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Va. mom charged after putting recording device in daughter's backpack to catch bullies

Sarah Sims told WAVY News her nine-year-old daughter was being bullied at school, so she decided to try to get help by placing a recording device in her backpack (Photo: CNN Newsource via WAVY News)

NORFOLK, Va. (WSET) -- A mother in Norfolk is facing charges after police said she put a recorder in her daughter's backpack.

She said her child was being bullied, but authorities are saying she broke the law.

Sarah Sims told WAVY News her nine-year-old daughter was being bullied at school, so she decided to try to get help.

Sims said she called and emailed administration at Ocean View Elementary School, but no one answered.

"If I'm not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do," she said.

Sims said she was determined to get proof that the bullying was happening, so she took matters into her own hands by placing a digital recorder in her daughter's backpack.

But, school officials found it, confiscated it, then called police, but never called Sims.

One month later, Sims said she found out that she's facing felony charges.

She's charged with intercepting "any wire, electronic or oral communication" and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, meaning she could spend five years in prison.

"This is ridiculous, they're reaching," Sims said. "And my thing is why? Why are you working so hard to vilify me instead of addressing the issue of why this even exists? The most important part is what's going on in the classroom."

Sims told WAVY news that school officials have yet to return her calls and emails.

Her daughter still attends the elementary school, but is now in a different class.

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