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Topic : 08/16 Bullies

Number of Replies: 127
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Created on : Friday, August 12, 2005, 06:18:21 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original air date 04/19/05) They're not just lurking on the schoolgrounds. Now, bullies can come into your home and torture your children over e-mail, instant messages and other Web forums. It's an epidemic that has kids withdrawing socially, dropping out of school, and in some cases, tragically taking their own lives. Dr. Phil and his son Jay talk to two teens who can't escape the intimidation and abuse. Then, pop star Clay Aiken, who was picked on as a child, shares how he got the bullying to stop. Share your thoughts here.


Find out what happened on the show.


Read previous messages in the archived discussion.

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August 16, 2005, 8:00 am CDT

It has to stop

I know this is an older show, however I want to make a comment. At my children's elementarty school, they have a no teasing pledge that they recite at each town meeting. They also sing the country song, Don't Laugh at Me. I really think education against bullying has to start early.  


August 16, 2005, 8:32 am CDT

08/16 Bullies

Yes--it's an old show -- and an even older problem --and there is no universal solution. My youngest daughter age 16 -- has been attacked at school so often that she will no longer attend---she was forced out of class after class by students who, knowing that she was severely allergic, deliberately sprayed her with fragrance --and all the teachers did was to send her (the victim) to the health odffice--and I got a call that she has had an asthma attack and needed to go home. ---This was nearly every day--so you can imagine how her grades were--to say nothing fo her feelings of insecurity. After contacting everyone I could think of in an effort to get the school's help, I finally was advised to allow the system to give her homebound schooling --my last conversation with the principal centered around the last "attack" she suffered at school ---and his idea of "fixing" the problem was to tell the girls (perps) that they shouldn't do that --and if they did uit again, they would be sent home---yeah right--so my daughter has to stop breathing andthey get to go home --she goes to the hospital ---not a solution. The School Board has r4ecenttly banned the use of aerosol fragrance in the school building --starting this school year---but they banned cekll phones a few years ago --and all the kids carry them anyway--so I have no reason to believe she'll be any safer this year --and that doesn't even consider the emotional impact that being deliberately and repeatedly attacked has done ---she is terrified --and rightly so since it involves her ability to breath
August 16, 2005, 8:57 am CDT

Bullies..still disgusting

I too know its an old show....but I am disgusted by this problem.  I am even more disgusted by the fact that the school system and parents of bullies are still doing nothing, or not enough, to eliminate this problem.  I was bullied for a big part of my adolescent life and I understand how frustrating and hurtful it can be.  The parents of the kids who were bullying Tess at home should be ASHAMED of themselves.  I only hope that they saw the error of their ways when this show aired.  I only hope that if she reads this, she understands that she's not alone, and that you can overcome all this in time.  I did.  Now I truly see how much work needs to be done within the school system to change this plauge of bullying.
August 16, 2005, 8:59 am CDT

Bullying and what we are currently doing

For the last year and a half, my 12 year old has been kicked, hit, slapped, and bullied, at our local elementary school and on the bus, by one child in particular. We did EVERYTHING we could do to resolve this problem, from reporting the incidents to the school, to speaking with the mother of this child on 2 occasions. Even though my son has learning disabilities, as well as nuerofibromatosis (a genetic disorder) he is mainstreamed and doing well, even making honor roll during one marking period in 5th grade this past year. 


After the school took repeated actions against the bully, including referrals, ISS and OSS, the bullying continued. This past May 4th the child was sitting in front of my son on the school bus and for absolutely no reason he turned around and punched my son in the chest, just below his throat. This left my son in tears, and also left a huge fist print in his chest. At that point we immediately reported the incident to the school, but we also filed an assault charge against the bully. The bully was removed from our bus, but was just placed on another bus, where we feel he will just find a different target for his aggression. As both children are entering middle school this year we felt we had to resolve this issue once and for all. 


We are hoping that the juvenile court will take the necessary action to get it through this child's head that bullying is WRONG. We went to court last Tuesday, August 9th, but it was rescheduled due to the mother feeling she might need a lawyer for her son. While we hate having to go through the courts, as we feel this might lead to further bullying, we have to do all we can to protect our son. 


The repeat show about bullying was uplifting, and informative. I had my 12 and 14 year olds watch the show, being sure to stress that if they see bullying happening to someone else, and they stand by and do nothing, they are just as wrong as the bully. The schools need to take bullying more seriously and take immediate action the FIRST time it occurs in an effort to stop it. I will be doing all I can to make this an issue that is addressed by the school this coming year. 


