This is a story of a girl who carries the psychological damages of bullying on her shoulder along with a famous school sued for handling said bullying poorly.
A famous private school was recently sued for failing to protect one of its students after, allegedly, promising to. The heroine of the story had a history of being targeted by bullies. She is one of those kids who get picked on just because she is. Where she ends up didn’t matter, because a bully would always recognize her and continue the torment. The parents chose the school specifically for its anti-bullying reputation, and the reassurances they later received that their daughter will be saved. Being targeted before meant the young student was prone to depression; this information was shared with the board as well.
But, the story goes on and the school doesn’t seem to be able to stop the cycle. New bullies have found the girl and she is bullied again. She’s taunted, called “ugly” and “fat” and to go get a “nose job.” The verbal abuse is not exclusive to the school campus; it follows her to her room, on the Internet, on social media, everywhere. At school, she is pushed to the ground and has dirt and bark stuffed in her mouth. Sometimes her uniform is torn, sometimes the chair is dragged from beneath her so she’d fall, and sometimes she’s even touched inappropriately.
Children can be cruel and merciless, but where you can’t argue ethics with a child, you can argue discipline with a school board. But nothing was done and the bullying resumed. The results, student’s parents claim, were detrimental. They say she can no longer continue going to school. She stopped at grade 8, she is now 17, she’s incapable of work and she’s incapable of continuing her education. Yes, bullying can be that damaging.
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Some children are more sensitive, fragile, than others. It’s nothing they can control, a normal human characteristic distinction, like when someone is outgoing and another prefers the indoors. Unfortunately, those who grew up more empathetic, kinder, nicer to the animals, are the least of us capable to handle the outside world’s cruelty. Such children are also less likely to fight back. They just want to be left alone. They’d rather have their safe corner away from the harmful others than risk getting themselves involved in something embarrassing, or something humiliating.
They also have no idea what they could have done wrong to attract the “bad attention.” For all they know, they have kept to themselves and hardly interacted with anyone. Then, why them? The answer is it’s exactly because of this. Predators prey on the lonely ones. They consider them easy targets: someone who’s already prone to insecurity and damage, someone who probably won’t push the bully away or scream for help because it would be too “embarrassing.” And they’d rather take the hit quietly and move on.
So is the dynamic. We urge our children to stand up to bullies, to not allow anyone to get to them, to be strong and confident and happy regardless of the evil world. But it’s easier said than done. Sometimes the situation is too severe for one experienced child on their own. Sometimes the responsibility of salvation doesn’t fall on the victim. Right?
A school sued for bullying is not news, but the gravity of this particular bullying case may cost the school a fortune. How much would the school, or the bullies(?), owe the former student for years of missed school and forthcoming years of needed therapy, with no job, no education, and no self-worth? A lot.
Read also: Bullies, the Bullied, and Self-Pity.
About the Author:
Sahar Medhat is an aspiring Egyptian writer with a degree in English and a passion for saving the world. She loves psychology, philosophy, intriguing cosmic mysteries, and putting long thoughts into pretty words. You can find her on her personal blog here; she’d love a message!