Monday, February 16, 2015
This is my granddaughter. She is beautiful, smart and talented. Yes, she loves makeup and fashion. She also spends time in church sponsored camps where she works with children of the poor and with the elderly, helping them in their neighborhoods with whatever they need. She is 15 and already has a good job after school and on weekends, earning money to pay for her own every day things, saving it for bigger things.
She goes to a high school with about 2000 students and she is being BULLIED on social media. One mean girl in particular, along with her followers, have focused on the one "flaw" they could come up with and say she has a big mouth. They say her mouth is so big she looks like a frog.
My granddaughter has blocked all these girls on her own social media so she can no longer see what they post. However, well meaning friends at school ask her every day, "Did you see. . ." so she always knows what new hurtful thing is posted.
These girls also see her in the school halls and say hurtful things to her, making fun of her big smile.
Yes, all grown up people, of all ages, know these girls are ignorant, jealous, have no self esteem, and can only feel good by making others feel badly.
I wonder how Julia Roberts got through school with her big smile? Or Barbara Streisand with her nose?
The school doesn't offer much help. Yes, the school police are involved and speaking to the girl and her parent. Short of filing criminal charges and spending a lot of upsetting time in court, there doesn't seem to be any recourse.
Shouldn't every school have some sort of mandatory program to deal with this? Anger management? Relating to your fellow students? Something?
How do you soften the heart of a bully? How do you bring a teen to awareness of humanity and kindness?
It's a national problem. What's the answer?
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Your granddaughter is absolutely beautiful. I thought she was a model at first. I am so sorry that these jealous girls are trying wipe a smile off of a person that knows how much God loves her. She and you are in my prayers. Social media is totally out of control.
Be Brave - Stop It
We cannot ignore that this a real threat to kids.
1217 days ago
The one thing these bullies are not taking into account - and that maybe they should be told is that WHATEVER they write into a blog is alive and well on a server in some remote location and it will be there FOREVER!!. For a generation that is suppose to be so computer savvy I find them awash in stupidity.
Whatever these girls type into their Facebook page, Twitter, Insta-gram etc. about your beautiful granddaughter may very well come back to smack them right in their snarky little faces. It is very easy to search a name, place of birth, address, name of school and find infinite information. That is exactly how colleges and universities now check out new prospective students just before they have put their applications up for admission. Ratchet that forward to when these girls are older and they are looking for a job....up pops all this bullying text, that nude picture, all that bares witness to what their personality traits were throughout their supposedly "formative years" and shows the prospective college or employer the REAL person behind it all. Just as with your grand-daughter, her volunteer work, her job performance etc. It will all be there. Why don't kids and parents for that matter know this!!
As with all things the computer is a powerful source of information - information that can cut like a two edged sword.
Please keep pressuring your school, go to school board meetings and ask to be put on the agenda - talk to school board members privately. (they are the ones that make policy) talk to all the teachers to alert them... go to the press - expose these cretins....If you can't get help from these people than they aren't doing their jobs.
Oh, and don't worry about losing this message It'll be here forever!
A copy of the newspaper either daily or weekly is kept in the newspaper archives...oh! Forever! Same with school board minutes. And it's all public information.
1219 days ago
Comment edited on: 2/27/2015 2:07:35 AM
Your granddaughter is beautiful inside and out. Schools could and should do more to protect students from bullies. If she has not already done so, your granddaughter might wants to consider talking to a counselor at school. As long as she has supportive loving people in her life, you granddaughter should do just fine. Having been bullies myself, I know how important that is.
1221 days ago
Karen, your granddaughter is SO beautiful! I often wonder HOW does bullying GET THIS FAR? Is there NOTHING that can stop this kind of behavior? This world just gets worse and worse! My heart goes out to her and ALL children that have to deal with anything similar. I know I'm showing my age, but I do NOT like this world much anymore! And I am so glad I am the age I am!
1221 days ago
This situation is so sad. I think the other girls are just jealous.
Your GD is beautiful, has her life on track helping others and saving money for her future. Surely there is a school counselor that she could talk with about all this senseless bullying.
She will be in my prayers.
1221 days ago
Oh I, too, was a victim of bullying...and looking back it us so insane and ridiculous!