Thank you Dr. Phil, Jay and Clay Aiken!! 

August 16, 2005, 9:04 am CDT

*To Tess*

Hi Tess, 

I wanted to give ya my email address so maybe we could be pin school, which hasn't been too long ago, I was the chick taking up for guys like you....thank God I had been around with the rough crowd since elementary so they knew me and my friends too well to mess with me and never tried. Kids like that are just mean, they think they're bad and don't know that a couple of years from now when they get in high school or the REAL world there will always be someone just alittle bit bigger and badder than they are or think one time or another I have to believe they'll be put in their place. You may not have the satisfaction of being there to see it but know that's it so true what goes around comes around. Here's my email address write me sometime! 

August 16, 2005, 9:05 am CDT

Message too Mark and Tess

hi Mark and Tess, I'm so sorry about what happened,I too was bullied in middle school,now I'm going to be a sophomore in highschool, my name is Caitlin and i'm 15 in a half, I'd be happy if you would im me at Chrgrs2008 and also email me at 

Thank You! 

August 16, 2005, 9:30 am CDT

Bullies:: Mark

Mark just broke my heart.  He is a precious boy.  Please don't send him back to that school.  Isn't there a safe alternative?  Private school or home schooling maybe?  I am now 54 years old and was the brunt of all kinds of jokes and cruel taunting in my growing up years.  I have always been overweight and in the late 50's and 60's, I was one of only a few seriously overweight children.  When I was in school the taunting was just words, not physical bullying.  I have always had serious self esteem issues.  Bless your heart Mark. You are a wonderful, worthwhile boy.  I will be praying for you.  My love go out to you sweetheart! 



Dr. Phil please have an update on Mark! 

August 16, 2005, 9:38 am CDT

Bullies: Tess

Dear Tess, My heart goes out to you.  You are a beautiful worthwhile girl.  I'm glad you are safe now at home, but hope you can make some new friends soon.  You do not deserve what is happening to you.  You have a great support system, so hang in there and soak up the love and encouragement. 
August 16, 2005, 11:15 am CDT

Another New Perspective On Bullying

I had an sort of opposite experience concerning stalking. Here is my story: 



I had a friend that I was semi-close with-- we ate lunch together during high school and we both belonged to The French Club. She and I were on good terms. I graduated in 2002. I went on to college and when I came back for Christmas 2003 she requested that I help her with a French Club Newsletter. I wrote an article about what it is like being a French Major at college. She asked that I write another article which I did right before going back to school. Our contact was minimal (phone calls I believe) until September of 2004.  


This friend graduated in 2004 from my alma-mater. I was informed by a mutual friend of ours that "Danielle" might be attending my university. I figured I would send her an email and offer to go out for coffee to catch up. I also hoped to show her around campus (our campus is the biggest in the country!) so that she didn't feel so intimidated when she arrived. It is always nice to have a friend at college, you know? 


So I sent her an email and recieved an email from Danielle's parents (it was sort of odd because the timestamp said 3am and I don't know any parents who work during the week to be up at that hour) saying that I was a horrible, toxic, and indecent person who had done nothing but try to control their daughter in high school and that she wanted nothing to do with me. I was hateful and caused their daughter to seek mental counseling etc. I should seek mental help and that I should remove her email from my address book. 


Well, naturally I was very upset to recieve this sort of email merely because I believed that we had been on good terms despite our lack of regular conversations. So, I simply decided that this situation was bizarre and out of my league and decided to let it go. Sometimes the best medicine for friendship is to let it die a peaceful death.  


I went off to live my dream of Studying Abroad in Paris, France for the Spring semester 2005. (This is where things start to get really weird) I recieved an email from my dean of students at my home university. They were opening an investigation into cyberstalking and email bullying due to complaints about me! So I contacted my parents in the US and explained the situation. I needed representation so my dad (a former lawyer turned prof) offered to make contact with Danielle's mother Jeanne.  


The phone calls that he relayed to me were very bizarre. Basically I was supposed to have an obsession with Danielle, full of rage and hatred and doing my best to terrorize her via hateful emails and death threats. To this day I have no idea what brought this whole ordeal on. The last time I checked Danielle and I were friends-- so these charges seemed to rise up out of no-where.  


