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Brat H had another sleepover last weekend, and sent my daughter two more videos. The first "We're having a sleepover and you weren't invited" video was sent the previous weekend, for no other purpose than to make my daughter cry. The gist of these two, in Brat H's actual words, was, "We're having so much fun without you!" I told my daughter to send them to me immediately, and to send Brat H the following text: "How boring. Zzzzz."

Brat H, not a terribly intelligent child, wrote back, "You boring." My daughter (on my advice) informed her that "You're" was correct and inquired as to whether Brat H could spell. I won't repeat the entire conversation, but I have a nice screen shot =) Brat H ended up parroting everything my daughter said, clearly at a loss for words of her own. Zzzz.

I did not meet with Brat H's mother on Wednesday as planned. I make jewelry, mostly custom, out of semiprecious stones and sterling silver. Brat H's mother wanted me to make a piece for a friend of hers, and was coming over to see my stock of turquoise and discuss a design. But she wasn't feeling well, so canceled. Brat H's mother and father, and DH and I, are friends. We do not discuss our daughters. It's awkward. However, because of the video incident the previous weekend, I was going to talk to my friend and show her the video, putting it in her hands.

This time, my daughter came running right to me instead of crying. She wanted to start an anti-bullying website, called "Stop Bullying dot com." I told her that was probably already taken, and suggested a Facebook page instead. We looked up "bullying" on Facebook, There's a TON of anti-bullying pages.

Before my daughter started 3rd grade at a new school last year, I had not had any experience with bullying since I was 5 years old. In a playground in Central Park, the playground bully (a  7-year-old boy) stepped on my fingers as I was hanging from my hands and feet from a curved monkey bar. My chin smashed into the pavement (no rubber or sawdust in those days!) and split open. I remember seeing the white bone reflected in the silvery water fountain as my best friend's nanny wet her handkerchief and put it on my chin. I got 7 stitches and still have the scar.

The next day, my father told me that I had to go to talk to the bully. I didn't want to. He was a large and surly boy. Nobody liked him. My father insisted. So off to the playground we went, me dragging my feet. I don't remember what I said, but he left me alone. Knowing my father, it was probably something calm and logical. We don't threaten. We reason. And I was never bullied again, by him or anyone else. I was empowered. I grew tall, and strong, and (after hours of practice in front of a mirror) developed a cold, implacable stare for use when necessary =)

As I got older, I learned that words can cause far more pain than fists. Another piece of wisdom from my father: "Never say anything today that will change all your tomorrows." So I am careful with my words, especially when I am angry. This is more difficult than one might expect, as I am descended from long lines of sharp-tongued Irish women on BOTH sides.

I have read too many stories of bullied children committing suicide. Sometimes, the children are gay. Sometimes, they're not. The common thread is that they were all driven to kill themselves because of the cruelty of other children. I have cried over each and every story. But Rebecca Sedwick's story, as told in Christian Dem in NC's diary, was absolutely devastating to me.

Rebecca was a sweet-faced, very pretty girl. In fact, she reminds me a little of my own daughter. And the story is a bit similar: a boy that Brat H liked was nice to my daughter the very first week of school last year, sending Brat H into an apparently unrelenting fit of rage. My daughter has an older brother; she thinks that boys have cooties and has no interest in any of them. That doesn't seem to matter to Brat H. She has told my daughter that she is fat and ugly, that nobody likes her, that Brat H is popular and my daughter will never be popular...none of that is even remotely true, but the viciousness goes on and on. And it is awful for my daughter.

This morning, I called the sheriff's office to find out if there are any laws against stalking and harassment, and to ask if there is a program where an officer could come and speak at the school. The officer with whom I needed to speak was out of the office, so I left a message. I also sent a detailed email to the principal, explaining what was happening. He asked me to send him the videos and screen shots so that he could share them with "Deputy Dave" (not his real name, but he is a real deputy) and also asked me to let him know when I had spoken to Brat H's parents. He said that he was sorry that we were dealing with this. I sent them to him this afternoon.

The school, however, does not have any kind of anti-bullying program, or even a policy. I volunteered to spearhead one, or to assist with it. He didn't respond to that. I also mentioned that I had spoken to the mothers of two other girls that had been bullied by Brat H and her sidekick, Brat G. They were also upset that nothing had been done, but told me that Brat H was leaving their daughters alone this year. I told the principal that Brat H bullied with impunity, because she had yet to face any consequences.

I don't think that Brat H's parents know what their little darling is doing, and I also suspect that she has them bamboozled. She's a manipulative child. When I once told her (in my own house) that her behavior was unacceptable, she glared at me with utter malevolence before quickly plastering a big fake smile on her face. That was CREEPY.

Do you know what's going on in your child's life? If your child is being bullied, STEP UP. GET INVOLVED. It could save his or her life.

Social media and cellphones have enabled bullies to reach their victims like never before, giving them a practically unlimited platform for harassment and shaming. And suicide among children is on the rise.

