Virtual learning turns into bullying nightmare for Wilson County student

Investigators

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – Cyberlearning has turned into cyber-horror for a Wilson family after three weeks of incessant bullying while a 6th grader has been trying to go to school online.

The mother of the victim reached out to CBS 17 Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia because she says the situation has left her child scared.

She wants people to know cyberbullying is real and needs to be dealt with.

Like many schools, Wilson Preparatory Academy is doing all of its education by distance learning.

In the course of those virtual classes, Jaylen White has been the subject of ongoing cyberbullying since school reopened three weeks ago.

It began when someone changed the 6th grader’s screen name to “loser,” but that was just the start of the problems.

“Once he started logging into Zoom for his classes, we started to receive messages,” said his mother Sheleen.

They were messages like: “I will find and Kill Jaylen.”

But, the messages weren’t just sent to him. His mother said obscene messages were also sent to teachers.

“The emails all came from Jaylen’s account which had been hacked,” she said.

White changed her work schedule so could sit beside her son while was distance learning and intercepted some of the hacking.

She said she would go to the online chat and tell his teachers it wasn’t him.

Even while she was doing that, the cyberbully continued to threaten Jaylen online.

Despite being sent screen captures of the intrusions, the school thought Jaylen was responsible for the hacking until his mother physically brought him to the school and had him log into his Zoom account in front of administrators.

“About 20 minutes after being there, stuff started happening again,” she said. “Emails started being sent, he was closed out of Zoom, all kinds of stuff.”

The cyberbully obscenely taunted Jaylen, claiming he’s hacked school cameras and monitored their conversations about going to the police.

White said the school’s IT department tried several remedies.

“He tried to change passwords, tried to change email,” she said. “It just never worked. Every time we logged in, it was something different.”

At one point, she said the bully stopped Jaylen from taking online tests and told teachers via a screen message that he wouldn’t let Jaylen finish his work.

White said all of it has taken an emotional toll on the child.

“He can’t understand why someone would want to bully him and he doesn’t understand why someone would want to kill him,” said White.

Although Wilson police were notified, CBS 17 has learned the SBI is now involved in the investigation of the incidents.

School officials told CBS 17 they can’t comment specifically on Jaylen’s case because it is under investigation, but did release a statement saying:

“Wilson Preparatory Academy takes each and every incident of bullying, stalking and harassment seriously. Our goal is always to have a safe environment for all our scholars.”

Meanwhile, Jaylen’s mom has withdrawn him from Wilson Preparatory Academy in an effort to break the pattern of cyberbullying.

She said he has now been enrolled in a new school, and she hopes the cyberBullying won’t follow him there.

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