The young girl had no other choice but to take action against the school and a well-known social media platform. She couldn’t take it anymore. She knew she had to protect herself because no one else would. It had been months since the cyberbullying started. Her school, along with the used social media platform both seemed to ignore it.
How could they do that to her? Why was no one sticking up for her? They gave her no choice, it was time for justice.
The Truth About Bullying
To this day, racism and bullying are still evident in American high schools. School staff will try to prevent this to the best of their abilities, but it seems impossible to put a permanent end to it.
Then there is the lack of control social media networks have over their underaged users and any other users for that matter. All of this is a recipe for disaster, and this story is no exception.
African America Girl
Nia Whims was only 13-years old. She was an ordinary African American girl from Broward, Florida. She attended Renaissance Charter School in Pines and she was an excellent student. But that didn’t stop her from experiencing animosity from fellow students.
Were they envious or jealous of her? Or did they dislike her for a completely different reason?
It Didn’t Stop There
But it didn’t stop there. She was also being exposed to an element of racism in the bullying she would experience.
When it first started, she accepted the advice of just ignoring the bullies. She thought they were doing it to get attention, by not giving them attention, she thought they would stop. But they didn’t.
It only seemed to get worse. But Nia was confident in herself. As long as she was doing good, she didn’t care about what other people thought of her. But it was becoming too much to handle.
But eventually, something happened and it made Nia decide that enough was enough.
Early one morning, students from Nia’s school woke up to some notifications on their phones. They were sent from a popular social media app where users upload and comment on pictures. You know which one, no need to say names!
The content they saw was beyond appalling.
It was all a bunch of threats and insults. Some were petty while others were serious, there were some death threats. They all came from an account that seemed to belong to Nia.
Everyone at school heard about this and they were constantly talking about it. Some of the students told the principal about it so that he could do something about the horrible messages.
The principal wasted no time as he called Nia into his office. People were bullying her even more because of the messages, and it was becoming unbearable. Nia decided to make the call that could finally solve her problem.
But she didn’t know that that wasn’t the principal’s intention. This was just getting started.
He immediately questioned Nia about the messages. She told him that she wasn’t the one that sent the messages in the first place. That was when the principal showed her screenshots of the messages and the account that sent them. He asked if the account belonged to her.
She denied it without any hesitation and told him that it was a fake account created by her bullies. She told him that they were framing her.
Detained By Police
But he didn’t believe her and temporarily expelled her from his school until the matter was clarified. After this, he called the Pembroke Pines Police Department. They showed up at the school and detained Nia.
She was released soon after, but the damage had been done. Once they investigated the situation, they concluded what everyone was expecting.
She Was Framed
Nia was found to be not the owner of the account, and not the sender of those horrific messages. So it had to be one of her peers, impersonating her and, as Nia herself claimed, framing her.
That was when Nia’s mother decided to take action against all those that had damaged her daughter’s name and honor.
She Got Herself A Lawyer
She got in contact with a top-notch lawyer named Marwan Porter. Now the thing to do was this: make everyone who had looked the other way while her daughter was getting bullied, and all those that had contributed to her being accused of something she never did, pay consequences.
There were a lot of people who could get into trouble: the students, the principal, the school staff who ignored the bullying… and lastly, the social network in which the fake account was created and through which the infamous messages were sent.
She Sued The Social Network
That’s right: Nia’s mom sued one of the biggest social networks on the planet. They were responsible, the lawyer argued, for the bullying and impersonation of an underage girl. That was a serious enough offense.
But that wasn’t all there was to it.
Nia’s lawyer claimed that the whole incident, as well as the way in which it was handled by the Pembroke Pines Police Department, reeked of racism. “If it was a young Caucasian girl … and this happens, does it go down like this?” he said at a news conference.
That’s certainly something to think about. Would the principal have been so quick to call the police, and would the police have detained a 13-year-old girl in different circumstances?
There’s A Lot To Think About
The lawsuit filed by Nia’s mother is still running its course, and we hope that those that are to blame for this situation pay consequences. But until then, this event is food for thought.
Should there be stronger regulations to control how minors use social networks? Should America’s school staff get some education about cyberbullying? Finally, what can be done about the racism that’s still present in America’s school system and police forces?