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Parents say school bullying pushed daughter toward suicide

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Bullying is a big problem in many schools. Sometimes it pushes young people to take their own lives.

A New Hanover County teen has threatened suicide because she cannot stand the torment from her classmates. To protect the girl from more bullying, WWAY is not publishing any names. The parents of the girl tell WWAY their daughter has been mocked, called names, and even pushed down the stairs by her classmates. They don't think the school is doing enough.

"She was being picked on in a class to the point where she finally stood up and said she could not take it anymore and that she wanted to kill herself," the mother said.

It's been about two weeks since Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi took his life after he was bullied. The local mom is afraid her daughter will be next.

"I have talked with my child, talked with her everyday," she said. "I give her the reassurance that she is pretty, she is loving, she is a nice person, to keep her head up and walk high."

The upset mother said Holly Shelter Middle School suspended the 11 students who bullied her daughter, but the tormenting has not stopped. She said she talked to the school resource officer, who she says told her he did not have enough evidence.

"Don't have enough evidence to press any charges of the young ladies that pushed my daughter down the steps," she said. "So as far as I know, a slap on the wrist to me, an in-school suspension for a couple days is not enough for a punishment. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. One time. That's it. That's all it takes."

The New Hanover County School Board could not talk specifically about the case because it violates privacy laws, but administrators say the parents need to take the matter up with them.

"If a parent doesn't believe that the school has done what they need to do in investigating it fully, we have someone down here that will investigate it," Assistant Superintendent Rick Holliday said. "We investigate claims of bullying all the time."

The parents have their daughter in counseling and are discussing other educational options. They say if the bullying continues, they're considering transferring her to another school or putting her in private school.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Stand up

For those who bully, your just jealous and stupid also need medical care I've never been bullied but if I did I no exactly what to do. And I'm not scared to stand up for myself because really it doesn't effect me. And I would never bully!!!!!!! Ever it only ruins myself

Bullying

I was bullied during all my years of middle school and a bit my freshman and junior years of high school. My friends and I were surrounded by a group of kids and they screamed at us, and hit us with rocks and sticks. They screamed at us, called us freaks, told us to go die, go to hell, and that the world would be better off without us. There were at least 20 children surrounding us in a circle, some laughing at our fear and despair. All watching with some sort of sick amusement. We told the school counselor what happened, what they did to us and named just about everyone that was present. The school did nothing to punish those individuals (god forbid they should punish the cheerleaders and members of the football team). Instead they called my friends and I into the office and threatened to call our parents. They said we were disturbed, morbid children. We BEGGED them not to tell our parents. I know I was scared that my step Mom would think I was a freak and it seemed I was always a bother to my father, I didn't want to cause him any stress. They didn't call our parents and the teasing continued ENDLESSLY for the next three years. The school did NOTHING to protect three scared and hurt girls. We felt like everything they told us was true, that we were freaks and, maybe the world would be better off without us. One of my friends attempted an overdose of her Mom's pain meds in order to escape the pain while another turned to art, poetry, and self mutilation. I turned to marijuana and my sketchbook for my escape. Now, years later, I am free of the drugs and the ghosts of my tortured childhood haunt me no longer, the nightmares I had almost every night are finally gone. However, it sickens me that schools all over the country continue to do to hundreds of children what my school did to me. This should not be allowed to continue, schools should lose more than their funding. Principals and teachers should be fired for there utter failure to protect children from the likes of their hateful counterparts.

"Suspension has become free

"Suspension has become free days to these children" How true is that statement! These monster children, should be sent to a private school for hudlums! Keep them away from our good accountable children trying to get an education! If you read the facts, these bullies grow up to commit more crimes. Nip it in the bud...get them away from our precious youth! Plus,the school needs to pay more attention and take more actions towards the bullies. It seems the bullies have learned to bully the "school staff". Perhaps the school staff, fear what could happen to them and their families?? Hummm? Wake up!! Protect our babies!

Bullying....

