Virginia Mother Faces Criminal Charges For Attempting To Protect Her Daughter From Bullies

A mother in Norfolk, Va., may face criminal charges, and possible prison time for simply trying to protect her daughter from bullying, The Root reports.

When Sarah Sims’ constant emails and phone calls went unanswered from Ocean View Elementary School regarding her daughter’s bullying, she took matters into her own hands and placed a tape-recorder in her child’s book-bag to see if she can hear if her child was facing mistreatment throughout the day.

READ: High School Football Player Charged With Killing Mother’s Abusive Ex-Boyfriend

“If I’m not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?” Sims said. Initially, she placed the recorder in her daughter’s bag in late September. A month later, after her 9-year-old daughter was moved to a different classroom when the recorder was discovered, Sims was charged by the police.

“I was mortified,” she told 10 On Your Side. “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?”

READ: Attempted Lynching Of Biracial Child Investigated As A Hate Crime

Sims is reportedly being charged with a felony use of an electronic device which is used to record oral communication. She may face five years in prison. Additionally, she was charged with contributing to a misdemeanor and delinquency of a minor.

However, Sims’ attorney Kristin Paulding believes these charges won’t hold up in court.

“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.

Sims has a preliminary meeting on Jan. 18.