Mother of bullying victim shares video of assault online
Mother of assaulted girl hopes bringing attention to video will bring her daughter relief
A video of a high school student in Rexton getting her head shoved against a locker is garnering a lot of attention on social media, with 143,000 views on Facebook as of Thursday afternoon.
Mellisa Gallant is the mother of the student in the video being assaulted. She says it was originally posted by a person she says is bullying her daughter. Gallant posted it online to draw attention to the ongoing bullying she says her daughter is receiving.
Josie Gallant is a 15-year-old, Grade 10 student at Bonar Law Memorial High School in Rexton. She said she was assaulted at school on Friday, when a student suddenly slammed her head into a locker.
Mellisa Gallant received a phone call from her daughter that morning, who was crying and asking to go home. Gallant went to the school, talked about the incident with the principal, then took her daughter home.
"I was upset and very angry and I cried for about an hour," she said. "It made me realize just what my daughter endures to go to that school."
Gallant said that there have been a number of incidents over the course of the school year, one that resulted in her daughter going to the hospital. She says after what appears to be a planned and recorded attack, she felt something has to change, so she turned to social media.
I cried for about an hour.- Josie Gallant
"Anything I've done up to this point has accomplished nothing, and I'm looking for results," she said.
Beth Stymiest, superintendent of Anglophone North School District, said she is well aware of the situation and, "we're dealing with it."
CBC News has attempted to contact the mother of the girl believed to be responsible for the assault, but has not yet received a response.
In a post on Facebook, a girl who takes responsibility for the shove says Josie Gallant spoke racial slurs towards her in the past, alleging Josie, too, has bullied students.
When asked by CBC News about the racism allegations, both Josie and her mother denied they are racists.
Josie Gallant is home during exam period, but is expected to go back on Wednesday, something she says she does not want to do.
"They made the video to target me, to say 'hahaha, you don't know how to stick up for yourself,' because they always say that I'm, like, a wus, and I don't stick up for myself and stuff like that, and I don't want to because then I get suspended, and I don't want to get suspended."
Since posting the video, Gallant said messages from people who have experiences with bullying have been pouring in, a sign that more needs to be done.
"How can I expect her to concentrate and get good grades when she's petrified," said Gallant.
Josie Gallant says she just wishes the girls picking on her would understand how it makes her feel.
"Words hurt, and actions hurt more, but both of them do hurt, they have a huge impact on people."
A copy of the video is in the hands of the RCMP who say they are investigating and will be speaking with the people involved in the incident.