Lowcountry mother concerned after teen son target of bullying
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry mother is concerned about her special needs son going back to school after she says other classmates took bullying to a whole new level over the summer.
Jayvin Jenkins is a 16-year-old student at Lucy Beckham High School in Mount Pleasant where he has gone for three years.
But going into his junior year, Jayvin’s mother, Sharnetta Jenkins, says he is afraid to go back after what happened over the summer.
Just last month, Sharnetta’s nephew showed her a photo of her special needs son, Jayvin, circulating on Snapchat.
It’s one of a mother’s worst fears: her son being bullied.
“It disturbed me so bad, you know that I couldn’t even sleep. I was kind of upset because I know my son, and I’ve been with him all his life,” Sharnetta says. “He is a special needs child, but he’s a child.”
The Snapchat shows two of his classmates wearing t-shirts with printed photos of Jayvin’s face alongside the words “fruit bowl.”
“Fruit bowl” means a gay person or homophobic guy who says or does inappropriate things to other guys, according to UrbanDictionary.com.
Sharnetta says she believes that was the students’ intention when making the shirts.
The Snapchat shows two of his classmates wearing T-shirts with printed photos of Jayvin’s face alongside the words “fruit bowl.”
“I was angry because my parents taught not to do that to kids, no matter what their problem was. We were told to address people as human beings,” Sharnetta says. “Just to know that these kids are doing that is unacceptable and appropriate.”
Sharnetta reached out to the Charleston County School District where she eventually discussed her concerns with the assistant principal of Lucy Beckham High School.
The assistant principal told Sharnetta she would reach out to the children and their parents about the social media post.
“She said, they talked about the inappropriate act, and they talked about the consequences of what can happen from this,” she adds. “They weren’t allowed to give me any names; my son didn’t get a formal apology, not a letter, nothing.”
Sharnetta says the action of creating the t-shirts was taking bullying to a whole other level.
“This took a lot of thought and a lot of time to get somebody’s picture, get it printed and put on a T-shirt and wear it,” Sharnetta says.
She adds the steps taken by the school to address the problem before school starts was not enough.
“I’m worried about his upcoming school year, and I want to make sure that he doesn’t have to go through this this year, because he wouldn’t speak to me about it; he doesn’t want to go back,” Sharnetta says.
Charleston County School District provided the following statement regarding the incident:
We are taking the information shared in the social media post very seriously. The district is working with Lucy Beckham High School officials to determine the course of events.
We are committed to addressing the concerns with care and in a way that properly supports our students and their families.
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