This is BE KIND week at Sabino High School. Given my daughter has come home in tears two days in a row so far this week, I don’t think it’s working. Apparently someone didn’t get the memo.
I’m fairly certain I don’t have the full story, but I’ve heard enough consistent accounts of what happened yesterday (and have seen/read the evidence) to feel confident in alleging that my daughter was a victim of cyber-bullying.
Someone tweeted an incriminating accusation about her, which was retweeted by several kids. Vehemently denying the accusation, she tried to find out why it was written and was met with a barrage of tweets further accusing her of “acting stupid” and/or “playing dumb,” and knowing exactly what it was all about. “Everyone knows the story . . .”
At mid-day her older sister got involved, telling the Tweeter to stop. But the tweets continued: “When people you confront won’t fight their own battles and tell their family.” And going back-and-forth with his minions, “But it’s to the point where all of her friends think she’s going overboard and making herself look bad.” To which some snotty chick replied, “hahahaha her “friends.”
When the tweeter finally confronted her face-to-face, she wanted nothing to do with him. She therefore put her head down on her classroom desk and cried. For this she was accused (on Twitter, of course) of being “immature” and a drama queen, and making too much of all of it.
Listen up bully! This young girl simply doesn’t have the tools to face this kind of adversity and know how to handle it. She’s not as strong as you, which is why you have picked her as your victim. Try to understand that when a girl puts her head down and cries, and asks to be left alone, it is NOT your cue to amp up the pressure.
Apparently there was a substitute teacher in the class, who was oblivious to the crying 14 year-old. The sub didn’t intervene. But when MY kid comes home crying, you better trust her mom and dad are getting involved.
The bully got wind of this and then tweeted: “She told her dad and now I’m straight pissed.”
Here’s something else you don’t understand, big, bad-bully: Our knowledge of this situation has mortified our daughter. She doesn’t want her parents involved in any way. She isn’t the one that made too much of it. WE DID. And she doesn’t want this incident reported. She doesn’t want to be “that girl.”
But DAMN IT TO HELL this makes me furious! Isn’t this the definition of BULLYING!!!!????? My kid is so broken down and intimidated by the situation that the bully wins. The bully gets away with his actions. He even went in the OPPOSITE direction when asked to stop.
What, I ask, is the consequence of all this beyond my daughter’s humiliation and defeat?
Last week I spoke with a friend whose daughter experienced straight up bullying—apparently girl-on-girl because of jealousy over a boy. It wasn’t the first time she experienced this. The mom attempted to report it in the past, however, the school counselor couldn’t do anything about it because he said she didn’t have enough proof. So, OF COURSE it continued to happen.
It’s different with cyber bullying, because one can make copies of the written/published words. And I did. The next step, and this was my daughter’s idea, was for her to deactivate her Twitter account. And she did.
But then the bully resorted to texting her directly. One of the texts suggested getting her family involved was “not a good idea.”
And, of course, he continued to hammer her on Twitter late into the evening.
I am beyond frustrated and I’m writing this blog not to further embarrass or humiliate my child, but to ask other parents out there to join forces and help me find a way to properly address this situation before it gets any worse.
I feel my child needs to learn to fight her own battles, and we sent her to school today telling her to be strong and hold her head up rather than put it down on her desk. We hope, of course, that this will simmer and go away, and that she will be the stronger for it.
But if it doesn’t go away? If there are tears today (when the school theme is “Peace, Love, and Kindness Day,”) you can bet your bottom line, I’m going to declare war.