My Daughter Was Being Bullied And With School Starting I Am Worried It Will Continue
Around December 2011, I found out that my child was cutting herself. I asked her why and she said she felt like she was being bullied. I was concerned, angry, and upset! I went to her high school and spoke with the assistant principal about my concerns.
She did a little bit of investigating and informed me that my daughter had a crush on a girl who was straight and the girl had been asking my daughter to leave her alone. I spoke with my daughter about this and told her that she cannot keep trying to get this girl to like her. I took her to her therapist and tried to continue to change my daughter's focus. This took about 2 months, due to the fact that my daughter has Reactive Attachment Disorder.
After things calmed down, my daughter came home from school and told me that the friends of the girl she liked were talking about her in class loud enough for her to hear, and calling her names like freak, creeper, and making fun of the fact that my daughter is same sex oriented. Her therapist and I both told her that if she had to go to the principal's office everyday, 10 times a day, to do so.
She would continually go to the assistant principal and the assistant principal would tell her she would talk to the other students. My daughter would find out later that the girls and boys in question would claim their innocence, and my daughter began feeling hopeless. She began to smoke and drink, and at the age of 15 I was not happy that she was doing these things.
On May 15th, 2012 I received a call from the assistant principal and was told that my child had been Facebook messaging a girl and called her an "effin b", and that there was an altercation out on the track and somehow my child was involved. I told her that I would speak to my child and find out what happened and that I would look into the Facebook issue. When I got home that evening, my daughter came into my bathroom to ask me for a snack, and I noticed that she had marks on her neck and face. I asked her what happened, and she said she used her necklace to choke herself! I was so scared for my child at that moment.
I took her to the hospital and she was placed on suicide watch until a bed came open at the mental health facility. She was asked if she was trying to kill herself, but she said no, that it made her stress go away. I asked her what caused this and she said that she was so stressed about the things going on at school. Apparently when she went to the assistant principal on that day, she felt as though she was in trouble for reporting the harassment constantly, and she lost hope that the school would do what was legally their obligation, and that is to stop the bullying.
While my daughter was in the mental health facility, she opened up about the things that were occurring in school. She told me that the kids who were harassing her would come up to her at lunch while she was listening to her music, and yank her headphones out of her ear to get her attention, the girl would drop her backpack near my daughter's on purpose to make sure they had to have contact, and I found out that the altercation that took place, was not my child's fault.
She told me that there was a big commotion and that she was somehow pushed into the girl who had been the main tormentor. The main girl that picked on her was in all but one of my daughter's classes, and made my child's life a living hell. I had asked the assistant principal to rearrange my child's class schedule when the bullying issue first came to light and was told that it was too late in the school year to make those changes.
The day my child was admitted, I called her school and spoke with the principal and informed her of everything that had been going on and what it had lead to. She said she would find out what was going on and get back to me. I was surprised at that statement, because I assumed that assistant principal had kept her boss in the loop. I did not hear back from the principal and called the next day. I spoke with the assistant principal who was being indignant on the phone, and to me it seemed as though she was blaming my child for the harassment! I told her that no matter what role my child had in the problem, it was between her and the girl she liked, NOT the girls and boys that were picking on her.
The assistant principal brought up the Facebook email and I told her that my child did not call the girl an "effin b". The woman said "I read the email ma'am" I said so did I. She was gob smacked I guess because she started back-pedalling. I told her that if the nonsense continued, that I would be taking legal action. She said maybe I should. The thing she didn't realize was that I meant against her personally for not doing anything to protect my child, the boys and girls who were tormenting my child and the school itself. She then called me back and told me she rearranged my child's classes, like I had asked 5 months prior to the things that had transpired. I was angry! If that had been done in the first place my child wouldn't have been where she was, and she would have had a reprieve from the children who harassed her.
My daughter stayed in the mental health facility for 2 weeks and when she was released I did not send her back to school. I made arrangements with the principal to pick up her assignments and for her to take her end of course exams. She has been out of inpatient for 2 months and has been going to therapy as well as taking mood stabilizing medication. My child will be in 10th grade this upcoming school year and I am worried that this will start again. I do not want my child to harm herself again because of this situation. It could be much worse than it was. I have been talking to my daughter, and reassuring her and making sure she knows that I will always be there no matter what.