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Local Child Star's Mother Says Officials Not Doing Enough After Daughter Allegedly Received Death Threat

By Steve Patterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A local child actress is facing real life drama. The little girl's mother claims her daughter received death threat at school and officials aren't doing enough to keep her safe.

It sounds like a screenplay, but Shayne's story is real.

"It said 'I will kill Shayne Coleman' and underneath the threat said 'murder.'"

Samantha Coleman says those six words written on the wall of her daughter's elementary school bathroom in June have upended her family's life.

Shayne says, "I didn't know that anyone would want to kill me, or hurt me, because everyone is really my friend."

Eight-year-old Shayne has been acting from the time she was two-years-old, starring in dozens of commercials, television shows and movies, alongside Hollywood's elite like Sarah Silverman, Kevin Bacon and Richard Dreyfuss.

"I'm scared to go back to school," Shayne admits.

Samantha says she got the call on June 12, just days before the end of the school year.

Administrators at John Hancock Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia told her a girl in her daughter's second grade class wrote a threatening message as a way to bully Shayne.

"She's stolen her markers and crayons. She'll kick the back of her chair. She's pushed her in the bathroom stall," Samantha says.

"I thought it was just kid stuff up until the death threat."

Shayne's mother said she tried to have her daughter transferred, but officials cited policy saying there needed to be a direct assault.

Eyewitness News asked school officials what's being done and Fernando Gallard sent the following statement: 'We are in ongoing conversations with Ms. Coleman in order to demonstrate our commitment to provide Shayne with a safe and caring environment at Hancock School. It is our duty that Shayne's neighborhood school be a welcoming and safe environment for her and all the children that attend it.'

Coleman says she has now removed Shayne from the school district and is looking for a way to home school her daughter.

Shayne says she didn't want to leave, but "if it's to do the right thing to get away from her, then I'm going to do it."

A decision, Samantha says, no child should have to make.

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