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High School Internet Bullying.


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#1 anonymous888

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

I was very hesitant to post this giving a trolling situation yesterday, but this is a very different situation to the one posted recently, so hopefully the mods will be understanding.

This morning after dance, DD14 came to me upset because a friend texted her saying there are two online 'burn books' for girls at her school on the internet & everyone was talking about them & one of the pages had written mean things about her older sister DD18. I went and had a look at it and the comments about DD18 were disgusting & I went to ask DD18 if she knew anything about online 'burn books' at school. She said no, but made that face I know she makes when she's lying about something. I let it go, thinking maybe she'd seen the comment & was embarassed about it and said she could come talk to me later if she wanted.

A couple of hours later, I got a phone call from the mother of a girl DD18 used to be friends with in primary school but 'grew apart' from when the other girl became friends with the 'popular' crowd when they moved to high school (I've stayed friends with the mother, much to DD18's eyerolling when she has to see her former friend around because DD18 is still very resentful her former best friend decided she was too good for her) saying that her daughter overheard a conversation between DD18 and one of her friends talking about the burn book they'd made and bragging about the nasty things they'd written about this girl and her friends & then in retaliation, my friend's group made a website too and now it was spiralling out of control with the comments and submissions to the page and she didn't know what to do, but she thinks they are going to go to the police or the school and confess.

I went and spoke to DD18 and eventually she confessed that her and 3 of her friends made the initial burn book. I asked if she was sorry and she said no because 'nearly everyone at school makes me feel like s**t, it was fun to make them feel like s**t for a change'. They are not part of the popular group at school and have been picked on a bit. I said it has to be deleted, DD18 said she is not the one who can delete it anyway because her friend did the actual creation of the page & it's connected to one of her email addresses. She said she is a bit upset about the comment on the one made in retaliation, but it serves her right anyway.

I want to go to the police about the whole thing. DD18 is worried that she will be in a lot of trouble because she is already 18 as a result of repeating a grade in early primary school and since she is legally an adult, the police will be able to do anything they want to her and she'd rather just let the horrible comment about her stay up there than admit that she was bullying too and get into trouble for her comments. Looking up the laws, they could probably make a case for harassment and get her into trouble.

WWYD? I'm at such a loss here.

(Semi-Regular poster gone anon for privacy reasons, not trolling reasons.)

Edited by anonymous888, 02 December 2012 - 01:25 PM.


#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

I would hand it over to the school. They will know what step needs to be taken next. It's bigger than your DD and all the children involved need to be protected and counselled.

It's not unusual for the bullied to become the bully and all need help and assistance.

Edited by howdo, 02 December 2012 - 01:33 PM.


#3 trebambinibelli

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

There have to be some sort of consequences for that behaviour, bullying is not acceptable, regardless of who did it first.  You sound worried that she will get legal consequences for her actions, why not?  Bullying is VERY serious, she is an adult, she knows better and therefore if she chooses to act this way, then as an adult she needs to accept the ramifications of it.  

In the meantime, if it was related to fellow school kids, can you go to the head of school/principal and ask their opinion?  I don't have children old enough to know what happens at this age.  If the other party goes to the police it may be out of your hands anyway.

#4 anonymous888

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE (trebambinibelli @ 02/12/2012, 01:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There have to be some sort of consequences for that behaviour, bullying is not acceptable, regardless of who did it first. You sound worried that she will get legal consequences for her actions, why not? Bullying is VERY serious, she is an adult, she knows better and therefore if she chooses to act this way, then as an adult she needs to accept the ramifications of it.


My daughter has felt ostracised right throughout her schooling and has only a few friends. Because they more 'look down' on her and 'not include' her and treat her like an outcast, there is not much the school can do because it is not really bullying in that they are not doing something obvious to her they can punish her for. They just say 'not everyone will be friends'.

I am worried she will get legal consqeuences for her actions and I don't know if it is a fair solution. She's hurting. She's unhappy. School makes her depressed because she doesn't fit in.

She's definetely taken her 'revenge' too far, but to me, it feels more like a case of 'the bullied became the bully because she was in a lot of pain' rather than 'my daughter is a horrible person'.

I do know there need to be consqeuences, but I also don't think a criminal record is the answer here.

Edited by anonymous888, 02 December 2012 - 01:43 PM.


#5 hawkara

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

Bullying is a vicious cycle. The bullied find their self esteem destroyed and themselves in a lot of emotional pain and often the easiest way to try and rebuild that self esteem and take out that pain is to turn to becoming bullies themselves.

It's what happened to me. I was bullied through school, then when I moved school, I became the bully to try and 'protect' myself from being bullied and to build myself back up.

It's sadly so incredibly common and why bullying is such a terrible, terrible problem.

