This school year started like any other, and Caitlin was close friends with a group of girls. The trouble began when Caitlin was hurt while playing with one of her friends. Her leg was pulled out from under her and she broke her tailbone. It was never the girl's intention to hurt Caitlin, but it eventually led to the end of their friendship. Long story short: Gossip started, sides were taken, and Caitlin found herself cast out.
Like a lot of these situations things just snowballed from there. In the past few months she and her family have been harassed and bullied by people they once trusted and cared for. Her parents have gone to school officials, but not much has been done. According to Caitlin's mother, "Girls will be girls", has been the attitude of some of the school employees and the parents of some of the girls involved.
One solution that has been presented is to have Caitlin walk with another student in the halls to be a witness to any activity. This stemmed from her being accused of calling another girl a name. She was disciplined by a teacher and the accusation was later found to be untrue. All of this has made school feel like a prison for Caitlin, rather than a place of learning.
|I asked Caitlin to think about her situation with the bullies and captured her reaction. Her expression changed from perplexed, to angry, to hurt within seconds.|
When asked what she had learned from this situation Caitlin replied: " I have learned that you have to be true to yourself and know that it is going to be okay. You have to stay strong and don't give in. Don't let it ruin who you are."
Her message to others being bullied is: "Let an adult know what is going on. Find someone that you can count on and help you through it and keep your spirits up, like my friend Desi! Don't give in on the temptation on gossiping about them. You just have to concentrate on the good stuff. Stay Strong!"
She's such an amazing girl and I wish her nothing but the best. I hope those that are bullying and those who are being bullied can take something from Caitlin's situation and learn from it.