Toms River Bully Victim’s Mom – Folk Hero or Fool? [POLL]
Some want to confer folk hero status on the mom of a 9 year old girl who was being harassed reportedly by 2 boys at her school and on their school bus.
Some, like me, would rather she had gone to the kid’s parents herself and handled it that way.
It’s understandable that in light of the “anti bullying” protocols in our schools today, when a bullying incident is reported and nothing is done, anyone would want to take the situation into their own hands.
But do you feel the mom was right in doing what she did to take on the bullies themselves?
A mother who boarded a school bus Friday to confront two boys and was later charged with assault said her actions were a result of her 9-year-old daughter being bullied.
Toms River resident Rebecca Sardoni, 28, along with her mother, Stephanie Sardoni, 51, of Beachwood boarded a school bus bound for East Dover Elementary School on Friday morning and are now facing charges for an altercation with students on the bus.
Police reported Friday, based on witness statements, Rebecca Sardoni slapped two boys and both women yelled at boys on the school bus.
The women said Saturday they regretted boarding the bus, but denied hitting or touching anyone on it.
“They (the boys) weren’t the ones who were suffering; my daughter was,” Sardoni said.
Three boys and a girl at the East Dover school have been bullying Sardoni’s daughter in recent weeks by taunting the fourth-grader, Rebecca Sardoni said. At times, the harassment became physical, the mother said.
“She had to write it on a piece of paper because she was so embarrassed. She was hysterical,” Rebecca Sardoni said, recalling earlier in the week when her daughter told her about the incidents.
Sardoni said she contacted school administrators about the bullying and claims nothing was done. She didn’t contact police because she was under the impression the school was going to handle the situation, she said.
Sardoni and her mother said they decided to take matters into their own hands when they boarded the school bus Friday morning to make the bus driver aware of the incidents that had occurred on his bus. Sardoni said she was worried what could happen if the issue was not addressed.
According to Sardoni, the bus driver called for a boy named Vinny and allowed Sardoni to go to the back of the bus to address the boy.
Sardoni said she was crying as she spoke to the boy. She said she told him: “How dare you. Expect to be going to court.”
Stephanie Sardoni said she spoke to the bus driver, explaining what had happened to her granddaughter.
According to police, Rebecca Sardoni came onto the bus, called out for Vinny and went to a boy who raised his hand.
Toms River Police Chief Michael G. Mastronardy reported Friday that Sardoni cursed at the fourth-grader and slapped him and another boy next to him and her mother screamed at the boys.
Sardoni was charged with simple assault, criminal trespass and making terroristic threats and Stephanie Sardoni was charged with criminal trespass, a charge for boarding the bus, Mastronardy said. Both women were released on summonses.
There were numerous students on the bus and the charges were filed based upon interviews of the students on the bus, Mastronardy said Saturday.
Police were made aware of the bullying situation, the police chief said, but he wasn’t certain Saturday whether any sexual harassment claims were brought to the attention of police. The matter is still under investigation, he said.
Police did not identify the two East Dover fourth-graders because of their age and because they are victims of a crime.
Bruce Bradford, a stepfather of one of the boys, said Friday his son had a cut on his lip and was in pain after Sardoni slammed his stepson’s head against a window during the incident.
The boys were treated by nurses from Toms River Regional Schools for cuts to their mouths. One of the boys was later taken to Community Medical Center by his parents for treatment of a neck injury, Mastronardy said Friday.
Rebecca Sardoni said she intends to meet with a lawyer to file complaints and plans to seek approval from the Board of Education to have her daughter moved to a different school. In the meantime, her daughter will no longer take the bus, Sardoni said.
“They’re making us look like bad people and we’re not. This little girl has been through a lot,” she said.
Here’s what happens in a situation like this: You may not be a bad person for wanting to take the situation into your own hands…especially if those in charge, like schools don’t do anything about the bullying.
But you DO become a bad person if you, as a parent, want to take on the 9 year old bully yourself…especially if there’s the possibility you might just lay hands on the little “sfaccime!”
By taking the situation into one's own hands, I’d have gone to “Vinny’s” parents or guardians and tried to hash it out myself…with them, not with the kids.
I never remember a time when they had to teach these things to parents…you just have to know.
And, by the way, a couple of things...shouldn’t this be the way most conflicts of this nature should be handled? Parent to parent?
Unless of course there is the allegation of harassment of a sexual nature involved.
And why is the school bus driver allowing the girl's mother and grandmother on the bus in the first place?