I came to find out that Danielle's parent's had filed the complaint not only with my Home University but also the American University of Paris. I was called for an RDV (Rendezvous) with the Dean of Students at The American University of Paris. Both Deans came to the conclusion that the situation was quite reversed and that both mother and daughter had a bizarre fixation upon me. They wanted to make as many people that I knew aware of what I was allegedly doing to them. Neither of the deans wanted to pursue the matter further and offered to help me in the future if the bullying and false accusations persisted.  


I got emails from friends saying that mother and daughter were coming into their work places to talk to them. Both women were demanding to know when I would return to France, where I was working and whether or not I was telling them what I was doing or they were in on the plot. They were able to obtain my contact information and my overseas address  due to the student directory at my home university.  


Flash forward to June 2005. I return from my wonderful experience abroad with a 4.0 at The Sorbonne University IV, and two very nice scholarships. I started recieving ugly and threatening posts (I was going to jail and I was sick etc. etc.) on my Xanga website. I also was recieving at least 25-50 hangup phone calls at my temporary job where I worked for the summer. I was beginning to believe that I was being followed and these ladies went so far as to post a "cease and desist" note to my mother's apt door! 


Since then I have re-located (temporarily) out of state with my parents and am still recieving cease and desist emails and accusations that I am mentally unstable. I wanted nothing more than to be friends and help Danielle out when she needed me. I have many good friends of over 8 years from growing up.  


My best friend and I have known each other almost 14 years! As of now I am finding it hard to meet new people and keep the sense of my open-ness that I had before this whole ordeal came to pass. I find myself being very selective in my new friendships. I am still worried that Danielle and her mother will attempt to get me kicked out of University again this year.  


They want nothing to do with me, but I don't understand why they feel the need to follow and harass me with accusations that I have an obsession with them.  


I wanted to tell this story so that everyone knows that there is always another side and perspective to any bullying and/or stalking claim. I believe that some children tell their parents horrible things (what Danielle has told her mother about me and our relationship I have no idea) about friends and what they are supposedly doing to them or have done in the past. I think you should always try to discuss the matter with a parent of the accused child prior to just believing everything your child says.  


If anything, if the child abusing your son or daughter is a friend (or thought to be) take it up with child in person. Odds are there is something else going on. While I fully support listening and believing your children-- I would also advocate getting the whole story before rushing to your child's defense without considering other options.  


My mother did a very severe interrogation of me when I got home and asked me if I was cyberstalking and sending the emails that I am supposed to have sent. I can say with all honesty that I have my goals set and my friendships and family relationships to sustain me and I have no reason to go around sending death threats and horrible emails to someone I was friends with back in high school.   


Both of my parents tried to talk to Jeanne to get the whole story and work something out. We have only recieved ranting and raving about "cease and desist" and something to the effect of "your daughter is crying out for help it seems, I feel so bad for her she must be having a horrible time [in paris]".  


So please, parents of bullied, harassed or stalked children-- remember that there is always another side to the story and it is best to gather all the facts before accusing anyone.  


Please let me know what you think. I welcome any comments or suggestions. I hope this helps or at least gives ya'll something to think about.  

August 16, 2005, 12:22 pm CDT

My daughter was bullied

My daughter attended school in the same district from pre-K to 7th grade and was bullied from the 4th grade on. She was called many bad names, some that she didn't even know what they meant. She was flipped in the ear, hit in the forehead, just stupid things that the other kids thought were funny. Many days, when I picked her up from school, she would burst into tears as soon as she got into the car. 

She would go to the guidance counselor & the principal & the vice principal and complain and they would tell her to "toughen up" and quit "whining" and "tattling". I called the school, school board, everyone I could think of. I went to the school and the principal told me because I hadn't made an appt. with her, she couldn't talk to me. I refused to leave until someone in authority talked to me. We're not talking about a gigantic school, either...maybe 300 students in grades 5-8 total. 

Finally, in her 7th grade year, the school board assigned a new principal to the school. He was no better. Girls (I assume) wrote things on the restroom wall and locker room wall about her, calling her a lesbian and a freak and all kinds of things. 

Once again, I went to the school and complained. The principal told me to "calm down" and that he would try to have the janitorial staff paint over the writing. And, that he couldn't do anything, because whoever wrote those things didn't sign their name. 

She's a very smart honors student. She's one year above above the others in her class because she actually started kindergarten when she was 4, so she's a year younger than the other children in her class. 

I've had it. This year, I enrolled her in a different district. It's a little further travel, but at least she's getting a "fresh start". Her first day in her new school was yesterday...and for once in years, she's actually excited about going to school. 

Thanks for letting me voice this. 


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