Acushnet Mom Pleads with Parents to Talk to Their Kids About Bullying
It's not entirely uncommon to see parents taking to Facebook to complain about bullying. When I saw this post from an Acushnet mom last night on Facebook, however, something was just a little bit different.
The Facebook post was nothing short of heartwrenching. She just poured her heart out to the Acushnet community, begging for parents to sit down and talk to their kids about bullying.
Acushnet School Superintendent Dr. Paula Bailey released a statement to Fun 107 referencing the social media post. "It is heartening that so many kind and caring students, families, and community members in Acushnet have reached out to offer support for our students, and it exemplifies the strength of our community," she said.
There is no doubt in my mind that the student body at Ford Middle school is jam-packed with great kids that despise bullying. Even if Ford Middle School is dealing with a bullying problem, it makes it no different than any other middle school in America. The fact that Ford was mentioned, however, really made this letter hit home to me. I see those kids walk into that school. They're good kids! To think that any of them could be dreading getting out of bed and going to school like this is sickening to me.
I think it's a good exercise for any parent anywhere. You may think that your child would NEVER be involved in something like that, and hopefully, you are right. Even if your child isn't the bully, sharing this story with your kids can help them think about how they might react if they witness someone getting bullied. Who would they tell? What would they do or say?
Our bullying problem is not a school problem or a home problem. It's not a Ford Middle School problem or an Acushnet problem. It's not a police problem or a parent problem. The zero tolerance must be established at every level and at every location. Children must be made to feel protected from cruelty no matter where they are. The world is a bad place, but it doesn't have to be while they are young enough. We can do our best as a community to control it.
Below is the letter that first appeared on an Acushnet group:
To the parents of 7th grade Ford girls,
Hello. I am coming to as a fellow parent to implore you to talk to your girls. My daughter has been mercilessly bullied by her fellow 7th grade girl “friends” for the last 6 months or so. Most recently she went to a sleepover w/3 girls. One of these little darlings took it upon herself to take covert videos of my daughter and pass them around. Needless to say my daughter once again spent the night crying and the morning pleading with me not to make her go to school.
She is literally breaking before my eyes and I am powerless because your daughters opinions matter more than anything I can provide at this tender age.
She’s called “leftover” at the lunch table...take a look on urban dictionary. It’s mind blowing that this term is being hurled at an innocent 13 year old child. She is sent nasty texts and Snaps. Ridiculed and mocked. Harassed at school, at home, at friends homes, at the mall...anywhere they find her.
I have stacks of screenshots...I have seen what they say about her and to her. It hurts me to read it I can’t even begin to imagine how she feels. She doesn’t want to go to school, she’s afraid to look at her texts and snaps. As a mom i can’t even explain the utter devastation and hurt that comes w/ looking into your daughters eyes and knowing that no matter how much you love them you can’t fix this kind of pain. She is being tortured for absolutely no reason other than being considered an easy target. My daughter is kind and naive. She believes your daughters when they say they are friends. She believes in the good of people and doesn’t want to get anyone in trouble.
She has begged and pleaded with me not to go to the school. Neither of us have much confidence in their ability to address this appropriately without putting a larger target on her back. And honestly I think it’s up to us as parents to address these things first.
So I am coming to you. To beg you to please talk to your girls. Teach them a better way. Please I am begging you...I don’t want to lose my daughter because you are afraid to confront yours.
I know these girls...I do not think they are “bad” but I think they are in need of a serious come to Jesus with mom and/or dad.
Please parents...watch the news w/them, read the paper or internet with them. We have 8 year old children taking their lives because of this kind of thing. This is so far beyond kids will be kids. How many lives have to be lost and destroyed before we make a commitment to our community and our children to do better?
I don’t know where else to go. I’m afraid for her. I’ve done my part setting up support for her but I can’t do it alone. This is on you as a parent as well. It is our duty to raise decent human beings and leave this world a better place. It takes absolutely nothing away from your child to be kind or at the very least not go out of their way to torment a young girl.
My next course of action will be going against her wishes and contacting the school, the Acushnet PD, and the juvenile court to get an order of harassment against at least the worst 2 offenders. Some of it is THAT bad.
Please parents, don’t let them be the mean girls. Don’t let them cut down and destroy other children. It’s not just teasing. It’s intentionally targeting a child and being deliberately cruel in an attempt to break them down as a human being. There is enough hate in this world. We have to do better. If not for ourselves then for our children. My daughter would be the first one in line to comfort yours if the roles were reversed.”