Originally Published: January 21, 2018 5:58 a.m.
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
I can’t tell my parents about the kids that bully me. They already had to deal with it with my sister. My sister is in high school. I’m in sixth grade.
They told my sister to ignore the kids bullying her. She didn’t and they punished her by taking her phone away. Now, she just hides the bullying.
They won’t get me a phone because of it, even for emergencies.
The kids who bully me, do it at school. My teacher said she’d talk with the girls who push and shove me, but she didn’t. They call me names like fatty and take my food.
I don’t want to go to school anymore.
There are 160,000 students who don’t go to school each day because of bullying. We don’t want you to fall in that group and have bullies steal your fun, your talents, your good grades, your goodness as a person. That’s what happens to most kids in your situation.
We’re sorry you fear telling your parents. Sometimes parents and teachers don’t realize how awful bullying is at schools. Be brave and show them this letter.
Ignoring bullies in today’s world isn’t going to help. Bullies are counting on you to be afraid and hurt by them. Bullying is about an imbalance in power. Bullies don’t feel confident unless they can hurt someone else. They are insecure, even though it may not seem like it.
The one thing that bullies hate the most is for you to be happy. They can’t get any power away from you if you are happy. It has to be real. Help yourself and your friends to do the same thing by talking about ideas, places, and positive things and don’t talk about people.
You have been made a victim and it’s not your fault. No one wants to be hurt on purpose. You can, however, decide to not stay a victim. Learn now that it is your choice.
Go to your parents with your sister and have a family meeting about this problem. Your solution can be creating better communication with your family. Then ask your parents to talk with your teacher about how the bullies are stealing your food, calling you names, and pushing you. They should have zero tolerance for this kind of harm.
Also, you don’t need a phone at your age, not even for emergencies. All schools have systems in place to take care of you. A phone isn’t going to make you feel safe. In fact, most bullying at school happens on social media on your phone.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president of Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation and host of a podcast at therhondaorrshow.com. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Write them at Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org