If you haven’t heard the name AvaLynn by now, you will probably hear it very soon. The images of her beaten face went viral over the weekend and the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn is making its way up Twitter timelines from her hometown of Mississippi to your virtual backyard. The image is heartbreaking.
When I first saw it, I scrolled by it. I immediately thought it was a sick joke, of which I see from time to time. Fake news making its way on Facebook or a ridiculous internet meme in poor taste. Why do they mess with these kids images like that, I thought. Who would do that to a little girl’s picture?
But the more I saw the image pop up, the more I started to believe it to be real. This was not a fake picture, and I regretfully clicked on the image and began to read. Two sentences in and, like any other parent would be, I was both furious and confused. The story was unbelievable. Not to mention, my eyes kept getting drawn back to that horrific picture. Black and blue all over her face, a swollen eye and mouth, scratches, and what appeared to be a bloody nose. This girl looked like she was brutally beaten, and she could be no more than six or seven years old.
Through a Facebook page, we learn that AvaLynn (whose last name is nowhere to be found) is from Pascagoula, Mississippi, and she reportedly suffered her injuries while at school. On August 29, there was a post on this page that explained what occurred. According to the Facebook page, Lacey Harris received a phone call on Wednesday, August 26, that she should pick up her daughter from school. When she arrived, AvaLynn’s face looked like the pictures that have been making their way around the web. Ava was rushed to the family pediatrician, who cried when she saw her. Luckily, the doctor informed Harris that AvaLynn would not have any permanent physical damage.
But here’s where the story gets weird. AvaLynn apparently told her mother that she was beat by another child on the playground, “kicked repeatedly in the face until she fell off the slide on the school’s playground.” The school however, released a statement that said, “Ava Lynn was injured as a result of an accident, one that involved no other children.” Someone is lying.
The school claims that AvaLynn injured herself. But in the same post, it says the school informed Lacey that no teachers were present when the incident occurred. The page also says that a police report was filed, but that the Pascagoula Police department is not investigating the situation. Imagine what you would have done if that was your child.
A gofundme.com page was setup on behalf of AvaLynn, and according to gulflive.com, they raised over $1000 in a day. I assume this money is either for her medical bills or to hire a lawyer.
If these pictures are real and everything on this Facebook page is true, then this is absolutely unacceptable. Admittedly, there’s a chance that there may not have been foul play and the school is telling the truth, but even if so, how could the child be left unattended for that long so as to cause herself such injury?
As a mom, to think that something like this could happen to a child at school is frightening. We trust that the schools will take care of our children, and this is not a scraped knee. Her face looks more like someone kicked it than it looks like she somehow threw herself down the slide. From one look at the pictures, it looks as if Ava’s version of the story is closer to the truth. For the school to say no one else was involved (I’m not even sure I believe it was a child) just shows that they are covering something up. The child should never have been left unattended for a time period long enough for these type of injuries to take place. Someone needs to answer to the police. Or better yet, the police should be asking some questions.