CENTREVILLE, MS — The mother of the young boy accused of bullying at a Mississippi middle school is refuting the claims placed on her son in the aftermath of a fight video released on social media.
The incident happened on April 24 in the cafeteria at William Winans Middle School in Wilkinson County. The video, taken by students in the lunch room, shows one boy swinging on another student and the other student ducking to get out of the way.
After the video was published online, there was outrage at the student seen in the 17-second video throwing punches. Martina Carter, the mother of the kid who was the target of the punches, spoke with Unfiltered with Kiran about what her son experienced.
Tamekia Converse, the mother of the student who threw the punches, said that video on social media does not tell the full story accurately.
Converse, who works for the Wilkinson County School District, said she gained access to the school’s camera footage, which shows the whole incident and tells a different story about her 16-year-old son.
“The little boy was standing behind my son and my son turned around and asked him to move,” Converse said. “After my son asked him to move, the little boy was standing behind my son’s head, telling him he was going to ‘punch him in his s**t.’ This is the reason why my son got up and passed the first lick. It was strictly to protect himself from what was going on behind him. Everything is on the school camera.”
Carter claimed that Converse’s son had been bullying her 15-year-old child since the beginning of the school year. Carter said her son had taken $1,200 from her to give to the alleged bully at school.
“Her (Carter) son is not being bullied,” Converse stated. “My child does not even associate himself with this little boy. My son is a star athlete. He is a sponsored athlete for Wilkinson County. So why would he jeopardize what he has to fight a little boy?
“My son didn’t start school until October,” she continued. “He didn’t come back to school from the Christmas break until February because we had some family issues going on. My son couldn’t be bullying him for the whole school year.”
Converse said her son did not get money from Carter’s son.
“If my kids come home with a pair of shoes, I know I did not purchase so I need to know where they come from,” she said. “If my son had $100, I would know.”
Converse said her son has been defamed because of the videos on social media that don’t tell the entire story. It’s been a rough time for him.
“People need to stop assuming things and find out the truth before you just demonize somebody’s child,” she said. “My son is all over the Internet because of this woman saying information that is not true. That is a 16-year-old child. They’re making it seem like my son is a 17-year-old flunkie bully. He is not. He is a 3.0 student. Stop assuming a child is a victim if you don’t know both sides of the story.”
“It’s bothering him because he’s thinking about, what his next school year is gonna be like if this is gonna interfere with him being an athlete and is this going to interfere with his school,” she added. “Now he’s labeled as a bully, and that’s something that he’s not.”
Converse said her son was suspended for three days. In a separate video, William Winans Principal Dr. Ronnie Knox was accused of choking Carter’s son while breaking up the fight.
According to calls placed at the school, Knox has not been back at school since the fight, but his employment status is unknown. Converse’s son was given three days suspension for his role. The other kid involved was initially given nine days before it was reduced.
Calls were placed to Wilkinson County School District Superintendent of Education Chavis L. Bradford to get Knox’s status but have not been returned as of this report. UWK reached out to Dr. Knox at school Wednesday morning but he was not in the office. UWK left a message with an assistant principal and was referred to the superintendent. Knox has not returned the call as of this report.