Student brings weapon to school to defend against bullying

Student brings weapon to school to defend against bullying

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police arrested an 18-year-old woman they said brought a knife to school. The student said she brought it to school for protection because she was being bullied.

Parents said there have been complaints about bullying reported at the school, however, Shelby County Schools denied any complaints have been filed.

"It's a shame that the children have to be scared to go to school. This should be the safest place for them," parent Shannon Burnette said.

The incident happened Tuesday at Southwest Prep on College Street.

Kyvana Taylor, 18, has since been released from the Shelby County Jail.

During a random check of students' property, police confiscated a 4-inch blade kitchen knife from Taylor's purse.

When it comes to bullying, SCS has its share of reports.

Last April, a 9th grader at White Station High School was beaten and stomped. The teen said she was ignored for months after reporting bullying to school teachers.

"They were making verbal threats and like bumping into me. Throwing things at me at school and making statements and comments online," the student said.

SCS said on Wednesday they take bullying seriously.

Bullying a serious concern, and we treat all reports of bullying with extreme care. Our counselors are very proactive and supportive in encouraging students to contact a trusted adult about bullying and ensuring students are aware of anonymous reporting options, such as our Safe Tips text line.

SCS also said it has several prevention programs and counselors on hand.

"The parent can't be there to defend the kids and sometimes the kids feel like they don't have any other choice," parent Billy Lockhart said.

Many parents want to see more done to prevent bullying, but they can also see how things have changed.

"I've been bullied before, but back in my day--in '88--we weren't bringing knives to school. We would go and tell the principal," Burnette said.

SCS said it encourages children to always report bullying.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.