A Mississippi mother’s claim that her five-year-old daughter was viciously beaten on the school playground during the first week of school and that school officials are not telling the full truth about the incident has gone decidedly viral.
The mother, Lacey Harris, alleges that unknown assailants kicked her daughter, AvaLynn, repeatedly until she fell off a slide at Arlington Elementary School in Pascagoula, Miss.
On Aug. 29, Harris started a community Facebook page, Justice for AvaLynn, to garner support. As of Sunday night the page has already generated over 72,000 likes.
“The mother alleges another child kicked her child on the slide,” Pascagoula Police Department Lt. Jim Roe told The Mississippi Press. “Right now, there’s no indication something criminal took place. I have spoken with school security and an assistant superintendent is investigating the matter.”
Roe added that his department has no plans to investigate further.
The mad mother vehemently disagrees that no crime occurred.
“AvaLynn informed Lacey that she was assaulted by another student: that she was kicked repeatedly in the face until she fell off of the slide on the school’s playground,” the Facebook page explains. “The school informed Lacey were no teachers present when the incident occurred, and because of that, no one could prove whether or not another student had harmed Ava.”
Leaving aside the fact that police and school officials could likely ask the little girl and other students present what happened, the Facebook page notes that photos taken of AvaLynn do seem to suggest that perhaps something more is involved here than just a plunge from a schoolyard slide.
“The school basically claims that Ava injured herself, as all the photos depicting her injuries will debunk,” the page says.
Officials from the Pascagoula school district have released a statement flatly denying that any kids pushed AvaLynn on the public school playground.
“A student was injured while playing on the playground at Arlington Elementary School Tuesday afternoon,” the statement reads, according to the Press. “School officials responded to the situation. The parent was contacted and the student received medical treatment. No other children were involved in the incident. The Pascagoula School District remains committed to the safety of all its students.”
In addition to the Facebook page, Harris has also launched a Justice for AvaLynn crowdfunding page at the website GoFundMe to raise cash for her daughter’s medical and travel expenses. The page has raised nearly $6,700 as of late Sunday.
Harris has noted that several fraudulent fundraising pages may have already sprung up to take advantage of people seeking to donate money.
“Neither Lacey nor Jamie have made accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.,” the Justice for AvaLynn Facebook page explains. “Anyone asking for help or for donations on any medium besides this page or the GoFundMe page linked to in this page’s information is trying to scam people.”