I’m going to deviate from my normal lighthearted adventure sharing today because a friend of mine is going through something that probably will outrage you as a parent or as a human being or both. I have been friends with her for over 20 years, so I am quite close to her and her children and am so angry.
Get to the point – I hear ya! So here’s what happened. Friend has a 9 year old girl child. Over the summer, said child was enrolled in a summer program through her local parks and rec department. ( on a side night – Leslie Knope is not involved) Last week friend of one her older children finds that pictures of the 9 year old are on Instagram, taken by a 17 year old girl who was supposedly to be overseeing the kids at the summer program. Not only is this little witch posting pictures of a little girl without anyone knowing, she is also making fun of her. And not just once – there is at least one still picture and 2 videos, all posted days apart – picking on the 9 year old and making fun of her.
Luckily the 9 year old has no idea this is going on and the parents are trying to shield her from this BUT what kind of person makes fun of a 9 year on the internet??? I mean, I’ll admit it, I watched that little boy tell “Linda” he needs a cupcake a couple times, but obviously his mom is in the video and no one is calling him names.
17 year old witch girl had at least 2 Instagram accounts that my friend found – one was public and in it, she looked like a choir girl – the second appeared to be set up specifically to be secret to pick on people.
My friend reported this to the police who talked to parks and rec. The girl still had her job as of this morning and was “disciplined” and talked to about using her phone/social media at work. And that was it. Obviously, my friend followed up and made sure the supervisor at parks and rec realized this wasn’t an isolated incident ( there were 3 posts – at least) and is also working with the school principals. And from the way it sounds, we don’t think anyone has contacted the girl’s parents yet to tell them what they are raising.
Bailey had trouble now and again with a little boy at school who could be a bully and at times was quite unkind to some of Bailey’s friends. We would talk about it and I always told him that when someone is mean to you like that, it’s usually because someone is being mean to them and in Bailey’s case, it was true. The little boy’s father was in and out of the home and the boy had some behavioral issues. Not that these things excuse his actions, but it made an easier case to not over react.
I just have to wonder- if a 17 year old girl thinks it’s OK to post pictures and videos of a 9 year old girl with disparaging comments about her appearance and free spirited play, what the hell is going on at home? Are her parents incredibility critical or worse yet, are they terribly permissive and never taught their daughter that there are limits.
What scares me most about this is that this 17 year old girl will be out in the world a year from now and shortly after mascarading as an adult with little sense of kindness and right/wrong.
I am angry that there wasn’t a crime the girl was charged with. I’m angry that this girl still has a job and her rights as an employee seem to supersede the need for personal integrity. I’m scared that this will happen again to someone else I care about. The only silver lining is that the 9 year old is still in the dark.
Please as parents, know your kid’s passwords, read what they are doing online even if they don’t want you to do it. Please teach your kids to be kind and decent human beings. Please teach your kids to stand up against this kind of crappy behavior.