While I do not agree with condoning someone being physically attacked, nor should they be harassed harmfully by others; making a huge deal out of "bullying" in the schools needs to stop. This seems all to much to be the "New Big Complaint" right now, a fad so to speak. Every year or so, a new big issue is bought forward and new excuses for why some can't cope, or are not helped to cope and get along in the world are made. And even worse, the parents are throwing blame on any source but themselves. This is reaching a ridiculous point. These children have other issues at hand. It seems as if some parents are looking for reasons to blame others for what they perceive as some else's problem...as in their child is being bullied. For centuries, children were raised and taught how to get along day to day, whether it be doing task, or how to speak and interact with others. There have always been the "bad kids" in school. They were the ones for what ever reason, "picked" on others. When this would crescendo into a situation that could not be dealt with peer to peer in school, the school staff would intervene. Parents or guardians would be called in or visited at home, there was a consequence for the guilty bully, and also one for the one complaining--- if they in fact were accusing someone unjustly. They may have provoked the situation for the soothing attention and the pity party they will get. Making a big deal out of it in the paper and on the news only fuels more incidents like this. What child would not like to know he drew so much attention? With the understanding that the facts are often present by the media sources as truth, you don't know all of the facts. In a nut shell, people need to quit this attitude of entitlement, and airing these issues in the news. There are a chosen crowd who are just looking for a reason to sue, complain and be compensated monetarily for things that are more and more just stupid. It all begins in the home, what in the world is wrong with the world, when you blame and blame the outside world for what you are not doing as a parent? What ever happened to teaching your children how to respect others, be accountable for your actions, be trustworthy, and you the parent being the TEACHER? What are we teaching these kids with this issue??? We are teaching them how to be dependent and an emotional cripple when it comes to living life...and these kids are just getting started. Wake up.

Principal to the School Board

I am curious as to how the principal handled these complaints of bullying. I know she did not handle them very well at her previous school; as a matter of fact the bully was protected - not the victims. ZERO TOLERANCE! Bottom Line.

And, going to the school board so they can "investigate" these bullying complaints has never been successful either - I have seen a few of these cases. They have re-wrote the definition of bullying; if anyone happens to know what their ridiculus definition is, let me know so that I can be sure to notify Webster Dictionary for their 2011 print.

Overdue comment...

A bullying report was filed at Holly Shelter Middle... and under policy, within 2 days, a response is supposed to be given. That was about a month ago for one kid in my neighborhood. He never got a response. The bully? He says it was a teacher. His parents filed a complaint at the Central Office against the teacher. The principal never requested a parent-teacher meeting about this either, to my knowledge.

Bullying by local principal

I was just curious to know if there was any resolve in the matter in which you were talking about? I'm currenting deal with a situation at this school that has been going on for the last 2 years and it finally has come to a head.

Called it as I saw it....

I dealt with and witnessed bullying myself all through my public school experience. Below is a letter to the editor of Star-News I had sent about 2 years ago. Apparently it still rings true:

I have just finished Friday's Nation section....once again my eyes were met by articles on teen violence in school, school shootings, teen arrests and the like. This has become a commonplace occurance in our public school system. It seems that the media is ecstatic to have something to report on other than Britney Spears' divorce or Presidential candidates empty promises of a newer, better U.S. With this in mind I am left to wondering the obvious ' why are our children so apt to violent acts in their school?' Aside from placing blame on inanimate objects that cannot, ultimately, be held responsible for the 'influence' it has on our youth, why not place some responsibility with the public school system and it's employees?
I am a product of the public school system. I went to public school all of my life and graduated with the class of 2003. I was not popular by any means until I switched schools after my freshman year to escape the torture of my classmates.For almost all of my years in a particular system I was subject to the physical and mental abuse of other students, sometimes seen by a teacher who would ,in turn, act like it was not happening and, more often, not seen by an authority figure leaving me to fend for myself and then deal with consequences of standing up for myself, while the person bothering me was punished for our recent actions and not for the barrage of abuse they had been subjecting me to. I will not go into excessive detail as to what I had to deal with, but it was enough to make me feel inadequate and consider dropping out at an early age. I have since learned that is not true and have recently finished an Associates degree with plans to continue my education.
My point is, I have seen and experienced the way that some of our teachers, viewed as the authority in our system, condone cruel, taunting behavior among students. Standing idly by as a student is verbally abused or, taking it a step further, as to laugh at the bullies' remarks. It makes me wonder...have our teachers become subject to the clique mentality? Afraid to so much as tell a student ' what you are doing is wrong and you should stop it', for fear of being rejected by the 'in' crowd. Students often look to school employee's for advice and some sort of approval, especially when they cannot find it at home. Perhaps the lack of intervention by a teacher is enough to push a student over the edge, a student who is left feeling inadequate in comparison to others their own age, whose feelings are then reiterated by a school employee's sometimes deliberate negligence of the situation, which is the same as bullying the student yourself. If employees are unaware of how to deal with these situations, then our system should offer bullying seminars to them so that they will be better educated on the signs of bullying and ways to deal with it. Simply telling a child to 'stop being so cruel' is enough to make the difference in some situations. Teachers are the 'authority' in this system, they should be leading the next generation by example.

Thank you for your time...

BULLIES PARENTS sticking up for their bratty kids!

