Sarah Sims
Sarah Sims said she tried to get help from school administrators after she learned her 9-year-old daughter was being bullied. WAVY screenshot

A Virginia mother is facing a felony charge after she put a recording device in her daughter's backpack to catch those who were allegedly bullying the girl.

"I tried to be fair, but it's not fair," Sarah Sims told local TV news WAVY. "There is nothing fair about this."

Sims told local reporters she had enough in late September after her 9-year-old daughter was subjected to bullying at Ocean View Elementary in Norfolk. She said that repeated calls and emails to the school's administration got no response.

"The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration," Sims said.

Sims then decided to act on her own. To prove nothing was being done to help her daughter, Sims placed a digital recorder in her daughter's backpack to catch audio from inside the classroom.

"If I'm not getting an answer from you what am I left to do?"

According to WAVY, the recorder was found in the girl's backpack and she was moved to a new classroom. A month later, Sims was charged with felony use of device to intercept oral communication and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

"I was mortified," Sims said. "The next things I know I'm a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I'm trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?"

The felony charge could land the concerned mother in jail for five years, while the misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of 12 months.

The school district said electronic devices are prohibited from elementary schools, WAVY reported. The district would not comment on the charged filed against Sims.

Sim's attorney Kristin Paulding called the charges a stretch and said she does not believe the charges will hold up in court.

"We are at the very early stages of this, but even at the early stages I think the community needs to know that this is happening, because any parent out there that is sending their child to school now could be at risk for something that happened to Sarah," she said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 18 January.