"’I would rather her repeat fourth grade then lose her forever,’” Irene Spektor said in a statement. Her 9-year-old daughter, Emma Spektor, was bullied for her entire third-grade year. The girls would torment her day-in and day-out.
"’They were calling her names, making fun of her physical markings such as freckles and birthmarks, taking away her school supplies and distracting her so she couldn't complete her work," Emma’s mother said.
It didn’t stop there. The “students at Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School called her ugly, said her artwork was trash and told her she belonged in the garbage.”
Poor Emma would come home crying every day, begging to be transferred to a new class. As any mother would, she took her daughter’s pleas very seriously—constantly meeting with the school to get her daughter transferred to one of the four available classrooms at the school. Not only did the school deny her transfer request, they were later informed all students would remain with their same third-grade class for their fourth-grade year.
Emma’s mother couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She feared if her daughter had to go through another year of this, she may lose her. Emma was already experiencing physical symptoms from all the bullying.
“Her body began to show the toll of bullying — headaches, stomach aches, inability to sleep, all symptoms experts say bullied kids exhibit. She became withdrawn, skipping activities like recess, and eating her lunch with the guidance counselor, her mom said.”
The school did put on an investigation but sadly found no evidence worthy of transferring her to a new class. But how could they? Unlike physical bullying, where the symptoms are evident, mental bullying doesn’t always show such clear signs.
So in a desperation, Emma's mother made the decision to keep her child home her fourth-grade year. Her brother would get her school work each day and she would complete it at home. She has been at home for months now and is doing better.
The mother even went as far as to file a lawsuit against the school district for their neglect in addressing the issue. The details of the case are yet to be revealed.
So what can a parent take away from this article? Simple. Talk with your kids. Let them know bullying hurts and may lead some to suicide—like 12-year-old Mallory, who killed herself after months of cyberbullying. If your child is the victim of bullying, get them help. Sometimes bullying carries no physical signs but its mental effects can be just as harmful.
Bottom line—teach your kids to treat others as they would like to be treated. If everyone did this, we could turn the statistics of "suicides by bullying" around. Share this article and spread the message! Thank you!