Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Mom Accused of Attacking Her Daughter’s Bully


An Orlando mom just gave her child a lesson in how not to handle a bully. 31-year-old Leslie Ann Thomas is facing a string of charges for attacking an Orange County middle school student.

Investigators say Thomas did not have permission to be on school property when she entered the lunchroom and hit one of the kids. Witnesses say she blocked others from trying to help. Her daughter is also accused of participating in the fight.

It’s not known what kind of bullying her daughter endured and whether Thomas had made any efforts to discuss the problem with school administrators.

Two other reports out of Central Florida in the last year had parents in trouble for confronting school bullies or adults who didn’t intervene. Bullying.org says bullying is often the top non-academic issue that educators face, yet many of them have never been trained in how to deal with it.

University of Illinois Professor Dorothy Espelage has done extensive research on bullying in early adolescence. She told a Chicago television station last month that districts need to work on changing the behavior while kids are still in preschool. That, she said, is when bullying emerges.

The government offers a website with information about how to prevent and stop bullying. It tells parents who are concerned about a bully to talk to the school administration or the adult that supervises student activities.

Leslie Ann Thomas is free on bond. Her arrest came during Bullying Awareness Week, which addresses myths and facts about bullies. Bottom line, bullying is not normal behavior, and research shows that bullying stops when peers and adults in charge get involved.


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