Surveillance footage captured the moment the mother-of-two Jamie Louise Rathburn, 34, marched past security and into the classroom at Greenbrier Elementary School on May 17 at around 8 a.m during the morning drop-off.
According to an arrest report, Rathburn lifted “her finger in a pointing manner,” and circled around “as if making sure all the kids heard her and were listening,” before confronting her son’s classmates as they lined up for class.
— Channel 933 (@Channel933) June 12, 2019
Rathburn later uploaded a 6-minute, 44-second “video rant” on Facebook, admitting that she “snuck into the school and confronted kids that she estimated to be nine years old,” according to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
In the clip, Rathburn explained how she wasn’t certain which boy she was looking for, but she wanted them to know that “she was not playing around and that they better stop messing with her kid,” the report added.
The video has since been removed.
During the incident, the mother shouted that she didn’t know “who was bullying her son but that she was going to find them and their moms,” one teacher reported.
In a separate statement to police, the teacher added that when he entered the classroom, Rathburn “cursed him repeatedly,” before leaving.
Jamie Rathburn apologizes for how she handled her son’s alleged bullies, but she remains frustrated with the Greenville County school system’s answers https://t.co/sQZTfZHDlQ
— JSOnline – NewsWatch (@js_newswatch) June 11, 2019
She was arrested three days later on a charge of disturbing schools and has since been released on a personal recognizance bond, according to a police report.
In an interview with the Greenville News, Rathburn apologized for her actions, and in hindsight said she hadn’t done the right thing, but felt she had no other options.
“I am absolutely ashamed of myself for the actions of walking up into that school. You know, I owe the parents, the children, and the staff an apology for that,” she said.
“Absolutely, it was wrong. But honestly, I don’t know how I could have gotten my message across any other way.”
Rathburn, who considered suicide aged 13 after constant bullying, said her son had endured months of harassment, both verbal and physical, the Mail Online reported.
He had been called names, bullied about his hair, hit with a computer, and pushed off a slide by his throat, she claimed.
This then caused him to suffer from nightmares, slipping grades, and he began to make excuses for not going to school, she said.
Mom stormed into SC school to confront child’s classmates over bullying. She was arrested https://t.co/sKv3z65dOa The school administrators should all be fired for not doing their job!!! Jamie Rathburn is a Hero Mom! JAMIE YOU ARE AWESOME!!!
— KITTY CAT (@MorningStarBird) June 11, 2019
And after repeated complaints to school administrators, the mother-of-two said the only thing which had been done was separate the other students from her son during break times.
“Picking becomes bullying really quickly nowadays, and I’ve taught my kids not to tolerate it, so before something transpires could you address it,” Rathburn said in an email to her son’s class teacher, reported the Greenville News.
“I’m frustrated with the children’s actions, but at the end of the day I’m angry with the adults involved in this situation because we are the ones with the power to stop this,” Rathburn said.
— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) June 11, 2019
Since the incident, the 34-year-old has created a Facebook group named “Moms over Bullies,” which aims to shed light on the emotional and psychological impact bullying has on students in school.
“I don’t want my child committing suicide or shooting up a school because no one heard his cries,” Rathburn told Yahoo News.