But parents and educators are fighting back. Here's one article from HuffPo's five-part series on bullying

On Facebook, The Bully Movie and Stop Bullying: Speak Up! have thousands and millions of "Likes," respectively. It's past time to put an end to bullying.

Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM PT: Spoke with S. She was completely unaware that her daughter was actively bullying mine. She thought it was just "drama." Brat H's smartphone is gone, for a while, and was replaced by a TracFone. Brat H is apologizing to DD, hopefully in writing. I didn't tell her that I recorded our conversation, but did tell her that DD is documenting everything mean that Brats H and G say to her. Brat H DID lie to her mother & claim that DD started the video crap, but we were able to prove that she was lying because Brat G's bday party (to which DD was not invited, and was taunted: "Were you invited? No? Oh, too bad") was on Sept. 21. Nailed the little brat =)

So hopefully Brats H and G will learn the error of their ways. I suggested that S ask Brat H why, if they were having so much fun, did they feel the need to reach out to my daughter?

I will tell the principal that there should be a hiatus, but there needs to be an anti-bullying program. And that Deputy Dave should keep an eye on H and G, as they will possibly find a new target.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

    by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:01:15 PM PDT

  •  Easy to say exactly what you would do (10+ / 0-)

    in somebody else's position, isn't it?

    I'm going to do just that. If I were you, I'd present this awful video to Brat H's parents straightaway, using such a manner and tone that they couldn't mistake its importance to me.

    What a horrible child.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:27:51 PM PDT

    •  I am. I bought a miniature voice recorder (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, broths, salmo, FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti

      this afternoon. I will text S tomorrow morning. I don't think that she would lie and claim that we never spoke and that she had no clue what her daughter was doing, but I'm not taking any chances. I will tell her that I recorded it after we finish speaking. I will record it on my IPad, too.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:37:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One word of caution, BK-if you're going to record (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        broths, weck, BadKitties

        a phone call, check on the laws in your state first!

        In some states, MD for example, it is illegal to record a phone call without first informing the other person!

        I'd hate to see you get into any trouble while you're trying to stop trouble.

        That aside, this is a powerful diary.  You've written about your daughter's troubles with this child before in comments and such, but this lays out more clearly many of the ongoing issues.

        I also applaud your efforts to get a NO BULLYING POLICY started at her school.  There shouldn't even be a question of one being needed!

        Please keep us posted on your efforts.

        Tipped and recc'd.


        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 08:25:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CO is a one-party state =) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weck, The Marti

          Thank you, sweet Marti!

          I hope that this goes well...

          "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

          by BadKitties on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:03:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My fingers are crossed and prayers said! I think (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            you're doing something very important, not just for your own daughter, but for their daughter AND for the other children in that school and their parents.

            Not every parent is aware that their child is being bullied until it's too late.  Not every parent knows what to do if they do know.

            Having a powerful advocate is a huge deal!!

            We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

            by The Marti on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 01:45:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe not what you were looking for (6+ / 0-)

    Several decades ago, my smallish thin son was bullied by a trio of high school jerks.  I took him to karate class, where he eventually earned a black belt - the real one, not the one for kids.  I also told him that he was not to start fights ever, but that should that group attack him or any of his classmates, he should intervene forcefully.  He objected that this would result in his suspension too.  I told him that we would serve the time together, at the location of his choosing.  He could choose Disney World, a rental in the Bahamas, a ski area in Colorado, really anywhere.  It turned out that all he had to do was show the lead bully the bottom of his shoe, held sideways at eye level.  It was a classic VanDam move.  My only disappointment was that he limited the anti-bullying to his buddies.

    I did much the same thing at his age for my best friend, only less artfully and more violently.  It had the same result.  

    •  That is awesome =) (5+ / 0-)

      We had both our kids in karate. Son has a purple belt, daughter has yellow. The schedule got to be too much when they started playing sports. And...there was no bullying at their previous school. The school had a VERY active anti-bullying creed.

      But...perhaps she needs to go back to karate. She'd probably have to start over. She started at age 5, left at age 6 or 7. She's 9 now.

      Thank you =) I'll ask her. She wants to go back to gymnastics, but she's on track to be too tall, like I was. This would probably be her last year.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:17:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would definitely call your friend and show (5+ / 0-)

    her the video.   If the parents don't know what's going on with their child, they should.

    I don't know the law, but it may not be legal to record your conversation with your friend without telling her first.   I would check that out before you do anything.

    Good luck BK, and give your little one an extra hug tonight.

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:21:38 PM PDT

    •  Thank you, broths =) (5+ / 0-)

      I will check the law.  I can't imagine when I would actually need to produce the recording. It would have to become a police matter. Deputy Dave is the School Resource Officer, a real cop employed by the school. He monitors recess, and I've worked with him. All parents have to put in 40 hours of volunteer work at the school. The principal forwarded my email to Deputy Dave, and the videos and screenshots, too.

