Kids Just Watch and Laugh After Classmate Sets 13-Year-Old Girl's Hair on Fire

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Kids can be surprisingly cruel. Their lack of experience paired with short-sightedness and impulsivity can be a catalyst for doing horrible things because they haven’t considered the consequences.

When you add an element of showmanship, because they’re used to “performing” — whether that be for an in-person audience of classmates or other peers, or for a video that will be posted online and seen by potentially the whole world — they can do some downright idiotic things, harming themselves and others in the process and adding little of value to the world.

Two years ago, when Nevaeh Robinson was 11, her thumb was broken by another student. Now she’s at a different school — but some of the students at this school are just as mean.

While she was waiting at the bus stop, one of them whipped out a lighter and used it to catch her hair on fire.

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“When it happened,” Nevaeh told CBS, “I panicked real fast, because I thought I was going to die because it burned my hair so fast.”

And who wouldn’t? Having your hair catch on fire is terrifying, no matter how it happened. The bullying left Nevaeh with bald spots, first-degree burns and pain in various places on her head.

“It was kind of traumatizing,” she said. She had to use her own two hands to smother the flames.

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While she made an effort to put out the flames, the kids around her didn’t offer to help. Instead, they laughed.

It could have ended differently, which her mother Tanya Robinson now knows. Despite the fact that her hair has been damaged, it’s also what prevented the worst case scenario from taking place.

“The doctor told me her hairstyle saved her life,” the concerned mom said. “Had it been different, she might not be here.”

The Philadelphia school district said in a statement, “We cannot comment on specific instances of school discipline, however this type of violence is unacceptable. School District did follow its policy and procedure on this matter.”

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“I called the police as soon as they came home, took her to the hospital, the fire chief came out,” Robinson said. “I’ve spoken to the school district, I’ve spoken to the principal at the school.”

Her request is pretty straightforward and rather difficult to argue with: “I want expulsion if you’re setting kids on fire,” she said. “This shouldn’t be swept under the rug.”

Whether or not the school deals with the incident in the way Robinson has outlined, she’s tired enough of these cases that she’s decided to homeschool Nevaeh.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking