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First Coast mother takes a stand for her teenage daughter in high school who has been bullied for years

8:29 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's an on-going problem that can go unreported for years. Now, a First Coast mother is taking a stand after she says her daughter has been bullied in school for nearly two years.

Linda contacted First Coast News saying she didn't know what else to do. She says her teenage daughter has been bullied since middle school and she's at the end of her rope.

"My daughter's coming home traumatized," she says. "She loves school. She loves what she does at school, now, she doesn't want to go."

She says her daughter has been receiving harassing phone calls and text messages.

Linda's daughter didn't want her identity to be revealed, but agreed to talk about her problem.

"I like going to school and everything," she explains. "I just don't like going with them."

Linda and her daughter say the bullying started back in middle school, and didn't stop when she went to high school.

Linda says she frequently has to pick her daughter up early from school because of the bullying, but says she feels like her daughter is the one being punished.

"It's not fair that I have to take my daughter out of school, when she's got a right to get her education, just like the rest of them do."

Linda says she's talked to the school's administration and has gotten nowhere. "I want it to stop!" she exclaimed in frustration. "No, I don't want you to hold my daughter's hand all day long. But punish these children. Scare them. They scare her!"

However, Duval County School District Counselor Brenda Lane says the definition of bullying is very specific, so it can be hard for the district to take action.

"Bullying is a series, a pattern or behavior that can be verbal, it can be physical, but it is to the level that it is severe and pervasive. It is also chronic, so it's repeated over time, and it's systematic; so being systematic, it's almost like it's on purpose," Lane says.

Lane says Linda did the right thing by talking to the administration. Though she also says the district receives a lot of complaints, but it's not always bullying, which one of the highest levels of violations.
    
Linda says until the school takes action, it breaks her heart to send her daughter to school each day.

"It hurts." Linda's daughter says."There's the saying 'sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.' But yeah, words do hurt. They hurt worse than people think they do."

Linda says she's even contacted the Board of Education and is awaiting a response.

The district says there is a procedure if it is bullying, but the Code of Conduct has many different violations that are similar to bullying. Punishments for bullying can include in or out of school suspension and both the victim and the bully are referred for counseling.
    
Each school district has a broad range of bullying programs and procedures, so make sure to contact your child's school to learn details of how it's handled.

First Coast News

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