As every parent knows, bullying has become a tremendous problem that plagues our times. It’s so in the forefront these days that First Lady-to-be Melania Trump addressed it in a recent speech to constituents.
But how to combat the problem is an issue for which few have found an easy and acceptable solution.
And now one mother in Manchester in the UK has been convicted of assault after taking matters into her own hands, literally, when she found out that two teenage girls had been harassing her daughter at school.
Demi Knox was the reported bullying victim, with her mother, 33-year-old Joanne Higgs, telling the court that two girls, one 13 and one 15, had thrown eggs at her house to taunt her daughter.
Higgs claims she tried normal avenues to combat the ongoing problems, but to no avail.
In retelling her side of the story to the local Manchester Evening News, Higgs claimed that “I had tried to resolve it with the school and some of the parents after the fight, but had no [success]. I just wanted them to stop harassing my daughter. She’d already suffered enough.”
She added that her efforts to contact law enforcement about the issue had fallen on deaf ears.
At that point, Higgs decided to handle the matter herself, and admits she probably took the wrong tack. But despite having physically attacked her daughters’ tormentors with her own fists, she says she did the only thing she knew how to protect her distraught child at the time.
Noting that the taunts had escalated to the point where she took Demi out of the school, Higgs told the UK news site that ““I acted on how I was feeling at that time . . . my daughter . . . has been the victim in all this.
She’s had a nightmare.
“I know what I did was wrong, but I’m not a thug,” Joanne asserts.
Apparently, the court felt some empathy for the troubled parent’s plight, as her sentence for giving the girls black eyes and swollen cheeks (as evidenced by their post-assault police photos) was relatively light.
She was handed down a 15-week sentence that was suspended, and was told to compensate the victims, although it’s not clear for how much.
As for Demi’s former school, they were much less sympathetic. Middleton Technology School told the news that, “As an adult, Miss Higgs made her own choices about her appalling behavior. The school was dismayed and disgusted that our students were attacked in this way by an adult.”
But Joanne Higgs clearly felt that she had to do something to protect her child, and any parent of a bullied and unhappy child can surely empathize.
“All I want is peace my daughter and my family. Demi has had no happy years at school,” Higgs said of the matter.
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