I don't know how the law works, but I highly doubt an 18 year old girl is going to get thrown in prison or given an harassment charge over some internet remarks. I'd think the police are more likely to heavily warn everyone involved, give a talk on cyber-bullying & refer those who need it to counselling.

#6 FeralZombieMum

Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

Definitely contact the school as it involves their students and they'd want to help with the situation. It's the right thing to do, because there could be more serious consequences, and it would be awful for you to have known about the issue and not speak up about it.

Your posts sound like you are making up excuses for your DD's actions, and you don't want her to face the consequences of her actions - how is she going to learn from this she can't accept responsibility?


Although I'm very surprised that given her age, she wasn't aware of the possible repercussions of her actions on the internet - has she been living under a rock? Because schools tend to do a lot of education about the proper use of computers and the internet - and I know with the 2 schools my kids go to, both schools run classes for the kids on appropriate behaviours, and they also have to sign a form at the start of the year about agreeing to a code of conduct in regards to this technology.



#7 bonnybabe

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:07 PM

well why don't you call the mother of the girl who created the page and at least have it taken down as a start? You can't leave it there.

And yes your daughter may have been left out, but she's now making someone feel even worse.  She is 18, and I'm assuming in year 12?  she can't have long to go. Tell her it gets better.

#8 anonymous888

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

She is Year 12 next year.

#9 anonymous888

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (ZombieMum @ 02/12/2012, 01:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your posts sound like you are making up excuses for your DD's actions, and you don't want her to face the consequences of her actions - how is she going to learn from this she can't accept responsibility?


Because I've watched her come home crying at least twice a week because of how her and her friends get treated by her classmates and the horrible things they do to them like making them sit at the very back of class 'away' from the normal people and giving them horrible looks every time they walk past of them. My daughter went from happy and confident to being miserable during her schooling.

QUOTE (bonnybabe @ 02/12/2012, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And yes your daughter may have been left out, but she's now making someone feel even worse. She is 18, and I'm assuming in year 12? she can't have long to go. Tell her it gets better.


I said this to her and she said 'after 5 years of making me feel like crap, I hope they feel like s**t. They deserve to be miserable too. Why should only I be miserable?'.

She's hurt and bitter. I don't want her to be legally punished for lashing out at the mean girls when they made her feel worthless for years.

#10 Dionysus

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:30 PM

You should do the following:

1. take screen shots of the worst comments said about your DD

2. insist your DD first apologises on the other girl's site, requesting they take the site down and that she will make her other friend take theirs down

3. make your DD also post an apology on her own friend's site

3. take a screen shot of both apologies

4. get your DD's friend to take their site down - perhaps ring parents and get them involved

5. hope it all calms down

6. phone the school at let them know where it is all up to

7. If these other girls continue with their site, keep an eye on it and take screenshots of the worst comments

8. Head to the police, with the whole story, if it all continues

As a Head of Senior School myself, it all depends exactly what is being said as to how much I would intervene.  Of course, if I could ascertain that some of the bullying was done in school time, I would possibly look to suspend anyone I could identify.  If it is vague 'such and such is a b**ch' kind of stuff happening out of hours, I would caution anyone involved and suggest to parents they take steps to limit internet usage at home.
If it was very severe bullying, I would encourage taking print-outs to the police.  Keep in mind, though, they are really only interested in dealing with threatening behaviour - 'I am going to bash you tomorrow behind the shed' is a little more clear cut than 'You are b**ch'



#11 FeralZombieMum

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

QUOTE (anonymous888 @ 02/12/2012, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because I've watched her come home crying at least twice a week because of how her and her friends get treated by her classmates and the horrible things they do to them like making them sit at the very back of class 'away' from the normal people and giving them horrible looks every time they walk past of them. My daughter went from happy and confident to being miserable during her schooling.

What did you do about it?

Did you talk to the school about the issues she was having? Did you request they were put in separate classes? Did you talk to her subject teachers? Why didn't the subject teacher step in and do something? They could have assigned seats to the students for starters.

QUOTE (anonymous888 @ 02/12/2012, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I said this to her and she said 'after 5 years of making me feel like crap, I hope they feel like s**t. They deserve to be miserable too. Why should only I be miserable?'.

She's hurt and bitter. I don't want her to be legally punished for lashing out at the mean girls when they made her feel worthless for years.

I think a bigger issue might be why she put up with this for so long.

Were you aware, and if so - why didn't you act? Why did you not pull her out of the school?

Or if you weren't aware, why didn't she feel comfortable to come and talk to you about it?  If you weren't aware, then why didn't you question the twice weekly crying? Surely alarm bells should have been ringing?


Why did she not see the school counsellor to discuss her problems? They could have helped her, they could have helped her make a complaint, they could have given her coping strategies to deal with this behaviour.

