Student says incessant bullying at an SMSD middle school made her physically sick

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A student who used to go to school at Westridge Middle School, in the Shawnee Mission School District, says the bullying got so bad she would sit with the school police officer at lunch and eventually had to switch schools.

"Superia, nobody likes you anymore... just give the **** up," said another student at the school in a Snapchat video that started it all.

"When she said to me that I should just give up, it kind of made me feel like, 'so basically I should just commit suicide,'" said 13-year-old Superia Johnson, who says the bullying started back in September of 2014.

"It made me feel ashamed," Johnson added.

She said it got so bad she was scared to the point that she felt physically sick.

"I felt like I wasn't safe, I felt like I was going to get jumped," said Johnson.

Superia's mom, Chanta Branch, said she only found out about the bullying when she saw the video on the tablet that was issued by the school.

"They're taunting her, humiliating her," said Branch, who reported it to the school immediately.

"She couldn't bring herself to go to school," Branch added.

John Douglass, the director of safety and security for the school district, says the school followed protocol.

"We absolutely take that seriously, we discipline children for doing that, we can take away their iPads and have, and in fact, in the this case, the iPads were restricted, and observed, they were put on an observant schedule," Douglass said.

Every student gets a tablet, and can take it home starting in third grade. They're supposed to be used for educational purposes, like homework.

"If they violate our policies, then it kicks in much more restrictive policies, and that's what happened here," added Douglass.

After the initial incident, Branch said her daughter was assaulted in school. The district said the boy was disciplined and a report was made with the Overland Park Police Department.

"I don't understand what it really needs to take for these schools to really wake the hell up," said Branch.

Branch says she knows bullying is a huge problem in every school district, and wants others to learn from this.

"This really puts a huge amount of stress on kids, and that's why they commit suicide, because they cannot deal with the pressure," Branch said.

Johnson now goes to another middle school and she says she's much happier.

The Shawnee Mission School District says it investigates every bullying report. The district also says it spent a considerable amount of time this year talking about procedures, additional resources, and ways to report issues anonymously to help combat the bullying problems.



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