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School violence: bullying

A letter from a bullied student, 25 years after graduation.

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"Instead of Asking Why" A letter from a bullied student to her classmates:

"that little girl who came to school with the clothes she wore the day before
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had to walk to school while others rode the bus
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had bruises and was dirty
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who was always crying
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had unshaven legs while the other girls were shaving
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who was hungry all the time and would sometimes beg
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who didn’t celebrate holidays or participate in school functions
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who was different in many ways
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
you spat on her
you called her names
that little girl was me
that little girl was longing for friendship and didn’t get it
that little girl needed a hug and was pushed away
that little girl had love in her heart to share with all but no one wanted it
that little girl was me
that little girl grew up in difficult times at home and at school
and instead of asking why.. you picked on her
this WOMAN has grown up now
however the little girl inside still crys
because her childhood was shattered
because instead of asking why.. you picked on her."

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The author of this letter is Lynda Frederick, who graduated from Orange Glen High School in Escondido, CA in 1987. Twenty-five years later, she is a woman with three children, including a 14 year-old daughter who is herself being bullied at school.

The poem was posted on the Facebook page for Lynda's 25th class reunion.

Fellow classmate Lisa Wallace read this poem. She said:

"This poem touched me so bad I could not sleep.. I cried."

Another classmate, Kristi Malone, recalled the bullying. She said:

"Looking at her being bullied horribly and thinking.. I feel so bad for her. But never thinking in my head that I could stand up for her, and not once did anyone back her up. ... She really is my hero because she succeeded through all of this. I look up to her."

Other classmates reacted similarly to the letter. Kristi continued:

"Just people in tears, like "How could we have done this to her.' [They] were just crying, saying 'Why did I do that'?'"

Some of her classmages have contacted her to apologize for their actions and lack of actions. She has forgiven them. They collected over $800 to pay for a plane ticket to fly her back to the 2012-JUL class reunion.

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Webmaster's comments:

That is one bullying situation that was handled about as well as possible. However, it will leave residual emotional scars for the rest of Lynda Frederick's life.

But what about the other millions of harrassed, belittled, and bullied students over the intervening 25 years? What about the millions whose life is Hell because of current bullying.

If you have children in school, are they bullying; are they being bullied; are they being supportive to the victims of bullying? Ask them!

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Tony Shin, "Escondido Classmates Make Amends With Bullied Student," NBC San Diego, 2012-MAY-20, at: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/

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Originally posted: 2012-AUG-25

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