A fourth-grader in Bellevue, Wash., has decided to take action after she says she was bullied by classmates who hurled racist insults at her and the school did nothing to help.
Nasir Andrews says she’s been bullied since beginning school at Ardmore Elementary School in September and months after telling teachers, administrators and the school district about her situation, the 9-year-old and her parents decided to make a Facebook video.
“They used to call me ‘servant’ they used to call me ‘Nutella,'” Nasir told KIRO 7 News Wednesday, June 21. “It made me feel like nobody really cared.”
But that wasn’t the worst that she experienced at the school, which has a large Asian, Hispanic and Indian student population and about 40 Black students.
In the clip that has been shared more than 700,000 times, Nasir flips through sheets of paper describing herself as the “happy kid” she once was before starting school, where she was choked, hit and punched in the face.
Nasir’s parents, Chantey and Travis Andrews, pulled her out of the school after a year of bullying.
“I think that we need to stop bullying and just know that if you’re doing it, you’re hurting people,” Nasir, who came up with the hashtag #backoffbully, explains of why she made the video. “A student called me ‘Nutella’ and I told my after-school teacher and she said it wasn’t racist and she made me write the definition of racist.”
Nasir said she was picked on for buying reduced school lunch, which her parents tried to mitigate by letting her bring her lunch to school some days, and she was physically assaulted during recess. She also said she once found a drawing of guns firing bullets with the words, “Die, die, die” in her cubby.
Her father, Travis Andrews, says he found it “disheartening,” considering she never had issues making friends when they lived in Georgia.
“Our fear is there is a culture that has been established at the school where it is almost OK for the children to exercise different forms of treatment and bullying and harassment,” Nasir’s mother, Chantey Andrews, says. “And there’s not a conversation being had with them saying, ‘No, this is unacceptable.”‘
Nasir’s parents said they are upset Ardmore has not done more to help their daughter and they have gone to administrators about her situation for months. They are now deciding what school to send Nasir next year.
“We are saddened by the experience shared in the Facebook video you referenced,” Bellevue School District told KIRO in a statement. “We can assure you that district and central office leaders continue to work with the family to ensure that their daughter and every student at Ardmore is receiving the support they need. The harassment, intimidation and bullying of any student is unacceptable. In the case you referenced, an investigation into the allegations has been in process.”