Surely if your child is coming home from school so distraught, then you would step up and help her?


First thing tomorrow, make an appointment at the school to see the relevant staff member (eg Year Level Co-ordinator) and also make an appointment with the school counsellor.

If her self esteem has taken a battering, then she also needs to see the GP and ask for a referral to see a psychologist.


I don't care what crap my kids put up with - it is NOT an excuse for them to go and set up a 'burn site' to hurt someone else's feelings. There are better ways to deal with these issues.


Your DD is 18 - she's an adult. She needs another adult (ie you) to model to appropriate behaviour - which is to report it and to seek help to deal with her feelings and emotions.

#12 Luxe

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:38 PM

I would do as **Mel** suggested.

As the victim of gang bullying at work in the past year I can tell you bullying should be treated VERY seriously. I don't know if you are in Victoria but there is now Brodie's Law that can send bullies, should the worst happen, to jail for up to 10 years.

#13 anonymous888

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

I couldn't change schools due to zoning issues & I do not have the money to afford a private school as much as I wished it was an option.

I spoke to the school but they simply said that not everyone will be friends and they can't force students to include each other but if it gets physical or threats are being made, then come back and report it.

Doesn't hurt that the girls doing the bullying are 'sports stars' and the principal loves her sports stars. Said she can't prove anything and telling someone they can't sit with them is not bullying.



#14 anonymous888

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

Basically, I'm not saying DD did the right thing, but I don't want this to be a case where she gets into tons of trouble and the girls who made her feel like crap for years get away with it.

#15 I look incredible

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 02/12/2012, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would hand it over to the school. They will know what step needs to be taken next. It's bigger than your DD and all the children involved need to be protected and counselled.

It's not unusual for the bullied to become the bully and all need help and assistance.



QUOTE (ZombieMum @ 02/12/2012, 02:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Definitely contact the school as it involves their students and they'd want to help with the situation. It's the right thing to do, because there could be more serious consequences, and it would be awful for you to have known about the issue and not speak up about it.



The school can't (or won't) do anything because it's not happening at school.

In my experience, where my child has been sent three lots of abusive text messages, and numerous occassions of threats and name calling on facebook, the school did sweet FA other than "talk to the whole year group about cyberbullying", and then get the poliice liason office to come in and do the same.

I was told I had to report it to the police for them to take action

Oh, and a few weeks after one threat, the threatening kid punched my child in the face. This happened at school, so the school took action. It might not have come to that if they hadn't washed their hands of the previous threat.

So much for school community.

#16 Dionysus

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

I look Incredible, it is really such a grey area as to what the school can/should do.

Stuff that goes on outside of school is really none of our business - unless it is connected to school (by more than that the kids involved attend the same site)

Things like:
- using the school facebook/email to harass etc, comes under school jurisdiction
- as does smoking out of hours, but in uniform
- as does bullying which is threatening and intended to be carried out at school (gonna bash ya tomorrow after chemistry)

When the school isn't involved it is harder
- bad behaviour on buses, out of uniform, harder to 'police'
- hanging out westfield harassing shoppers on a saturday, not our business
- threats not related to school at all need to go straight to the police

cyber bullying during class-time, give it to us to sort out
cyber bullying at home, take to the police, if it is serious enough



#17 Unatheowl

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

QUOTE (anonymous888 @ 02/12/2012, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because I've watched her come home crying at least twice a week because of how her and her friends get treated by her classmates and the horrible things they do to them like making them sit at the very back of class 'away' from the normal people and giving them horrible looks every time they walk past of them. My daughter went from happy and confident to being miserable during


If it is this bad then the school really should have done something about it.  It's not just a matter of "they're not all going to befriends".  The school has been irresponsible in not acting for your daughter if she is being essentially threatened and forced to sit at the back of the class, even if it is not actually physical bullying.  Coming home in tears regularly is going to affect her school performance.  I would be taking it further with the school and/or taking legal action to protect your daughter. Sorry if it sounds extreme but I wouldn't put up with that as a parent.

I'm sorry it has come to this, which is actually going to work against your daughter instead of those who did this to her.

#18 Expelliarmus

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

The school can help OPs DD with counselling and will know what steps to take next as there are guidelines as Mel has outlined. The school can help OP navigate what needs to happen next.

#19 Expelliarmus

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

The school can help OPs DD with counselling and will know what steps to take next as there are guidelines as Mel has outlined. The school can help OP navigate what needs to happen next.

#20 Dionysus

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

There definitely are guidelines.  And, regardless of whether the school is strictly involved or not, they will know what the next best step is.

In SA, the DECD website has information/links about cyber bullying and other e-crimes.  Schools have processes to follow (similar to what I outlined above) - starting with the apology/requesting to stop ('just say no' type response) before escalating it further




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