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Chicago Teen Says Bullies Set Her Hair On Fire

Tatyana Butler, a teen who attends Waukegan’s Thomas Jefferson Middle School, says a group of girls lit her hair on fire. As the seventh grader walked to class, two eighth grade girls began flicking a lighter behind her back.  “My friends was like, ‘Tatyana, you hair’s on fire! Your hair’s on fire! And I was like, ‘Are you for real?’ and they just started taking it out,” the 14-year-old recalled to NBC Chicago. Butler lost three-inch clumps of scorched hair.

When school officials notified her mother, Neysha O’Conner about the situation, she was adamant that the school file a police report. They declined. Three days later, O’Conner went to the police herself, where officers told her that school officials should have contacted them immediately.

“They waited two hours to call me. They didn’t make the report until after told them that I was going to go to the school board and get a lawyer,” O’Connor said. “Then they decide to make a report. I don’t think they handled it well.”

Two eighth graders were each given three days suspension, an inadequate penalty, says O’Conner. School officials said that the situation was “dealt with according to district police.”