Teenage Girls and Bullying

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From Harmony to Bullying?! I wrote about Harmony recently because we have harmony in my home. I now write about bullying because my daughter was bullied at school the other day. My daughter is in the 7th grade which is a very difficult age for girls with hormones and everything else. There is a new girl in the school that is a bit standoffish from what I gather from other girls she is also a bit tough. The other day my daughter decides to ask this girl why she doesn’t like her. Apparently the class starts to egg my daughter on so my daughter persists and tries to get the girl to say why she doesn’t like my daughter. The teacher caught on to the now heated discussion and put an end to it, so I thought. My daughter comes home and calls me at work to tell me what happened. I was not too happy and asked her why she kept on the girl about whether or not she likes her, what does it matter I said. I told her she should go up to the girl the next day and pull her aside and say, “Hey about yesterday, I was having a bad day, can we just forget about it? And I’m sorry.” 

I got the first call at about 2 from the school psychologist. “Hello Eileen?” “This is Mrs. Z, the GMS school psychologist.” I said “Hello” She proceeded to tell me that my daughter had come down to her office visibly upset saying that a girl that she had been in an argument the day before with had threatened to hit her. My daughter also said she didn’t want to get the girl in trouble because she felt she had started it the day before in English class but wants the girl to stop. She went on to tell Mrs. Z that the girl had told several people that she was going to hit her. At that point Mrs. Z asked my daughter what class she was in when the threat took place and asked her to go get that teacher. My daughter was in health and she is very close with that teacher having known her from her previous school so she went up to get Dr. N. My daughter and Dr N came back down to the psychologist office and were met with the Vice Principal. At that time my daughter was asked to give the names of other students that heard the girl threaten her. The principal spoke with the English teacher who did admit to stopping what seemed to be a brief argument and the health teacher stated that she sent my daughter down in the first place because she was crying in the class.

Mrs. Z, the school psychologist wanted to talk to me to let me know what happened and what was going to take place. She told me this girl was going to be disciplined because her words to my daughter constitute a threat under the anti-bulling laws set.  I said I understood but wanted to make sure that my daughter did take responsibility for the argument the day before. Mrs. Z said that my daughter was very mature for her age and did take responsibility and was concerned for the girl as well. I said to Mrs. Z that from what I heard this girl has some issues at home and want to make sure as well that she wouldn’t be punished anymore than need be at home. I told her that my daughter has heard stories about the home life of the girl and doesn’t want to make it harder than need be. I also said that I am in no way asking that her behavior be excused but just want to make sure she isn’t punished anymore than need be. Mrs. Z said it was refreshing to have a parent and child be concerned for the well being of the other child even though the other child made the threat.

The second call came at four from the Vice Principal. Hello Eileen? This is Ms C the Vice Principal at the GMS. I understand you spoke with Mrs. Z earlier but I wanted to give you a call and let you know what was going on. The student that threatened your daughter will not be in school for the next couple of days. When she returns to school all the teachers have been told to keep them separate in class. I said wow! That seems a bit excessive but the Vice Principal explained that although she could not get into the particulars, this was not an isolated incident with that student. I now felt that this student is more troubled than I originally thought. I am glad that the school took the appropriate action and immediately disciplined this girl. 

I called my daughter after school and told her what I had learned. I took the opportunity to mention that she shouldn’t have egged this girl on no matter what. I said she should now realize why it is best to walk away. I also told her that the school psychologist was impressed with her maturity and appreciated her honesty. I made sure to mention at that time how important it is to tell the truth and given what just happened I asked her if she understood.  My daughter said she did feel better that she told the school what happened and that she was telling the truth. I said I know but if you get in the habit of lying, which she has done from time to time, people won’t believe you when you need them too.
I am grateful that my daughter learned several lessons and hope that the girl being punished also learns from this experience. Being a parent to a teenager is never dull that is for sure. I learned that I need to be prepared for anything to come my way!

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