CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – The mother of a Georgia middle school student is speaking out, saying her child has been repeatedly bullied on school grounds.
Morgaine Blanchard is an 11-year-old who attends Camden County Middle School.
“My child identifies as nonbinary. And as a family, we’ve chosen to allow them to express themselves however they’d like,” Rowena Cason, the child’s mother, told News4Jax.
Cason said school staff has misgendered her child, who identifies using the pronouns “they” and “them.” Cason said not only has staff at the school refused to call Morgaine by the student’s preferred pronouns, but that on Monday, a classmate physically assaulted Morgaine.
“It was a bathroom break,” Morgaine said. “I just got finished washing my hands. I turned my back to the trash can to put the trash into the trash can, this girl came up and whacked me in the back of the head.”
Morgaine then went to the nurse’s office.
“I started to tell her all the symptoms. I started to feel nauseous, dizzy, my vision started getting worse,” Morgaine said.
Cason told News4Jax that the school waited an hour before calling EMS to take Morgaine to the hospital. Cason said she was out of town and that she contacted a family friend to meet Morgaine at the hospital.
“They have a suspected concussion. They have a lot of swelling on the back of their skull,” Cason said.
Haley Webb, Cason’s close friend, said she tried to file a police report at the hospital but that the police did not meet Morgaine at the hospital.
“They did attempt to contact the police in regards to filing charges, and the police failed to come to the hospital saying the resource officer was taking care of it,” Webb said.
Webb said the resource officer at Camden County Middle School won’t speak with her or Cason. She said she still doesn’t know if the school has taken any action toward the student who injured Morgaine.
Camden County Schools released a statement that reads:
“Out of respect for student privacy, Camden County Schools does not publicly offer comment on any student-specific questions or concerns. Camden County Schools is committed to meeting the diverse needs of our 9,000 students in a safe, equitable, and nurturing learning environment. We work daily to create an educational community where our students, employees, and visitors feel welcome, valued, and respected.”
Webb said Morgaine does not feel safe and will not be returning to school in-person.
Webb said she and the child’s mother are working with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office to file a report.