WELL SAID!KUDO"S TO YOU! You hit it right on the nail.I am so glad you survived the ""Hallway Monsters"" in your school system! God bless ya. Jerks in here who posted comments,suggesting the students need to "Just take it" are the reason the bullies find power! Infact it was most likey the BULLIES PARENTS (so busted) writing the post!Shame on them and their bratty kids! They ALL need jail time for being stupid, raising criminals and being heartless. Self serving people tend to have little or no compassion, if it does not involve them directly. Our school system is getting worse as the years go by. Home schooling and private is the answer! AMEN!

to the parents of this child

To the parents of this child,
If you are reading this, please help your child to find one good freind. If she has one good freind it will help the pain that she is going through. I went through this with my daughter in middle school, and the school would do absolutely nothing. The girls that were threating her all had really good grades and were the apple of many teachers eyes. My child's grades were slacking, because she could not concentrate in school, with the threats, comments, rumors, ect..
I put her in counseling, but that only helped to talk about her feelings it did not help make the daily tauntings to stop.
As a parent it is heart breaking, when you see your child go through this, the feelings range from sadness to wanting to go kick someones butt yourself. I watched my beautiful always confident daughter become someone who never smiled, had low self esteem, and poor grades, just because some girls told her she was fat/ugly/ ect..She really wanted to die, and hated school and herself.
Through time i found that arranging plently of time for afterschool/weekend activities, with one close freind..really helped her...and then with that one close friend, more joined thier group. She is now in High School and doing well. While she will never be little miss popular, that is not one of her goals. She gets good grades, has many freinds, and basically enjoys life. Her self confidence has grown so much that she is always smiling, carries herself with pride,and stands up for anyone she feels is being mistreated.
Just a bit of advice, it wont solve your problem, but help her seek out that one other girl that could really be her best ally through this.

NC stalking and harassment laws

North Carolina passed a Stalking and Harassment Law in legislation in 1991.I would take a warrant out on all 11 of these kids.Harassment is conduct that is directed at another person that torments,terroizes or terrifies them and serves no legitimate purpose.These punks need to stand before a Judge and be held accountable for there actions.No one needs to be put threw this nightmare.This also is Stalking which means to cause a person to suffer emotional distress by putting them in fear of death,injury or continued harassment that puts them in distress.I think they all might get the meaning to stop when they are charged with a crime.

I have a family member who

I have a family member who attends Holly Shelter. I will be sure to speak to her to make sure she is not just turning his head. We as parents need to teach our children not to just turn their heads. We have gotten to where we keep our mouths shut out of fear. It is time to stand up and defend each other. If everyone that witnessed abuse, of the missing child in Hickory, would have opened their mouth, they would not be draining a pond right now looking for her little body.

And to: The little girls that pushed that child down those stairs, you should be constantly watching your backs as you approach those same stairs. Because....... Everything you do does come back to you- some how- some way.

Bully's are cowards

Zero tolerance is needed with these Bully's. These bully's have low self esteems and a bad image of themselves. Nevertheless, these kids need to be shown the bad effects they have on the bully'd kids that lasts a lifetime. I would be willing say that their disgusting behavior is taught, encouraged and breed at home. I keep saying it, parents need to be held accountable. It's all in how you raise your children.

Hey, wasn't this one of the

Hey, wasn't this one of the schools that was redistricted?

Bullying

I am hoping that this young lady is in counceling and is given the chance to pass this time in life which already is difficult. I am shocked the school suspended the students HOWEVER as good as that is, it is mearly days they get to stay home with no work to do. Suspension has become free days to these children. They should have to clean the hall ways, or something physical. In school suspension is better than letting them stay home on the computer cable and hanging out with friends.

Amen

These kids that get caught bullying should be made to do community service within the halls of their school. Put them in clothes that say "I am a bully". This is a terrible act and should not be tolerated. Too many children have given in to their words and have ended their own lives. Talking needs to be encouraged to stop this behavior.

As a parent I just went

As a parent I just went through my child being bullied on the school bus. At first I told my child to ignore the boy and don't pay him any attention so that she would not get in to any trouble. But, my daughter had enough and stood up for herself and she got in to a fight with the boy. Now, when I went to the school the principal and assistant principal informed me since there was not any record of my daugther being bullied by the boy she had to go to an alternative school for 5 days. The boy did not have to go the alternative school because he did not have a chance to hit her back. I informed the principal and assistant principal I teach my girls not to let anyone bully them boy or girl. Once a bully know that you are scared of them they will continue to bully you. Me and my husband was actally proud of our daugther for standing up for herself. But, there are some kids out there that do not have the courage or self esteem to stand up for themselves. I think it is sad when a student gets punished for standing up to a bully. Now, if I was the lady in the article I would go directly to the superintendent of the school district and if she still feel like nothing is being done then I would take my child out of that school.

if this girl can't stand the

if this girl can't stand the bullying from school, she isn't going to make it in the real world when she grows up. threatening suicide over some "bullying" and someone picking on you is ridiculous. theres something else wrong here.

You and your opinion is the PROBLEM!!!

What do they say?

"Once a bully always a bully!"