Your granddaughter is beautiful and try telling Julia Robetts, Carly Simon, Cameron Diaz, etc they have big mouths....people would trade in a second! Social media just supplied yet another way to bully! All I can say is be strong, know in your heart you are beautiful and these bullies are the ones with the problems! It does get better!!
Schools do need to take this seriously....to be honest I don't think they really know how to deal with it! I hope the future brings some insight and action!
My prayers for better days!
1221 days ago
Karen, it seems like so far your family is doing everything right. The fact that the school police are involved and yet things are continuing concerns me. It is possible that the threat of making a criminal complaint or suing the school (for allowing the harassment and hostile environment) might make those in authority take more or more effective action. It might have to come to lodging an official criminal complaint. This type of bullying is illegal, besides being just plain wrong.....and it can quickly escalate. In the meantime, while other avenues are being explored, I hope documentation is being collected, as much as is possible.
Good luck to your granddaughter and your entire family ( for I know this has a negative effect on you all). Hopefully your granddaughter has good friends outside of school who can support her and help her weather this storm.
1221 days ago
Comment edited on: 2/16/2015 3:21:09 PM
Sadly there have always been bullies and there always will be. They are insecure people with an innate need to put others down to build themselves up. A negative reaction from their target is often the highlight of their sad day. Schools don’t have the resources to require psychological help for most bullies.
The trick is boring bullies by always reacting in the same calm manner. It's good that your granddaughter blocks them on social media. She could remind friends that they have so much to talk about its better not to waste valuable time discussing irrelevant bullies posting nonsense on social media.
If bullies confront her in person she should react with the same calm routine. It could be focusing on one good thing and calmly saying, “Thank you for your opinion,” and calmly walking away. The school police are already involved. She should report all in person confrontations for a paper trail in case the bully later escalates to physical attacks. .
Many student bullies become adult bullies. Encourage your granddaughter to consider these awful high school experiences as valuable life lessons. Teach her to deal with bullies gracefully and unemotionally and she will be prepared for a possible bully coworker, neighbor, etc.
1221 days ago
I was bullied at points during the time I went to school but thankfully there was no social media back then. I've always wondered what does the bully get out of being cruel to others. I approached bullies who commented on my personal appearance and would ask them do you think I would have chosen to look this way if I could pick out how I look? I always put the things back on them that they were teasing or bullying me about. Sometimes I would pick one thing about them and point it out to them that they were not perfect either.
Most of the time that solved the issues and ignoring a bully usually does not solve the problem it makes it worse! If the bully is not violent I would confront them gently but if it is not possible then either teachers or parents should be involved. I would contact the social media sites as well and see if anything can be done on that end! If that does not work perhaps the police can get involved!
Your granddaughter is very beautiful and I hope she has enough self esteem to let their nasty, rude, cruel comments slide but she should not have to do that. Hopefully some resolution will be found. I think they need to expel kids from a school district that are bullies honestly.
1221 days ago
Comment edited on: 2/16/2015 2:55:00 PM
Your graddaughter is beautiful and I love her smile. I wish I had a solution on the this situation...but do not. I wish her the best and to just keep her chin up. She is a much better person than those who are giving her such a hard time.
1221 days ago
There's NO ACCOUNTABILITY on the part of the bullies, their "parents" (note the quotes here :( ) or school "professionals" (again, note the quotes :( ) - and we as a country (or any other nation that has to deal with this $#@) need to get back to basics as far as social responsibility goes - and to think that in all too many cases the VICTIM IS BLAMED - that is JUST. PLAIN. WRONG!
1222 days ago
Your blog touched my heart and brought back memories of something similar that happened to my daughter when she was in middle school. I live in Japan, where bullying is infamously common, but I've been reading about more and more cases in the US, and I am so sorry to hear that your beautiful granddaughter is experiencing this. I can see from her photo what a lovely girl she is, and I have to agree with MOM2ACAT that what's happening to her might be the result of jealousy. I'm imagining that she is also a gentle, sweet girl as well, and this would further enrage and embolden the bullying girls, who most likely feel they can never aspire to either physical or spiritual beauty.
