WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A woman was arrested Tuesday after an alleged confrontation with another parent at Roland-Grise Middle School, and now has been arrested for assault, according to law enforcement.
Nakkiya Bethea was arrested for simple assault for “pushing and grabbing the left arm (of a juvenile) and shoving to the ground,” according to warrants. Law enforcement says she also assaulted three other people on campus, however they have not pressed charges.
Originally arrested Tuesday for drunk and disorderly conduct Bethea contacted WECT to defend her actions Tuesday afternoon after the final bell rang.
“I got a call at 9 a.m. from the principal that they were going to keep my daughter safe for the rest of the day because they heard there could be an issue,” said Bethea.
According to Bethea, there is a history of fights, threats and bullying between her 13-year-old daughter, Kymani, and another female student for the past four months.
“I came back to the school around 3:30 p.m., and the girl that has been victimizing my daughter runs and jumps over the bike rack and I told my daughter to fight back,” said Bethea.
Lt. Jerry Brewer with New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to the school for a fight.
“A deputy ran outside and saw two female students fighting," Brewer said. “He separated them, and noticed Nakkiya and her other daughter there standing beside the fight.”
Brewer says the deputy took one student to the office and the other to the cafeteria. Brewer says the fight was captured on video but there is no evidence that a student jumped over a bike rack to attack Bethea’s daughter.
The student fight quickly turned to a heated dispute between the parents of the girls.
“Our (school resource officer) went to speak to Nakkiya, who was cussing and yelling in front of multiple middle school children, and that’s when we smelled alcohol on her breath,” said Brewer.
WECT asked Bethea on Wednesday if she had been drinking before she arrived on campus.
“I went to meet up with a friend and talk to her about the situation. and we did have a drink," she said. "One drink.”
Law enforcement said Bethea and the parent of the other female student started exchanging heated words, something Bethea does not deny.
“The other mother came out and she said, ‘Oh, I see you,’ so I started shouting, ‘You all don’t hear and see this? She is threatening me, and no one is going to do anything,’” she said. “So I said, ‘You can see me. I’m right here. You don’t have to wait,’ and that’s when I was arrested.”
Bethea says while she regrets cursing and yelling in front of students, she does not regret trying to protect her daughter from what she says is ongoing bullying.
“This has been going on since November, for four months," Bethea said. "I have emails and texts reaching out to school, to the superintendent. I have done everything I can possibly do and my daughter is still being victimized.”
Bethea showed WECT emails to school officials as well as scratches, bruises and cuts she says are a result of a female and male middle school student jumping her daughter.
“As a mother, I feel I am not doing my job," she said. “No matter how much I am advocating, nothing is being done. Kids are killing themselves over being bullied. I am not trying to have my daughter be a statistic.”
Kymani received a 10-day suspension after the incident on Tuesday. School officials would not comment on actions taken against the other student involved.
Bethea received a $500 unsecured bond Tuesday, and a $1000 dollar unsecured bond on Wednesday for the assault charge.
New Hanover County Schools responded to Tuesday’s incident, stating:
“New Hanover County Schools supports our students and families in every way possible. However, the district will not tolerate the disruption of the educational environment on our campuses. We work closely with our law enforcement partners to handle such situations. We take bullying and harassment between students very seriously at Roland-Grise Middle School. We strive to build positive relationships with our students and their families to show them that their safety and well being are our number one priority. We inform our students that we will always listen to them to ensure that we can be proactive to address any potential situation that may occur between students.”