Tamara Arrington’s son, Parker, attends a Florida private school with assistance from a Hope Scholarship, an education choice scholarship Florida lawmakers created in 2018 for bullied students.

Editor’s note: This commentary from Step Up For Students’ director of policy and public affairs Ron Matus first published on Florida Politics.

Tamara Arrington moved to the Suncoast after picking the perfect school for her son, Parker. But despite a stellar reputation and A grades from the state, it turned out to be a disaster.

One day when he was in first grade, Parker stood up to an older kid who called his friend a racial slur. For the rest of the year, the bullies pounced on him. Arrington said she sought help from school officials, but to no avail.

Parker spiraled down, hating school and getting headaches, until Arrington secured a Hope Scholarship, the state choice scholarship for victims of bullying. She used it to enroll Parker in a private school that she thought would be best for him — and now he’s safe and thriving.

“I have no doubt,” Arrington told me, “that every morning when I drop off my son at school, he’s going to come home a better human being.”

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