Bullying is a huge issue in America’s schools. With increased access to smartphone technology among youths, kids across the nation are logging on to to social networks on a daily basis to engage in a new form of nastiness: cyberbullying.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has called cyberbullying “the most common online risk for all teens,” and The National Crime Prevention Council has labeled it “a problem that affects almost half of all American teens.”
But the more traditional forms of bullying, such as name calling and physical attacks, still exist. One mother named Aimee recently took to social media to detail her daughter’s situation, pleading for the awful behavior to stop:
“This is NOT ok! My daughter has been bullied on the bus since we moved to Louisburg, continuously by the same 3 little boys. This is the 3rd time physical violence has happened to her in 4 months. I’m done! This time her water bottle was taken from her and they hit her upside the head with it! Called her ‘ugly’ and ‘dumb’. The first time I was told that the cameras were pulled and the act was seen by the bus department and the principal and that action by the principal would be taken.. never was!
I was told by the child who did this to her it wasn’t. This is the 3rd time! I contacted the bus department extremely angry, and told them that action WILL be taken this time! They went on to tell me that it was the last time! Lies! I was told it wasn’t! My daughter does not deserve this at 9 years old by 4th and 5th grade boys! Teach your sons not to hit women! Done!”
Along with pictures of her tearful daughter, Aimee added:
“This right here is the reason we see so many young girls committing suicide! They are bullied! I’m not going to let this happen to my child again! Louisburg needs to step up and stop this right now! If not, I’m contacting the local news channels and will make sure my daughter gets Justice!”
After becoming frustrated by the lack of action, this protective mother contacted the police directly. Six days after her initial post, she updated her Facebook with further details on the investigation into her daughter’s bullying situation:
“We had a meeting with the Superintendent, Principal, Bus Department Director, the chief of police and the school SRO. We found out that the Bus Director, even though she told me that she made the principal aware of the situation and that he had watched the video, now claims that she didn’t report the first incident of assault. She said ‘Well, you told me that you were going to discuss it with the child’s parent so I thought you had it handled.’
She lied to everyone in that room stating ‘I never told you I would report the incident to the principal’ and expected me to take care of the situation. I’m the mother of the victim! How am I expected to handle it by myself!? This violates everything in the school code of conduct. As the director she is suppose to report even name calling to the principal. But failed to report assault?
I’m completely baffled! How are any consequences for this child’s actions supposed to be taken without her doing her job! Her job as the director is suppose to keep children safe and to report any and all forms of bullying to the principal. She failed my daughter and lied to everyone in that room to save her job! The principal and superintendent are not to blame here as they cannot take care of the situation if they were never notified by the bus director.”
There was, however, a hero in this incredibly sad and infuriating situation. Aimee continued:
“Watching the videos today was heartbreaking. I give praise to the child who ran to the front of the bus and told the bus driver that my child was being assaulted. You are a true hero whoever you are! I also give praise to the bus driver for taking immediate action!””
Despite her bravery, and the unwavering support of her family, Aimee is concerned that the emotional damage inflicted on her daughter will be hugely detrimental to her wellbeing.
“What we have been trying to tell her is that she’s amazing, don’t listen to what these people say about you,” the mother wrote. “But even with us saying that I feel like this is going to scar her forever.”
Government statistics indicate that between one in four and one in three U.S. students have been bullied at school. Further, the proven links between bullying and suicide are unignorable.
“Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior,” notes StopBullying.gov.
And what about applicable laws and legislation with regards to bullying beavhior?
“There is no federal anti-bullying law. Although 49 states have anti-bullying legislation, bullying is not illegal,” StopBullying.gov explains. “In particular, when a youth dies by suicide, it is misleading to cover the story as a crime. Rather, consider covering it as a public health issue.”
The website does note, however, that when bullying is deemed to be meeting the criteria for “harassment,” it does break federal law.
As Faithwire previously reported, an anti-bullying law was introduced in Texas following the suicide death of a 16-year-old, David Molak, who had been relentlessly cyber-bullied. The “David Law” was officially signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott back in June.
“Under David’s Law, Texas public schools will have the authority to address cyberbullying that occurs off-campus,” as stated on the David’s Legacy Foundation website. “Schools will be required to notify a bullying victim’s parents of a bullying incident within three business days after the incident is reported and must notify the parents of an aggressor within a reasonable amount of time.”