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Bullying: Why are girls so mean?

April 19, 2012

STRONGER GIRLS!

Day 1- Why are girls so mean to each other?

Our story, what a sad year this has been for my 14 year old daughter and our family.

She was in a private prep school in Austin, TX.  We loved the school when she was accepted, we got chills listening in chapel about looking forward to her graduation 5 years in the future.

We were told that they wanted kids to be unique, they wanted a diverse environment, they wanted kids that would be involved and encouraged families from different backgrounds to apply.  We were not the typical family at this school, but the school assured us that would not matter because they welcomed difference.

We were so innocent, she was so innocent, we looked forward to her time at school and knew she was thrilled to be there, it felt exciting, we looked forward to the future…

There was a group of girls that disliked her from day 1.  Why?  We never really figured it out.  We were just an average working family, having to work very hard to pay the tuition to send her there.  Most of these girls come from very affluent families with anything and everything they could ever want given to them.  We don’t have fancy clothes, fancy houses, fancy cars or take the exotic trips that these girls have access to.  And yet they decided to dislike my daughter.  Why?

We wanted her to get a great education, go to school and experience new things and to make and be happy with friends and peers.  Like most parents we wanted her to have access to and experience things we did not…

No one had to like her, I didn’t expect everyone to be friends with her, but I did expect everyone to respect her enough to allow her go to school in peace.  We were told that was a given.

We just pulled her out of school this week.  She has been so stressed, afraid to walk past them, afraid to look at them.  Their snide remarks, glares, stares, smirks, comments, and overall hurtful ways just became too much to take on a daily basis. It was not worth the aggravation. She could not take the pain or frustration any longer.  Eighth grade should not be so stressful to a child.  Adult life is stressful; 8th grade should be fun, exciting, full of giggles, and laughing with your friends, full of hope for the future.

My daughter is mature for her age; very quiet and shy.  She is cute and athletic, with a great smile.  She doesn’t strive to be popular or overpower anyone.  She is a loving person who always cares about the underdog. She wants all people to treat people fairly.  She wants people to care.

She is not perfect and is trying to figure out her teen years like any other teen.  She gets angry at her parents, has a messy bedroom, doesn’t like getting up in the morning and likes to stay up late at night.  She plays lacrosse, draws, and listens to music. She is a tomboy but yet can put on a dress go.

She cared about the bully’s when they were bullying her;  she would accept their apologies and forgive them and hope the next day would be better.

She would come home from school crying and asking me why they disliked her so much when she had not done anything to them.  Hoping the next day would be better…

The next day was never better.  The group of girls would tell other girls not to speak to her and try to form pacts and cliques in which she was not welcome.  Girls would make fun of her for pulling up her hair in a bun when she normally wore it down.  Her artwork and only her artwork was torn from the walls where it was hanging.  She was called disgusting names. She was mimicked, whispered about, pointed at, singled out for just walking down the hall.  They would try to friend her on face book only to make fun of her, or to pretend to be friends with her, she stopped going on face book.  Most things happened indirectly, hurtful painful things that she could not say exactly who did it.  Some kids would come up to her and tell her what was being said about her, they were upset by it too, but no one wanted to confront the bully’s.

She found by hanging out with the boys there was less drama, she felt comfortable with the boys, she felt protected around the boys. She has four brothers and has been around boys most of her life so being around boys was a natural relationship to her.  This angered the girls even more, they did not want the boys to like her.  They wanted to convince the boys to not like her.  They said terrible things about her, when reported to the school they denied it to the faculty and the bully’s stuck up for the bully’s.

People she considered her friends would say she was a trouble maker for speaking to faculty about it.  Why shouldn’t she speak up about it?  She was trying to find a way to make it stop.  To make it a safer and better place for everyone.  She wanted it to stop.  We wanted it to stop.  She wanted her school to be a place of safety and fairness for all students, we deserved that the school to be a place of safety.

She was told she was a liar. I told her anytime she felt threatened that it was real, she was not imagining it and she should go to authorities about it.  Girl’s should not keep it to themselves, they should not be made to feel like they are doing something wrong by going to the authorities over it.  They need to feel empowered.

Victims should not be treated like they are doing something wrong.

She cried more this year than any other time in her young life.  It broke my heart.  She loved her school and wanted to be there, she wanted to learn, she wanted to succeed, and she knew it was privilege to be there, and knew we were working hard for her to be there.  She was working hard to be there.

I cried for her but tried to put on a strong front.  It just shouldn’t be this way!  Why so much hate?  It just shouldn’t be this way.

Her grades started slipping, her concentration was poor, her self esteem was gone.  She was sad and not sure of anything in her life.

I worked at the school part time as a coach.  I volunteered a lot of time at the school.  I loved working with the kids and the majority of them were very nice and came from very loving homes with very nice parents. I was proud of the school, I wanted it to be a great place for all, that is what drew us to it.

She was sad, I was sad.  She is sad, I am sad.

A mom of one of the girls told me I have no proof that this has been going on and without proof there is nothing I can do about it.  She thinks that my daughter is making it up and that her daughter has done nothing wrong.

She thinks that because no kids have come forward to speak up and say that it was going on that it is not going on.  It is going on!  At this school as so many other schools around the country.  It has to be addressed.

I don’t hate the mom, I don’t hate the daughter.  I only hope they see the truth that they try to make it a better place for all.

No one would stand up to the bully’s.  I don’t blame kids for not standing up to them, they are just kids, trying to navigate their teen years and figure out how to deal with peer pressure, hierarchy and popularity at school.

I have so many unanswered questions…

How did it get to this point?

Why was my daughter singled out by this group?

How as parents can we make our kids understand the pain they cause each other when they act like this?

How can we make a difference and make this stop?

We feared that it was escalating to new heights.  We had to get her away from it, I picked her up on Monday she was crying and trembling.  We left practice early, lacrosse was her outlet something she felt confident doing and she just couldn’t do it.  We both left the field in tears.

My heart ached.  Her heart ached.  My heart aches, her heart aches.

My friend said by leaving the school I am validating their behavior, I am not validating their behavior; I despise their behavior.

She is home from school now, waiting to start at a new school.  We are looking forward to the future.

Sure I am angry, hurt, disgusted, frustrated but most of all sad.  Sad that this is what kids are going through.  Sad that this is what kids are doing to other kids.

We are a strong family and we will get through this.

We don’t hate the girls, we don’t hate the parents and we don’t hate the school.  We just want change.  Help us make change!  Stand up to the bully’s, pull together with your parents, friends and families and tell the bully’s you are not going to take it anymore.  Make a change and work to be STRONGER GIRLS.

I told my daughter that when things are really tough find a way to help someone else and your problems won’t seem so bad.  She and I are going to write this blog to make a change, hopefully help others and keep you updated on what is happening in schools around the country so we can all do what we can to make it stop.

Write to us and let us know what is going on in your life, talk to us and we will all work to make change and make Stronger Girls!

Good Website…

http://news.jrn.msu.edu/bullying/2012/04/09/private-school-bullying/

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