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CBN.com Five years ago Nicole was looking forward to fourth grade as an opportunity to make new friends and meet new teachers. However, by the middle of the year her life had become a nightmare. Nicole became a target for bullying.
The first instance that occurred was when Nicole and her friend were playing basketball. Three girls in her class came over and began making fun of Nicole’s friend. Nicole was upset by what they were saying, so she stood up to the girls and they did not take this lightly. They began making nasty remarks to Nicole that would begin years of torment. The teacher found out about what was happening and pulled all of them into a classroom to speak with them about the altercation. The teacher blamed each of them for the circumstances and made them apologize to one another. This began a vicious cycle for Nicole.
Fifth and sixth grade became very detrimental to Nicole’s self confidence. The verbal abuse became worse. These same three girls began calling her names such as: “Psychopath,” “Weird,” “Dork,” “Stupid,” “Dumb,” “Retard,” “Freak,” and “Ugly.” The names began to take a toll on Nicole, and her family began to see her grow more and more depressed. She became withdrawn, she cried more than usual, and she had general unhappiness. She stopped wanting to go to school and even began to fake sickness.
The abuse did not stop there. She was consistently dealing with physical abuse as well—she would have basketballs and soccer balls thrown at her, she was knocked down on the ground, hit on the back of the head. They would dig their fingernails into her arm, and she even received threats such as, “You will not live past grammar period.” The insults and physical abuse became too much for Nicole to handle. She and her family felt that something had to be done.
Through her time in school Nicole would go to her teachers for help. However, they dealt with the situation in a “conflict resolution” style which did nothing to end the bullying. They would pull Nicole and her abusers into the room and would make each of them apologize to the other even though Nicole was the victim. It made Nicole feel as though she had done something wrong. When Nicole was in the sixth grade, her parents began speaking to experts on the subject of bullying and they received the valuable advice of documenting each attack.
After they felt that they had received enough evidence of abuse, they went to the administrators of the school. This became a turning point for Nicole and her family. The school contacted the parents of the bullies and set up an effective meeting with the girls who were causing such distress for Nicole and a separate meeting with their parents. The bullying ceased as a result of this proactive approach which helped Nicole gain her self confidence and find a greater happiness in her schooling experience.
Today Nicole’s father Larry has educated school administrators on how to be effective in dealing with similar situations. Nicole is now going into her first year of high school and is very active in her school and in extracurricular activities.
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