My daughter, Avery, is in middle school and it has been a very trying time. She is my miracle baby and some days I look at her with thankfulness. Thankful she is alive and thankful I get to spend one more day with her. With those feelings aside, I will be the first to admit she is a drama queen, often times annoying, and sometimes downright bossy. During middle school girl’s start finding them, they find their clicks, and most of the time someone gets left out. That was Avery, but with her the bullying started. She would walk down the hallway and kids would push her, trip her, kick her, and anything else they could do just to be mean. She was called names and it was torture. She told the guidance counselors but these girls would ban together and take up for one another. So of course since it was their word against hers not much was done about it. I tried to do what I thought was right but hindsight can be, well you know the saying.
Avery was (is) hungry for a friend. Someone she can talk to, confide in, and have fun with. She met what she thought was that friend this year. This girl, I will call her Dana, loved video games and seemed to be nice. Then the abuse started. This girl had anger management issues and every time she got mad she would take it out on Avery. Avery, so desperate for a friend, took it. One time the girl slapped her arms so hard they left red marks and Avery did go to the guidance counselor but was told they needed to just keep their hands off each other. She figured out no one was going to help her and Dana was nice sometimes, so she quit talking about it. She didn’t even tell me about it. Then one day last week, the world flipped upside down.
This girl got mad at Avery and the next day she cornered her in the bathroom and pulled a knife on her. Do you know what it is like to have a call from the school informing you that your daughter was in mortal danger? You go numb, you are in total shock, and you fuddle around like an idiot. Well at least that is what I did. How could this happen? She told Avery if she didn’t kill her then, she would kill her soon. I just can’t believe how dire the situation was and Avery was alone. What if the girl had stabbed her and killed her? I would be without my child, I would be another parent that lost their child to school violence, and I would be a statistic. I still haven’t wrapped my head around it. It still seems surreal to me.
Avery refuses to go to school now and I am honestly at a loss. Everyone is assuring me this girl is getting the help she needs and that there will be measures in place but Avery is tired. She is tired of being bullied, hit on, and called names. She has had enough and she is begging me for help. The only option I have is homeschooling. Am I happy about it? No, I work so much just trying to keep food on the table that I am not sure how I can do this. But what kind of mother am I if I send her back? I homeschooled before, so I know what it entails, but in the same instance I wonder if I can do it again?
I am bitter, so bitter. My world and my daughters sense of security is destroyed because of one mentally unstable young girl. There is no amount of fixing that. Do I blame the girl, no because I honestly believe the cry for help as been there and was ignored. Do I blame the parents? No, because I was told they have been trying to get the help she needs. They are thankful for the fact they can now. Do I blame the school? Yes, I do. I feel there was warning signs there that was ignored. I think Avery has been crying out for help since 6th grade and has been brushed off. I feel they didn’t do enough to protect my child. She was in a bathroom alone when someone threatened to kill and was in her face with a knife. She was alone with someone that she had reported already for abuse. I wasn’t even notified of any of this. Avery said and I quote “I didn’t tell you Mom because they wouldn’t have listened to you.” Would they have? I am not sure but I know I would have done something if I had been aware there was a problem. I am angry and I feel like I am alone. I know there are many parents out there that have kids that are bullied. I am hoping that maybe you have some advice or would like to share your story. Bullying can and will escalate, Avery is proof of that. This is something that should not be tolerated in schools, at all.We call for a ban on guns for our children’s safety, but what about bullies. Shouldn’t they be banned? Shouldn’t our kids have the right to a safe and stress free education. Why is this allowed, sometimes even encouraged? When you are in that one moment, where you realize your kid could have been killed, you realize that this is no longer acceptable and something needs to be done. We can’t expect the school to stand up for our child or even protect them. We need to do that and we need to show we are not going to take it anymore.