Broward Brothers Speak Out About Bullying
South Florida Crime
DAVIE (CBS4) -Two middle school children said they were forced to change schools after their classmates harassed them with racial slurs.
Theophious Jones, 13, and his brother Henderson Jones, 12, said they endured this for two years.
“They would always say the ‘n’ word throughout the whole year,” said Henderson Jones. “They were acting like it was just a regular word and they could just use it to anybody but it was just really upsetting.”
The boys said the problem escalated in February on several school bus rides to and from their Davie school, Indian Ridge Middle School.
“They started chanting some words that are really bad like KKK and white power and stuff and it hurt because like we grew up with them and we thought they were our friends. But then they just betrayed us and stuff,” recalled Theophious Jones. “They were like saying Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, they can’t, they’re dead they can’t do anything.”
It’s a problem their mother discovered when she overheard them talking one day.
“Actually the pain was indescribable,” remembered Dawn Grace-Jones, their mother. “I actually I think I cried at first as I spoke with them. I told them I had never been put through that and they shouldn’t have been put through that and that it was abuse and it’s wrong and no one should ever say those words to them.”
She said she wrote a letter to the school principal and even contacted the Broward County School Board about the problem.
“The kids, I’m told, confessed more than I told, more than what we said happened,” said Grace-Jones.
Dawn Grace-Jones is a lawyer and magistrate in Broward County and said she was disappointed by the way the district handled the situation. She said the bullies received a short in school suspension.
A spokeswoman for Broward County School District said they can not comment on the Jones case. But she said they do take the issue of bullying very seriously.
The Jones family said they also reported the problem to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate. In the end the family thought it was best for the boys to transfer to a new school.
“Knowing how hurt they were and I said they can’t keep being subjected to this,” said Grace-Jones.
All school districts in Florida are required to have anti-bullying programs in place. Broward and Miami Dade both have them.