Bellevue fourth grader says she has been bullied since school started in September. After months of telling teachers, administrators and the district, she was feeling desperate and posted a video on Facebook to get help for herself and other students who are bullied.
The video was shared more than 17,500 times and reached more than 670,000 people.
Nasir Andrews, 9, is finishing fourth grade at Ardmore Elementary School in the Bellevue School District. Andrews, who is black, said other students have called her "Nutella" and "servant".
>> Read how you can send letters of support to Nasir here
"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 told KIRO 7 on Wednesday.
Andrews says she was picked on for buying her lunch and laughed at on the school bus. Her parents got her a lunch box and let her bring her lunch some days. They started driving her to school every day.
She said students in her class would take her snack and eat it or throw it away. At recess she says classmates ran away from her. She says she's been pushed, kicked and choked.
The girl and her family moved to Bellevue last summer from Georgia, where her parents said she had no trouble making friends.
"Everybody in my class does not like me, and I don't have any friends in my class or in the other fourth grade classes," Nasir said Wednesday.
Chantey and Travis Andrews are upset the school didn't do more to help their daughter. They say they have complained to administrators for months.
"With so many things happening, 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," said her mother, Chantey Andrews. "And there's not a conversation being had with them saying, 'No, this is unacceptable.'"
In the video posted to Nasir's mother's Facebook page, the girl holds up cards with words on them to share her story.
"I think that we need to stop bullying and just know that if you're doing it, you're hurting people," Nasir said when asked about her motivation to make the video. She also came up with the hashtag #backdownbully.
The family says the district did investigate and said in most instances it was categorized as “unfortunate peer to peer interaction.”
"I wish they would have paid more attention to the bigger picture. I think a lot of the incidents were taken individually and handled individually and if it was more of a broader picture, and they were able to connect more of the dots, we would have probably stopped this earlier in the year," said Travis Andrews, Nasir's father.
Nasir is one of about 40 black students at Ardmore Elementary which has large populations of Hispanic, Asian, and Indian students.
After airing this story and sharing it on Facebook, we received many requests to contact Nasir Andrews and her family. Here is a note from her family and contact information.
The community support and positive uplifting words for Nasir and our family is deeply moving. We are so grateful for the outpour of kind remarks and it is greatly appreciated. We hope that anyone who is or has experienced bullying is inspired and empowered by Nasir's story. Many have expressed a desire to send letters of support. We encourage everyone to send them to PO Box 7113 Bellevue,WA 98008.
KIRO 7 asked the Bellevue School District for an interview, the district released the following statement:
"We are saddened by the experience shared in the Facebook video you referenced. We are very concerned about the well-being of all of our students. 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."
Nasir's family is deciding where to send her to school next year.
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