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The Face of a Bully (How Innocent It Can Be)
by J. Graham
(Ennis, Texas, USA)
I was totally oblivious until I received a phone call from the mom of my daughter's friend. Warning me of a voice message her daughter left on our machine apologizing about a note my daughter received at school. When I asked my daughter about it she did not seem to be affected by it and did not seem interested in talking about it just saying "stupid stuff mom". I shrugged it off thinking it was just a little tiff. I figured she had it under control.
A month later it all came out when she realized someone had her password and went into a website where kids can set up a virtual pet. I asked her if she gave out her password and she then told me about the girl convincing her she needed the password in order to request her as a friend on the website.
As we tried to fix the site, my daughter started spilling the beans about how things have been going on for months before. Notes being left in her locker, all of her friends she made in the fall were being turned against her. The kicking under the lunch table and the poking of the seat on the bus. Basically everyday for months sitting by herself on the playground at recess her self esteem eroding away each day.
She told me who the girl was and I was totally surprised. The child who seemed to be a sweet pleasant girl turned out to be a neurotic beast tormenting my daughter.
We always think of the bully as being the kid who steals your lunch money away or the big kid who pushes you around on the playground, but this is not so. My daughter's bully is a head shorter and a bean pole compared to my daughter. It can happen so subtly to your child these bullies know how to manipulate their victims. My daughter had started thinking something was wrong with her and even apologized to this girl thinking she offended her. NOT SO. These kids have agendas.
Of course I spoke with the counselor at my daughters school. She called the girls in spoke with them. Everything seemed fine for a week. Then it started up again. All I kept hearing is she is a product of a divorced family and they had problems with her last year. Well if they knew she had a problem and this is happening again get the girl some help.
I feel the schools really are not doing anything about the situations and just sweep it under the rug until something tragic happens. The schools work with the victims but not with the bully's or the bully's family. I am not even sure if this girls family had been told about the incident.
These bullies need to be stopped. I am hearing stories of attempted suicides and suicides being carried out by the victims, but you never hear of what happens to the bully after the tragedies occur. When will this stop? Yes the victims need to be counseled to let them know it is not their fault, but the bullies need guidance also.