Wrong

In response to you: there may be underlying problems here, but bullying needs to be taken seriously. Most responses to this are positive - yours is a stupid response and probably comes from someone who probably bullied others.

I am in my 50's and was raised when bullying went on. I experienced some bullying but it was not of the kind that goes on today. Some of these kids are vicious and alot of it comes from the music, the videos, the movies and the tv shows they watch. Alot won't agree with me on that, but statistics show it is true. The internet has also given them an anonymous venue that they can use to spew their hatred and viciousness from.

Any parent that has a child experiencing bullying needs to pay attention and seek out answers. Perhaps it is something simple that can be dealt with, but as you see in the news everyday some of it escalates into worse.

Parents pay attention! If you see signs that your child is bullying, don't laugh it off as kid stuff. It is not kid stuff any more. It is not acceptable to bully anyone for any reason and this must be dealt with firmly and speedily.

You must not have

You must not have children!!! Do you think she had a chance to stand up to 11 kids pushing her down the stairs!!!! Those bullies must have a parent like you!!!!@!!!!!!!!!

People like you are part of

People like you are part of the problem. Your remarks are insensitive and judgmental. I certainly hope you are not a parent. Shame on you!!

Amen!

There is usually more to the problem than being bullied. I have been in the schools for almost 25 years and there is always more to the story. Most kids that are bullied bring it upon themselves. Most of the time it is their MOUTH problem and attitude. Kids don't just say "Let's bully Jane Doe today," and they all bully Jane. 99% of the time, Jane has done something to instigate. IF you don't work in the schools, then YOU don't have a CLUE!

if this girl can't stand the bullying from school

OMG, You must have raised bullies. That was one of the most ignorant statements I have ever heard. Children should not have to deal with the ugly words that are being said to them. This type of behavior is what creates monsters, like the two boys from Columbine High School. If you have never been in any type of abusive situation, you have no idea how the way you are treated will affect you later in life. Bullyind in no way will help you to make it through life. Being confident, educated and strong will help you make it through life. The tongue is sharper than the knife and it will always end up hurting someone and tear down their self esteem.

You need to rethink your statement.

no, no i dont. ill stick

no, no i dont. ill stick behind everything i said 100%. my whole issue is with the suicide remark. did i say bullying was ok? no. my remark was stated torwards the fact that a middle school aged girl is threatening to kill herself bc people are picking on her? give me a break. she can go tell the teachers, her mom, the cops and everything, but to threaten to kill herself? you think its normal for a middle schooler to threaten suicide over bullying? if she's threatening suicide over this, at this age, whats going to happen when shes older and something very serious happens? i never picked on a sole in school, matter fact, i was more the one being picked on. the big eared short kid with glasses, but did i want to kill myself? no.

Well yes and no

I agree that bullying is a part of life and there are always bullies, however, when you are talking about middle school kids it's different. They don't realize that whats going on isn't the end of the world. They don't have the experience to deal with things the same way as adults do and they are dealing with vast amounts of changes in their bodies and hormones raging which affects their emotions. This young lady sees the news and sees all of the attention given to suicide lately and probably sees a way out of the torment. She doesn't realize the ramifications and affect it has on others most likely and so forth. It's a sad situation, and yes you have to deal with bullies all through life, but the way in which you deal with it and your ability to see past it changes as you get older.

So you expect someone to

So you expect someone to push you down a flight of stairs in the real world? You are quite prepared aren't you.

BULLYS

THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE PRAYER GOT TAKEN OUT OF SCHOOLS.THESE KIDS WHO DO THESE KIND OF THINGS,TWO THINGS WILL SURELY HAPPEN THEY WILL END UP DEAD OR IN DOC.THE THING IS THAT THEY HAVE NOT BULLIED THE RIGHT ONE YET.REMEMBER COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL.THE KIDS TODAY ACT AS IF THEY'VE BEEN RAISED BY TIMBER WOLVES.

bull-ies

When i was in public NC schools there was still prayer, the principal did it every morning and we said it before snack and before lunch............ we still had bullies. So much for your idea.

This is what happens when you take SPANKING OUT OF SCHOOLS !!

My kid was never a bully and was never bullied to the point that WE had to report it. I always told him that if i found out anyone was messing with him that I would take care of the bully myself. Problem is adults are to scared to say anything to these brats, I wish I was a teacher, I dont take crap from punks who think they know it all. Some of these principals need to be fired. I would be beating some a$$.

This is what happens when you take SPANKING OUT OF SCHOOLS !!

Take Em Too Church

AMEN!!!! CAN I GET A HALLELUJAH........ Beat Some A**.. Things Would Be Alot Differant For Sure.... That's The Problem With Today's Kids, They Think You Can't Do Anything To Them And They Can Call DSS On You..... Well Call Dss Cause Im Wooping Some A**