By: Michael Walsh
A group of school bullies pulled a little girl’s hair so hard that they tore off part of her scalp, her family said.
Third-grader Aolani Dunbar, 8, of Roopville, Ga., wound up in the emergency room, where the massive wound on her crown was treated like a burn, according to her family.
“(Bullying) needs to stop, and people shouldn’t be doing it,” Aolani told the Daily News. “It’s been going on for about three years.”
Though classmates have targeted Aolani for years, their viciousness appeared to intensify after she got extensions put into her hair Sept. 28.
“The following Monday, kids started teasing her, telling her she was stupid to have a wig on her hair,” said Sarah Charles, her mother. “We called the school on Tuesday saying that her hair was being pulled.”
Charles continued to call Rootville Elementary School, asking for Aolani’s claims to be investigated over the next two weeks. But the school did not do much to protect the girl from her tormenters, the family said.
“We didn’t understand the extent of the damage when all that happened,” Charles admitted. Then, on Oct. 15, she noticed an “ungodly smell” coming from Aolani’s head.
The little girl’s family started to remove the extensions to see what was causing the odor.
“There was a humongous sore,” Charles said. “The doctor at the emergency room had never seen anything like that.”
The News has decided not to run photos of the wound due to their graphic nature.
WSB-TV, the first station to cover the case, reported that Aolani shaved her head to decrease the risk of infection. Several family members and friends shaved theirs as well in a gesture of solidarity.
The family said that two little boys were responsible for encouraging all of the students to “have a tug” at her hair. One of the boys got an in-school suspension, but the other has not been disciplined, Aolani’s relatives said.
Carroll County Schools released a statement saying the “administration immediately investigated and dealt with the students who had engaged in the behavior and appropriate disciplinary action was taken against them.”
Aolani has been out of school for weeks owing to “severe headaches, anxiety and extreme humiliation.” She will be transferred to another school within the same district, Charles said.
“Parents, please be diligent and listen to these kids! And schools listen to these kids,” Charles said. “Bullying needs to stop.”