According to her family and attorney, a Black Florida teenager claims she was bullied by her classmates for months. She was then falsely accused of threatening school.
Lezlie Ann Davis, the mother of the 13-year old, is now suing Renaissance Charter School, Pines, over the November incident.
Nia Whims, a teen, stated that she feels "distant" at a news conference this week. "I don't really want to talk with anyone."
According to NBC News, the lawsuit claims that the girl was bullied at Pembroke Pines school, which is about 20 miles north from Miami. According to the suit, Davis had reported the bullying in August and requested a meeting of school officials.
According to the complaint, the meeting did not take place and the school didn't address the family's concerns. According to the suit, Davis decided to withdraw Whims from school and enroll her elsewhere.
Whims started talking to a Renaissance Charter School student via Instagram in November about bullying. The suit names the second teen M.S.
M.S. According to the lawsuit, M.S. allegedly created an Instagram account using Whims' names. M.S. pretending to be Whims. M.S. allegedly sent M.S. messages, including threats to "bomb the school and kill people" According to the lawsuit, she also sent messages to a teacher.
The teacher received the messages and informed the school officials as well as the police. According to the complaint, the charter school was put on a limited lockdown but was later found safe.
Pembroke Pines Police began investigating the circumstances leading to the lockdown. They were allegedly informed by M.S. According to the lawsuit, Whims sent threats and messages to the school.
Whims claimed she had spoken with M.S. and was interrogated by officers. Over Instagram, but didn't make any threats.
Whims was taken to a juvenile jail on the 19th of November, according to the suit. In a statement, police stated that Whims was being charged with second-degree felonies for making a threat to do bodily injury or commit terrorist acts.
According to the lawsuit, she spent 11 days in the facility. She also had to go through a psychological evaluation. After investigators discovered that she was sending the messages from an IP address associated with M.S., she was released on November 29.
The suit states that "Failure by the Pembroke Pines Police Department to investigate this easily discovered information caused (Nia Whims to remain in a juvenile jail facility away from her family and for eleven days."
On February 10, a updated statement stated that Whims was exonerated from the charges. According to the department, the family did not initially cooperate with police during the initial stages of the investigation.
The statement stated that Davis didn't begin cooperating until December, when she provided the information they needed to subpoena the IP address associated with the threats.
However, Whims' family claimed in the lawsuit that they had given police the iPad Whims used to talk with M.S. She was arrested on the same day.
According to a police statement, a 12-year old girl from the school sent the messages in January. She "viciously impersonated Whims." Police say that the 12-year old sent threats to multiple students in an attempt to "frame" Whims.
The 12-year old was charged with several offenses, including writing threats to kill or cause bodily harm and falsifying a report. NBC News won't name her as she is a minor.
Marwan Porter, a family lawyer, asked if this would have occurred to a white student.
"If it were a young Caucasian girl... and this happens, would it go down like that?" He said this at the news conference.
According to the school, it had limited information about the lawsuit.
Our top priority is the safety and security for our students. We have taken and will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our staff and students. A spokesperson stated that we are not allowed to discuss private student matters and do not comment on any pending litigation.
Meta, the parent company of Instagram, was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The social media platform is accused of failing to cooperate with the investigating officers and causing a delay in Whims being declared innocent by police. Meta's spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.