Bodyguard hired for bully victim in Fredericton
Mother speaks out after girl tormented
A Fredericton teen was bullied so badly at school that her mother hired a bodyguard to protect her.
The girl was a student at Fredericton High School three years ago. Her mother said the eldest of her three daughters became a target during middle school and the bullying got worse in high school.
CBC News agreed not to identify the woman to protect the identity of her daughter, who quit the school three years ago to study at home.
The mother described her child as a happy, studious girl who was interested in music.
"In middle school, that was where we started to lose her a bit," she said in an interview Wednesday.
"She was always the kid who came home and couldn’t wait to tell you about her life. Piece by piece, we started to get the child who would come home and go straight to her bedroom."
At first, she attributed it to the normal changes of growing up, but said the true problem emerged when her daughter stopped wanting to go to school.
Girl attacked, stripped in school
Things reached a breaking point when the daughter called her mother from the school. The girl had been attacked, partially stripped and left terrified.
"I got in there and she was sitting huddled on the floor under the payphone with her arms wrapped around her where she had no shirt, and her flute had been taken apart and all the keys kicked down the hallway," her mother said, fighting back tears.
She wrapped her in her blazer and drove to the school office. She said the then-school administrators were not interested in what had happened.
"That’s the nicest word I can say. To them it was, ‘We know you’re upset, but you have to calm down. We know bullying happens, but we’ll get to the bottom of it. Take her home,’" the mother said.
She described her weeping daughter as being "comatose" and unable to talk.
"I had just a shell of what used to be my buoyant, happy girl," she said.
On another occasion, the small girl was padlocked into a locker at the school for three hours.
"When I had her in counselling afterwards, she said she was scared of being in the dark in the locker and she was more scared of being out in the hallway," her mother said.
Mother hired bouncer
Her mother hired a bouncer from a local bar to escort her daughter at the school, but the school said it was not allowed.
"The school was livid. The principal went out of her way to meet with me because she was fit to be tied," she said.
The woman who was then principal said non-school people were not allowed on the property as they posed a risk to the students. The then-principal said the school could keep students safe, the mother reported.
The mother started accompanying her daughter to school herself.
"I sat on the floor outside of her classroom and read until her class was over," she said.
But the first day she was unable to attend, bullies put her daughter's gym bag under the shower.
Her mother said the bullying has drastically changed her daughter.
The girl no longer attends FHS. She and her mother are telling her story in the hopes it might help bring about change in the system.
FHS did not comment Wednesday, but is expected to respond Thursday. The current principal and administration were not in place during the bullying.
- An earlier version of this story created the impression the bullying had happened recently. It happened three years ago under a different principal and administration.Feb 15, 2012 5:08 AM AT