About a week ago, I opened my email to a comment on my blog about my niece Lillian.
Huh. Delayed reaction but okay.
No one deserves to be bullied, no one. My heart goes out to Lily because she sounds like an extraordinary girl. However, here’s my problem with this article. I know the “young man” addressed in the story and he’s not by any means “a bully.” He’s not perfect. He’s young, he’s still maturing. Did he mean to hurt her? No. He’s not the kind of kid to WANT to hurt someone. I don’t think it’s fair for this article to be written without his side either considering you do not know this “young man” and neither does Ginny or Lilly. I have his side of the story and yes it IS possible to accidentally “pull out a chair” from underneath her. This whole thing has been taken way out of hand. Just because she has been bullied by other students at the high school, does not automatically make him the main culprit. I do think Holt should institute a better bullying policy because given her disabilities, I know she’s been bullied. High school students can be mean. There were other witnesses that SIDED with his story and no, they didn’t just agree with him because he isn’t the “different” one in the story. This is just ridiculous.
I will admit that I felt a little mad, definitely a little indignant and guilty. I hate that children were placed in the midst of this melee. I hated it for Lilly and I hate it for this young man. I am a blogger who told a story. I am not a reporter who can call up people and ask for their side of the story.
You know who could’ve done that and resolved this whole thing?
I knew you’d have an idea.
My response is below.
Dear Calling My Post Ridiculous,
I wish I did have his side. I truly wish the school would have dealt with the issue nine months earlier than they did. I told my sister-in-law’s story to help her protect her daughter. I do not find that to be ridiculous. I wrote a blog post about my family and I do it all the time.
If you don’t like it, I get it. It got a lot of attention. That was my goal. I wanted as many people as possible to read my niece’s story. I hoped that by reading it, the school would be forced to address the issue of bullying on campus. Like you said, no one deserves to be bullied and my niece seemed to be getting way more than her fair share of it.
I spent months agonizing over telling this story for several reasons. You don’t know me but I laugh a lot. I hate confrontation and I love people. My blog tends to be about my kids, their shenanigans and my personal life. I encourage way more than I tear down. I do a lot of “You are not alone” style pieces. Take a moment and click through. You’ll see I am generally on still waters.
I think you are right. His side of the story is very important. I am sure many would be happy to hear it. I do not blame the children in this incident. I blame the administration at Holt High School 9th Grade Campus that let a situation that could have been solved with a simple apology OR a full statement (which of course they sent to the entire staff after this blog was published and Ginny was not included in that mass e-mailing) to the family of the little girl who was injured. Ridiculous. I completely agree.
PS – I am glad he is not the “different” one and I am glad that although Lilly says he was making fun of her that day, that bullying is not a part of his daily repertoire. However, if your young man were on the other end of the chair, I would have written this blog post for him too. In fact, I kind of did. Because, like you, I believe that no child and their family should ever have to wait 9 months for an explanation.
I have really struggled with providing you with an update on this situation. Our meeting was dismall. It was clear that the meeting was setup to prove us wrong. Half way through an hour long meeting where Ginny’s name was mispronounced nearly every time it was said an apology did come but not before we were all clear about which cup of coffee the original conversation was had over.
Frus. Strat. Ing.
Ask anyone who was there. It was like banging our collective heads against the wall. I mostly sat silently supporting my sister-in-law. My favorite part was the outburst of applause that came when she told the gentleman at the table that they were only interested in “covering their butts.”
After the meeting, Ginny had a private conversation with Superintendent Johnny Scott and her mind was put at ease by a few things. Lilly was leaving the 9th grade campus. The staff at the 10th and 11th grade campus held no grudges. In fact, they were wonderfully supportive and encouraging. Ginny dedicated herself to working within the system by volunteering at the school.
I have an update from coming soon. She’ll be writing it herself and I will share it with you.
Thank you all for reading and taking action on Lilly’s behalf. Thank you for rallying for ALL the students that attend school within Holt’s School District.
Mostly, thank you for recognizing what is truly ridiculous.