      He said that he and Deputy Dave will meet with Brat H's parents after I talk to S. I would imagine that Deputy Dave and the principal will handle it.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:30:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Be sure you don't break the law. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BadKitties, FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti

        The manipulative child's behavior may be available via other sources of recording...

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:46:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Woohoo! I can do it =) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti
          Colorado Law Question Regarding Recording a Conversation

              A tape recorder is an electronic device. Colorado is a one party state. As long as she was a participant, she may use the recording.

          Expert Law Forum

          Double check:

          In Colorado, for example, it is perfectly legal for one party in a conversation to record the conversation. However, if the other party asks if the conversation is being recorded, the person must answer honestly.

          "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

          by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:10:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So I DON'T have to tell her that I'm taping our (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti, BlackSheep1

            talk unless she asks. H'mm. We'll see how it goes. If it turns out that an old friend of mine is correct, and "Mean girls come from mean moms," well, then, I won't tell her.

            "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

            by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:20:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  great minds, broths? :-) I commented before I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      broths, weck, BadKitties

      read all the others, so it figures that someone else thought of the legal issues of recording a call.

      Oh.  And I second your hugs with one of my own!


      We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

      by The Marti on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 08:28:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope your plan works. Please keep us posted. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BadKitties, FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti

    Bullying sickens me. My daughter went through it as well, and the school administrators weren't helpful when I tried to get a 'face to face' meeting with the perpetrators parents.

    •  I hope that your daughter was able to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti, peptabysmal

      handle it and is okay now.

      Same here, last year they did not want to put us together with Brat H's or Brat G's parents. The teacher spoke to each set separately, and then to the principal. We didn't even speak to the principal last year! But we were new.

      Ironically, we met and befriended Brat H's parents because we forced the girls to have play dates and a couple of sleepovers last year. Brat H did not behave well, but we (parents) all became friends.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:05:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hope the meetings go well. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BadKitties, FloridaSNMOM, weck, The Marti

    Please check back in with updates about your progress.

    I'm sure this isn't high on your priority list, but you just may be saving the brat, too, if the parents do what they're supposed to.  It may not be self-evident by appearance, but bullies lead miserable lives.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:45:21 AM PDT

    •  I will. Just texted S. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, weck

      I can see that...Brats H and G, unchallenged and unpunished, could easily become Guadelupe and Katelyn.

      H'mm. They act like spoiled little brats and they actually ARE. I don't see any misery, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 07:55:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a teacher of at-risk students, we had a lot of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, broths, BadKitties

    training that applies to bullying; we just called it gender harassment.  There are many things that will support your case if it should become necessary to challenge the school, which is probably obligated to prevent (gender) harassment.

    First, the harassee should ask the harasser to stop.  This can be in the form of a letter or verbally with witnesses.  Document.

    Second, document everything, verbatim if possible, that is said within the scope of "school activities".  This may include sleepovers if they were organized at the school and the staff  knew anything about them.

    Contact the school and document that you have asked for the harassment to be stopped.

    Because the children are so young, it is best to get the other parents involved and ask them to stop the harassment, and if it were me, I would do that in written form that insures that they received the message, i.e., some kind of signature mail.

    Get witness statements if possible, the girls from last year may be witnesses to this year's problem.

    Be sure you know what you want from the school; do not be vague with your request, it should include measurable results, like "zero contact with daughter during school hours"  or "No classes together until graduation".

    Much bullying can be seen through the lens of (gender) harassment at any age, and includes every combination of gender, girl harassing girl is quite common.  Remarks about a person's body or attractiveness to others counts.  

    In NY, teachers were required to kick this stuff upstairs;  try to find out if any teacher has seen the behavior in school and tried to stop it in any way.  Document!

    If after all this, the school refuses to acknowledge there is an issue, kick it upstairs to the superintendent.  School districts have been sued for big money for letting harassment go on unchecked, and the district lawyer will know that.  Be sure to repeat your offer to sponsor anti-bullying in the school she attends now.  

    For additional info, look up (gender) harassment or (sexual) harassment in the books that contain Colorado's educational laws.  When you know more than the superintendent about what is legal, you shock the socks right off of them.  (I do have some experience with that.)  I have also had to hire a top notch educational lawyer.  A few visits with the lawyer and the district was compliant ever after.

    I know that all of these things only apply to cyber-bullying in a peripheral way,  because they are outside the scope of the school, but I am guessing that remarks are made at the school as well, and since you have already made the school aware, they should have stopped.

    I hope your daughter stops responding to her, it keeps the situation rolling along when the bully can get a response of any kind.  If still trying to document, she might make remarks similar to "procede, governor".

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 08:19:39 AM PDT

    •  Weck, thank you SO very much!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Read, but have to run because S will be here soon and I am in gym clothes. Will Re-read and respond later. Thank you, thank you.

      DD has a tape recorder too. In her pocket. They won't be able to lie their way out of it.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 12:06:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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