Liar, Liar.

A few days after Columnist Mark Mayes from the Lansing State Journal ran Lilly’s story, he forwarded me an email that made my heart drop into my stomach.

It was a forwarded email from Nick Johnson, Principal of Holt High School 9th Grade Campus to (according to the sender) the entire staff.

Allow me to summarize.

The email stated that my blog posting, Bullies Are Stupid & I Love the Way You Walk was with a few exceptions, basically false.

I felt terrible.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t go around telling stories on people.  I think other than the Penn State thing, this is the first time I have ever written about some entity or group of people in particular.  I deal with problems that arise face to face.

I read and reread his version of the incidents.  The words inaccuracies and omissions stood out time and again.  The heat drained from my face slowly.  I read it again.  I called Ginny and asked a few questions. I read through a very clear timeline of events and how they were allegedly handled correctly by the Principal and a few staff members.

I started to feel a little better.

Why?

I mean, if the email I was forwarded did indeed come from Nick Johnson than I could go through and pick it apart.  I could restate Ginnie’s story and what Lilly’s experience was.  I could but I won’t.

It is simple.  It boils down to one question that we will be bringing to the meeting with us.

Why after nearly nine months of Ginnie seeking answers and policy changes on her daughter’s behalf, is the entire staff of Holt High School’s 9th Grade Campus more entitled to a full explanation of the situation than Ginnie herself?

There were many, many opportunities to explain and find solutions during the school year.   Why now?

Convenience?  Ineptitude? Forgetfulness?

Why is the story suddenly so clear and so well recorded?  How is it that suddenly there are way more adult staff members involved in the report than ever before?

This is what we intend to find out this Tuesday, August 7th at 5pm in the Administration Building of the Holt High School 9th Grade Campus. We hope to see you there.

Click here to RSVP.

I promise, that if I find anything I wrote in this blog to be untrue, I will update you accordingly.  This is not about one principal that gave my sister in law the stink eye once.  This is about the policies of one school as it relates to bullying.  This is about all of you who left comments about your own personal stories and concerns.

Whether you are a parent, student, staff member or concerned community member, you have a voice in this too.  We may have gotten Lilly’s story some attention but you are just as important.

On a happy note, Lilly celebrates her 15th birthday tomorrow.  Happy birthday, darling!

Sincerely,

Aunt Tasha

3 thoughts on “Liar, Liar.

  1. My email, sent to Mr Johnson this morning:

    Mr. Johnson,

    My name at Holt High School was Layele (pronounced like Gail) Watters, or Layele the Whale, or Whaling Waters, or Fat Bastard, take your pick. I was pushed, shoved into lockers, tripped, had gum stuck in my hair, chewed up food spit on my locker, even had a chair pulled out from under me a couple times. That ‘accident’ is not only painful, it is humiliating. Let me walk you through it. It always happens when the classroom, or in my case, the library, was full. Everyone’s chattering, settling down and you set your books on the table, and go to sit and end up on the floor because someone thought it would be funny to follow you, wait for you to get ready to sit and at the perfect time, pull the chair out. They had to time it perfectly or it wouldn’t work. When the timing went right, you are on the floor, again. Its awful to suddenly be on the floor with everyone in the room staring, laughing and pointing fingers at you. And it is everyone in the room, because even the students who didn’t actually see it were nudged by another and told what happened. Every eye in the room ends up on you and they are laughing with you. Not at you, with you. It SUCKS!! The bully looks down on you, which makes it even worse somehow, laughs, walks away and gets congratulated by his/her buddies. If you cry, it gets worse, because then you are a crybaby and if you tell, then you are a tattle tale crybaby. Your friends can do nothing but help you get back up, because if they stand up to the bully, then they call attention to themselves and find themselves the next target. The pain from this ‘accident’ fades, but the scars last a lifetime. I will be 37 years old next month and remember like it was yesterday.

    I did what I was supposed to, I got up got through the hour and went to the principal’s office. I think I spent more time there than I did in class some days and no one helped. They were nice. They started by saying, ‘We will look into it’ or ‘Are you sure it wasn’t an accident?’ They would talk to the other kids in the situation and it would come down to their word against mine. They had their buddies that would say, ‘No, it was an accident’, ‘It didn’t happen the way she thinks’ and I would be the liar.

    Now here it is almost 20 years later and the same situation is happening in the same school. Lilly Torok had a chair pulled from under her, you know the whole story and you’re saying their story is false. It’s happening again and will continue to happen until someone changes things. You are in a position to change things. Holt is supposed to have an anit-bullying policy in place. Start using it. It is much easier to believe the bully. That way, there isn’t anything wrong that you have to fix, your day goes as it is supposed to, the bully won’t even remember pulling the chair, but Lilly will. I know she will. The right way is not always the easiest way.

    Layele Sitar

    Senior Class 1993

    1. Thank you do much for your well written account of your high school years. It is a perfect example of what we are trying to get across to the administration. If you don’t mind, I’d like to use your story, I will omit all names, but I think you really hit it! Let me know! Thanks again, Ginnie Torok

      1. Please, use my story and my name. Don’t omit anything, hiding solves nothing and I would be proud to stand next to you and your daughter, I would be at the meeting if I could, but live out of state now. I will do whatever I can to help you, you can contact me through facebook, if you need to!

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