Shanaiya William’s attorney speaks out about alleged bullying incident

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Attorney for Shanaiya William’s family speaks out about alleged bullying incident

Attorney for Shanaiya William’s family speaks out about alleged bullying incident

As It Appeared On WDHN ABC

ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Constance Cooper, an attorney for Barrett and Farahany is hoping to bring justice for the family of Shanaiya Williams — an Elba 9th grader who recently took her life after her family says she was bullied constantly for three years without getting any help.

“The family of Shanaiya wants to make sure that all students are safe at school physically and emotionally,” Cooper said.

The day before Shanaiya shot and killed herself, her family claimed the breaking point was on the second day of school when the principal Dr. Warren Weeks told her to remove her hoodie and she didn’t want to due to having a tank top on which would reveal her scars from the bullying she has gone through.

The latest Elba High School handbook does not say students can’t wear a hoodie. Instead, Shanaiya told her parents he tried to take the hoodie off her himself.

The family’s attorney is working on getting answers to the alleged incident.

“We have requested all surveillance video of Shanaiya taken from the 8th of August that’s the day of the incident in question so that we can all go back through and see what happened because she is not here to tell the story,” Cooper said.

The school system said earlier this week that they are investigating the matter but they did not provide any other comment at this time.

“The bigger question is if Dr. Weeks is being investigated because these are very serious allegations,” She said.

Cooper said she’s sure it will take some time for the school system to look into it but she believes if an investigation is underway for the alleged incident — the principal should be on administrative leave.

“During that time we want to make sure no student is potentially placed in harm’s way,” She said. “Right now is a time for transparency.”

Cooper said she’s also looking into the previous patterns of bullying allegations dating back to a number of years ago.

She said this is not to bash the school system, but it could be a wake-up call to take action on major issues within the school system moving forward.

“No one wants to make Elba look bad but it’s capable of excellence,” She added. “I went to Elba High School I believe in this town and people and believe we can do better.”

Stay with us at WDHN as we continue to follow this case.

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Barrett & Farahany

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