We have a write-in submission we would like to feature this week from an anti-bullying advocate and close friend. This is Kyra’s story.
I never thought what I do for work would be the catalyst for my daughter Kyra’s bullying to start. I’m an attorney in a law firm that handles white collar crimes. I guess one of the boys in her class started in on her one day after his father was sent to prison. I don’t know how he knew that one of his classmate’s mothers was responsible for sending his dad to prison, but he did, and he began to take it out on my little girl.
She came home from school saying that he started off by pinching her arm repeatedly throughout the day. I made a call to the teacher and principal who basically told me that kids will be kids. “Okay, fine,” I thought. Maybe he was just having a hard day. I didn’t hear much from Kyra after that, even though I started to notice more and more bruises.
One morning, a few weeks after the initial incident, I picked up her phone and noticed the horrible text messages she had been receiving, calling her all sorts of names, and picking on her for what color underwear she was wearing. At this point, I was ready to go to war with the school, or maybe give up my career and start suing for auto accidents instead of prosecuting white collar criminals. I didn’t know which.
I wrote a strongly worded letter to the school letting them know that if they didn’t put a stop to this, I was going to take legal action instead.
The next day I was in a work meeting when suddenly, my phone wouldn’t stop going off. It was the school telling me that Kyra had punched the little boy in the face. I went racing to the school and into the principal’s office where Kyra, the boy, his mother, and the principal were seated.
Kyra proceeded to tell me that the boy had been making fun of what color underwear she wore each day for weeks now, and she had told him over and over to stop. This day, they were standing in line for lunch when he grabbed her by her underwear and yanked upward, giving her a wedgie. She told me how it hurt so badly that she turned around and punched him twice in the face.
I couldn’t have been more proud of her. How dare this little boy think it’s okay to put his hands on my daughter in that way! I told her to gather her things, and pointed at the little boy. I told him if he ever put hands on her again, he’d be in big trouble.
I didn’t want to become a bully myself in scolding him, but I wanted to tell him he’d be going to jail the next time he touched her. In standing up for herself that day, Kyra hasn’t been bullied since, and life has since returned to normal.