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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Brownie Bully

My child has recently become the victim of a situation that I think is bullying and could get worse. I don't want to use the word "bully" lightly and wonder if I'm worrying prematurely. The difficult part of this is that the girl that I think is the ringleader is the daughter of our Girl Scout troop leader. My daughter doesn't want to quit Girl Scouts and is reluctant to join another troop.

Little things started happening like the group of girls my daughter plays with "couldn't find her" at recess or they would say that they didn't want to play with her today, but maybe tomorrow, stuff like that.

It escalated when they went on a GS field trip and the leader's daughter and one other girl had a code word "peanut butter" that meant "(My daughter's name) is driving me crazy, I want to scream" My daughter heard them say "peanut butter" several times, but didn't pay any attention. When they returned to school, the "Brownie Bullies" told others about their code word, so it got back to my daughter who was really upset. Then these girls plus a few more decided they were going to play a trick on my daughter, but one of the girl's conscience took over, so she told my daughter about the plan, but she also told her that some of the girl's in the group had decided that they weren't going to be friends with her anymore. My daughter has been friends with the troop leader's daughter since 1st grade (now in 5th), so she was devastated and cried for hours.

I brought it to the mother's attention who responded well, apologizing and talking with her daughter. She also asked me to please bring anything else to her attention, no matter how small, so that we could "nip it" before anything else big happened. I agreed. Two days later, her daughter made a "Best Friend Book", showed my daughter who was in it, and made a point to let her know that she wasn't in it yet, but that she would be. My daughter noted that there were already at least 5 names in it and couldn't understand why, if she was really going to be in it, what the hold up was. Normally, I wouldn't have brought it to her mother's attention, but would have waited to see if there was any escalation, but because of her previous request to discuss the small stuff, I let her know. Well, her response this time was cold and full of excuses for her daughter. She said that the book was meant to be a "good" thing. That her daughter wanted to create a memory book of her time with her friends. She neglected to address the fact that she had to tell my daughter that she wasn't in it "yet".

We explained to our daughter that we were glad she wasn't in the book, because it was designed to include some and exclude others and we don't want her to be a part of anything like that.

Anyway, I'm frustrated and worried for my daughter, especially with the Girl Scout connection and that mother having a position of power over my daughter.

Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated.


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Comments for Brownie Bully

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Hope this helps...
by: Megan

First, is your daughter (emotionally) affected by this situation? If she is, I would remove her from the troop - if she is doing fine, I would definitely keep her in.

My daughter is a girl scout and there was a girl in her troop being bullied. My daughter wanted to do something, without looking like a 'tattle-tell'.

There's a web site that sells a wristband that says "No Judgement Zone", proceeds are donated to anti-bullying organizations (which I really like). I (personally) purchased 15 NJZ bands for my daughter's girl scout troop (if you email them before purchasing, they'll sell them to you for a $1 - instead of $2...and you can choose the colors).

My daughter went to her troop leader and asked if they can begin an anti-bullying campaign, by encouraging their peers (students at the school) to do the same. Long story short, each girl scout sold 5 bands @ $2 each (during the school day). So, not only did they spread the word to not judge others for their differences, but they ended up raising (unexpected) funds ($150 total)!

Hope this helps, and I'll keep you and your daughter in my prayers...

All the best

P.S. The web site for the bands is www.nojudgementbands.com

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