Jamie Rathburn, 34, is a South Carolina mother who was arrested after police said she entered her child’s school without permission and yelled at a group of third-graders to stop bullying her son.
The incident occurred at Greenbrier Elementary School in Greenville County on May 17, 2019. She was arrested three days later and faces a misdeameanor charge. Rathburn has since apologized for the incident but told the Greenville News that she is still concerned about her son being bullied and is considering homeschooling her two children.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Arrest Report: Jamie Rathburn Yelled at Young Children in the Hallway of the Elementary School & Pointed Her Finger in a ‘Threatening Manner’
Jamie Rathburn was a frequent visitor to Greenbrier Elementary School because she volunteered as a “class mom”, according to the Greenville News. But on May 17, 2019, she went to the school for a different reason. Rathburn said she was protecting her child from bullies.
According to the arrest report provided to Heavy by the Greenville County Sheriff’s office, Rathburn entered the school “without permission or authorization.” Non-students are reportedly required to check in at the front door. Deputy Jared Skinner wrote that surveillance video from the school showed Rathburn approached a group of third-graders in the hallway and pointing her finger at them in a “threatening manner.”
Three witnesses told the deputy that Rathburn was yelling at the children. The report states that Rathburn also “used profanity while inside the school directly towards one specific teacher.”
Rathburn walked out after confronting the children and posted a video to Facebook that same day about what had happened. The video has since been taken down, but according to the Greenville News, Rathburn admitted that she had “snuck into the school” and told a group of students to stop bullying her son.
Rathburn explained to the newspaper that her son had allegedly been bullied for several months. She said she spoke with his teacher and school administrators about it, and became angry when she felt the school wasn’t doing enough to protect her son.
2. Rathburn Was Arrested Three Days After Entering the School Without Permission
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office began investigating after they received a tip about the aforementioned Facebook video, in which Rathburn reportedly admitted to having “snuck” into the school to confront children about bullying her son.
Rathburn was arrested on May 20, 2019, and booked into the Greenville County Detention Center. According to online court records, bond was set at $1,000 but Rathburn was released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court on June 18.
3. Jamie Rathburn Faces a Misdemeanor Charge of ‘Disturbing Schools’
Jamie Rathburn is charged with “Nonstudent interfering, disrupting, or disturbing schools,” according to online court records. It is a misdemeanor in South Carolina. If convicted, Rathburn could face a fine up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail.
The charge of disturbing schools is defined under South Carolina law as follows:
“It is unlawful for a person who is not a student to willfully interfere with, disrupt, or disturb the normal operations of a school or college in this State by:
(1) entering upon school or college grounds or property without the permission of the principal or president in charge;
(2) loitering upon or about school or college grounds or property, after notice is given to vacate the grounds or property and after having reasonable opportunity to vacate;
(3) initiating a physical assault on, or fighting with, another person on school or college grounds or property;
(4) being loud or boisterous on school or college grounds or property after instruction by school or college personnel to refrain from the conduct;
(5) threatening physical harm to a student or a school or college employee while on school or college grounds or property; or
(6) threatening the use of deadly force on school or college property or involving school or college grounds or property when the person has the present ability, or is reasonably believed to have the present ability, to carry out the threat.
4. Jamie Rathburn Wrote on Facebook After Her Arrest That She Would Protect Her Children ‘At All Costs’
Jamie Rathburn took to social media to express her feelings about the situation at Greenbrier Elementary School. On May 22, she wrote, “Gotta protect my babies at all cost!!”
She followed up with a second post in which she addressed her two children. It read in part, “momma will always be there for yall in whatever capacity I need to be! Mountains, wildfires, and wars couldn’t stop me from getting to you!! I’ll always fight your battles, I’ll always protect you, I’ll always help you grow to be the amazing people your already starting to be!! I’ll always push you harder than anyone else because I know your greatness has to be shared with this world!”
5. Rathburn is Prohibited From Entering School Property & Has Apologized
Jamie Rathburn is no longer a “class mom” and is now banned from school property. She told the Greenville News that while she was ashamed of her actions on that specific day, she still feels concerned about the reported bullying she says her son has been facing.
Rathburn told the newspaper, “I owe the parents, the children and the staff an apology for that. Absolutely, it was wrong. But honestly, I don’t know how I could have gotten my message across any other way.”