Just as in your granddaughter's case, my daughter was ridiculed for a facial feature, something I had never even noticed about my daughter before it happened--her rather dark, heavy eyebrows. A couple of "bad" girls started calling her "Miss Eyebrow" and it gradually escalated until they were shouting in the hallway that they wanted to kill her! (The teachers are rarely on top of the bullying problem here, and I've never heard of the police being called.) What solved the problem in my daughter's case was the courageous actions of her "good" classmates. When the bad girls stood out in the hallway at break time threatening my daughter that they would kill her if she came out of the classroom and went to the girls' toilet, her female classmates surrounded my daughter in a protective ring and vowed to escort her to the girls' room, which they DID--a big, cumbersome huddle shuffling down the hall to make sure Mari could safely use the toilet! After a few times of being protected and supported in this way and having her friends stand up to the bullies, who, outnumbered, gave up, Mari was able to return to a normal life. But she was nevertheless relieved when she graduated from middle school, the scene of such misery, and was able to go on to high school and university, where she made wonderful friends and has excelled academically.
Mari not only survived but prevailed, just as your beautiful granddaughter will prevail! I hope your granddaughter can find someone to give her hope as Mari did--good friends or a caring teacher--because she WILL eventually emerge from this situation triumphant. And while I used to feel hatred for the girls who made my daughter's life miserable at such a delicate time in her life (we even thought about moving to a different city!), now what I feel for those girls is more like pity, for I know for a fact that they came from abusive homes where they were unloved and neglected. I'm afraid this story will not end well for the bullies, but it will end well for my daughter, who is happy and healthy at university.
I wish you and your granddaughter strength and courage to get through this painful time. I hope she can somehow understand that things will change for the better.
1222 days ago
Comment edited on: 2/16/2015 7:20:20 PM
Our schools here have a zero tolerance policy now. Bullies get in a heap of trouble for it and can be suspended, removed from regular school, and put in the school for troubled kids. All of the parents at your granddaughter's school need to band together and force the school to do their jobs!!!! The girl obviously has no respect for authority and the authority there deserves no respect if they can't nip this in the bud. It sounds like a female gang. Females are actually the ones who are bullying more often now. This girls parents are worthless. Some kids commit suicide due to this. It's serious. Parents of bullies have been sued for this. I would have never put up with my son doing something like this.
Years ago when bullying first started my son was bullied once on the bus by an older kid and his chums. This idiot pulled his shorts down. I called the Principle and pitched a fit. I asked him what he thought would happen to an adult who did that. They would be charged with assault or sexual assault. I told him it would never happen again or I would personally be calling the police and pressing charges. That I would put the fear of God into this little butthole myself it I had to. He was very proactive and promised me it would happen again. Within an hour the mother of the boy who did it called me personally and apologized profusely. She said her son would be punished, that he knew better and had been bullied himself, and that when his dad got home the crap would hit the fan. I felt much better about the school, this boy, and his parents after that.
Many of these people have been abused themselves and need therapy. Without it there is no hope. At least you can stop them from torturing your grand daughter and I would do it. Pity the kids whose parents won't stop this.
I'm sending prayers too for your granddaughter and for the school leaders who need to step up to the plate and do their jobs.
1222 days ago
You are right, for us adults it's quite easy to say that this beautiful and smart girl is probably envied by the stupid bullies in her school. I am teacher and I am well aware on the importance of preventing and handling with bullying at school. Definitely, some thing has to be done. And I'm surprised to read that the school isn't doing much. Hasn't she talked with some teacher? Isn't there some sort of school counsellor to refer to? Such problems cannot be handled by a kid alone, he/she has to be supported and a whole education project has to be issued to deal with bullyism, involving victims as well as bullies. Bullies have their own behavior and psychological problems and they cannot solve them simply by being told they're doing harmful things. High School will be over soon, but the damage she's suffering won't.
1222 days ago
I am so sorry, I was bullied all through school, and my heart goes out to your granddaughter. I think I was fortunate that there was no social media when I was that age, I cannot imagine having to have that added pressure now.
Your granddaughter is a beautiful girl, and I think those bullying her are just jealous; of course, that does not make it hurt any less.
I agree that schools need to take this problem much more seriously, and the emotional scars from bullying don't always end when high school ends; I have been out of school for 30+ years now, and I still have some self esteem problems from those years.
Sending up prayers for your granddaughter, and prayers that all involved will do the right thing.
1222 days ago
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