9-year-old Nasir Andrews and her family moved from Georgia to Seattle last year. A move like that can be stressful, particularly for kids who have to enroll in a new school and leave their friends behind. Nasir started attending Ardmore Elementary School in the Bellevue School District, and as any anxious elementary school student would, she wondered how things would go and who her new friends would be.
Unfortunately, it does not seem to have gone well. In a Facebook video gone viral, Nasir made an appeal to whoever would watch her.
She didn’t say a word but instead chose to hold up cards explaining her story.
Nasir’s parents say that the administrators and teachers at Nasir’s school did not help her, even though they repeatedly reported the incidents. The family says they spent months of informing administrators and teachers and even went to the school district regarding the bullying. According to KIRO-TV, the fourth-grader has been the subject of racially charged threats and bullying since September when the school year started.
Nasir’s mother, Chanty Andrews, told KIRO, “Our fear is there is a culture that has been established at the school where it is almost okay for the children to exercise different forms of treatment and bullying and harassment. And there’s not a conversation being had with them saying, ‘No, this is unacceptable.”
Feeling desperate and unheard, they turned to social media to get their message out.
The Bellevue School District did release a statement regarding the viral video Nasir posted, “We are saddened by the experience shared in the Facebook video you referenced,” it read. In an interview with local news station, KIRO-TV, a spokesperson for the school district said. “We are very concerned about the well-being of all of our students and 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.”
Nasir described a different reality. “A student called me ‘Nutella,'” she said.
“I told my after-school teacher, and she said it wasn’t racist and she made me write the definition of ‘racist.’”
The viral video has now surpassed 5 million views and has resulted in many words of encouragement and support, suggestions for action, and some racist comments as well. The school is maintaining its position of having made sincere efforts to curtail the bullying and are looking into it further.
“The harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student is unacceptable,” said a school spokesperson.
The school spokesperson said an investigation is in process.
The family has stated that the district did investigate, but said in most instances, the incidents were recorded as “unfortunate peer to peer interaction.” Travis Andrews, Nasir’s father, thinks the staff mishandled the situation because they didn’t see the big picture. “I wish they would have paid more attention to the bigger picture,” Andrews said. “I think a lot of the incidents were taken individually and handled individually.”
“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.”
The Andrews family has already made the decision to transfer Nasir to another school, but they are turning their circumstances into a gesture of awareness and action. As they search for schools that they feel their daughter will be safer attending, they have done their best to make it a learning experience for everyone involved and beyond. They have posted several follow-up videos in reply to a few of the millions who have now seen and heard Nasir’s story, and spent this past week participating in “Back Down Bully Week.” #BackDownBully
The family plans to deliver their message at the July School Board meeting, where attendance is anticipated to be high.
“I think that we need to stop bullying and just know that if you’re doing it, you’re hurting people,” Nasir said.
UPDATE: “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.”
Watch the video below:
Source: 9-Year-Old Girl Called ‘Nutella,’ ‘Servant’ by Racist Bullies at School; Posts Viral Video on Facebook to Bring Attention to Her Case by The Root and ‘I don’t feel like anybody is helping or cares’: Heartbreaking video shows nine-year-old black girl plead for help because classmates ‘kick and punch her’ and call her ‘Nutella’ and ‘servant’ by Daily Mail.