There are some things that I think you don't know about bullies.
Maybe you don't even realize that you are one.
Maybe you were whispering and telling each other secrets during the bully assembly at the beginning of the year.
Maybe you were distracted by your stomach growling or you were picking at your nail polish. Or maybe someone had sparkly shoes and you are easily distracted by anything that glitters.
Perhaps the video was lame, and didn't fully explain what bullying is. I don't know, I wasn't there.
But I am here. Every day I am here when my girl comes in the door sobbing with heartbreak in her eyes.
I was here last week when you all decided to lie about her and get her in trouble with the teacher.
I was here to hold her as she clutched onto me like she was about to drown in sorrow.
You caused a little girl who had never once, in her entire school career broken a rule or gotten detention, to be punished for 3 days.
You caused the sweetest little girl on earth to suffer the humiliation of being punished in front of the class.
Your lie caused her to eat her lunch alone at her desk, as tears streamed down onto her peanut butter sandwich, while she suffered through the embarrasment of a lunch detention she did not earn.
So let me tell you what bullying is.
*Bullying is whispering about someone behind your hand as you stare them down with an icy glare. She knows you are talking about her.
*Bullying is telling every impressionable girl in your class that they are forbidden to be friends with my daughter.
*Bullying isn't always pushing or hitting.
*Bullying is following her around on the playground intimidating her.
*Bullying is calling her names that she doesn't even know the meaning of because they are so awful. Names that I am so sorry that you have even heard, because no 8 year old should know these phrases. I am hoping and praying that no one in your home calls you those things.
*Did you know that bullying doesn't always look like how its portrayed on tv?
*Bullies don't only pick on kids with straight A's and big glasses.
*Bullies don't only pick on kids who don't look the same or wear hand me downs.
*Sometimes bullies pick on skinny blonde haired girls with beautiful blue eyes. Sometimes bullies pick on girls who spend 3 hours a week at dance class, because every fiber of her being feels music.
*Sometimes bullies pick on the girl who is hilarious.
*Sometimes bullies pick on girls who dream of being movie and rock stars
Did you know that this girl you have chosen to torment for the last 6 months, was giddy with excitement on the first day of school? She could barely contain her excitement to go and make 20 new friends. Did you know that she doesn't care about height, weight, color of skin, grades in school or clothes? Did you know that her main goal was to have an entire class of friends and make you smile and laugh every day?
I know that no one is perfect. My 8 year old isn't perfect. She doesn't like to do her chores until I've asked her 12 times. She is sometimes a grumpy bear in the morning that moves like a snail to get dressed. She loses patience with her siblings, and most often wants the bigger serving of ice cream. I know that there have probably been times when she hurt your feelings.
But I also know that she would never, ever call one of you a hurtful name. I know that she would not relish in the fact that you were sent to the prinicpal's office, and greet you with a smug smile when you returned.
So the point of all of this? The point is to tell you that the things that you are doing and saying today, will have an effect on her for the rest of her life. I know this because it happened to me. There is a good chance that she will forever feel like she doesn't have real friends. She might be eternally scared that she is one day or conversation away from being told she is unworthy, unloved, and disliked. Your words today might cause her to question other people's ability to love her forever, to trust that they aren't going anywhere. Your pointed looks, your eye rolling, your swearing, your intimidation tactics, might leave permanent scars. Because of your heartless behavior, she might feel insecure in her relationships with other people for the rest of her life.
I hope that the love her daddy and I will lavish on her, will make up for the hate that you poured on her. I hope that the God she loves will all her heart will take this ugly hurt and use it for good in Layla's life. That she will overflow with love, and not build up a stone fortress around her heart. And I hope that someday, you will realize you missed out on the kind of friendship that may never find you again. I hope that you will learn from your mistakes and teach your children to have love, compassion and kindness for everyone they meet. I hope you can learn to love and not continue a cycle of bullying and harrassment. Mostly I pray that God can redeem and restore the happy, joy filled spirit in my daughter that you tried your hardest to crush.