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bullying

When Hannah Combs, a freshman at Harker Heights High School in Texas, attended school on September 14, she had no idea that her life would soon be changed forever. When she met up with her friends outside the building, she was chatting with them when a boy suddenly came up behind her and poured super glue all over her head, getting it all over her hair and her scalp. “It instantly started burning,” Hannah told KDH News. “It felt like my head was on fire. It was horrible.”

One of Hannah’s friends called up her parents while Hannah went to the nurse, barely able to speak through the pain. Christian Grimmer, Hannah’s father, arrived at the scene, and instantly became (understandably) furious: The school had done practically nothing. The boy wasn’t taken into custody, despite the fact that they knew who he was; they only took him to the office after Christian threatened to call 911 — and the assistant principal dismissed his anger, getting into his face and saying “take that attitude elsewhere.”

It turned out that Hannah was feeling such intense pain because of chemical burns on her scalp, which they only discovered after taking her to the doctor later that day. She had to get her head shaved, and the pain didn’t go away for days — in fact, she says her head is still sore to this day. “I realized I lost my favorite thing about me. I loved my hair,” Hannah told KDH News. “My hair was the only thing I liked about myself, honestly. I lost it for no reason.”

Hannah’s parents didn’t feel safe having the boy in her classes, and they wanted him transferred elsewhere. But when they tried contacting the school superintendent, John Craft, they got nothing. They then spoke to the board and received a call from the assistant director of student support services, but the superintendent never contacted them. “Apparently this guy that we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to does not see the need to get involved. Then why do we need him?” Christian told KDH News. “If they are going to have assistants, that’s fine. Then we don’t need a superintendent. You would think the superintendent’s priority would be school safety, but it is not any of his concern because he will not return any calls.”

The school issued a statement to KDH News:

The boy was given in-school suspension, but he returned to class. . . to Hannah’s class. Hannah became so anxious having the boy in her class that she called her father and asked to go home. But when Christian showed up, the principal told him to leave, and he was even given a trespassing warning; they only told him they’d change the boy’s schedule when Christian pulled Hannah out of school that day. “I’m not going to pull my daughter out and uproot her from her life because of what this kid did to her,” Christian Grimmier said. “That child that did this to her, uproot his life. He gave up the opportunity to go to Harker Heights when he committed the act. . . they are not being proactive; they are being reactive.”

When Jessica, Hannah’s mother, took to Facebook to describe the incident and post pictures of Hannah’s hair, it got thousands of likes from across the nation, which prompted Jessica to create a Facebook page entitled “Justice for Hannah.” The page has received over 25,000 likes and implores its followers to “be the voice against bullying.”

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