Taylor students organize protest to bring attention to bullying at the school

Posted at 9:46 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 23:38:51-04

More students are speaking up about bullying inside Taylor schools. 

One student says her life was threatened and the district did nothing to keep her safe. Hailey Maggard, 16, is a junior at Taylor High School. She says she constantly felt threatened going to school, and after multiple confrontations she started taking online classes instead.

Maggard says she plans to return to tell Taylor administration that something needs to change. 

Since the 8th grade, Maggard says she's been bullied in the Taylor School District. 

"(Students) threatening to beat my mom up and leave my mom in the yard for me to find her dead," Maggard said. "And who wants that for their kid? Who wants that for themselves to have to look over their shoulder every day at school."

Christine Maggard, Hailey's mother says that's why she pulled her out of the school. 

"Yes. For her safety," Christine said. "It's pretty sad when security guards are offering to escort her to her classes because she’s afraid to walk to class by herself."

After seeing Action News' exclusive story on Monday of a teen being beaten with the fight caught on video, the Maggard's reached out. Hailey, who is now taking online classes, says the district admitting to 11 fights this year isn't accurate. 

"There’s been 13 fights within the past two weeks, not the whole school year," Hailey said. 

Hailey and her mother say the district's default move when handling bullying and fighting is to suspend students with little being done to prevent the behavior in the first place, despite parents' pleas. That's why Hailey says she plans to protest Friday morning outside of the school.

"If the parents can't do anything about it, and the administration say they can’t do anything about it, why not the students do something about it," Hailey said. "I have the right to protest and that’s what I’m going to do."

Hailey added that she doesn't want to have other people worry as mush as she did. 

"I have a little sister in the school district and I don't want to have her grow up and worry like I did," Hailey said. 

Hailey and her mother said that the assistant superintendent requested a sit down meeting with them, so that Hailey's voice can be heard. They say they were also told that if Hailey protests on school property, she will be suspended or arrested. 

Taylor School District Superintendent, Ben Williams, responded to Action News regarding the protest saying in part, "The student in question who is trying to organize this event does not even attend Taylor High School.  We have contacted the police and the administrator in charge of her school to inform her of the consequences she will face if she disrupts the learning experience of students at Taylor High School.  District officials are meeting with her and her parent tomorrow to discuss this situation further. 

Taylor High School student leaders and administration are working to send the message that there is no strike, nor was there ever one planned."