The things that bothers me most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration,” she said. “If I’m not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?”
The concerned mother wanted to catch audio from inside her daughter’s classroom to determine if she was being bullied without any action being taken. When the device was discovered, though, the little girl was ejected from class and her mother was arrested a month later.
“I was mortified. The next thing I know I’m a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I’m trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?” Sims wondered.
Sims decided to share her story with the television station in hopes that people would recognize the injustice of her situation.
“I tried to be fair, but it’s not fair,” she said. “There is nothing fair about this.”
Sims’ attorney, Kristin Paulding, was optimistic that the charges wouldn’t stick but also found it important to raise awareness about her client’s plight.
“We are at the very early stages of this, but, even at the early stages, I think the community needs to know that this is happening because any parent out there that is sending their child to school now could be at risk for something that happened to Sarah,” she said.