Can You Help Me Stop the Bullies? – UPDATED 12/7

bullying victim mason elementary st louis mo

**A PETITION HAS BEEN STARTED by a reader, Please sign it!!**

A few people have tried to contact me and said they have been unable to. My email is [email protected]

If you are a news station or a lawyer, or another media outlet that can assist with getting the school to listen, feel free to contact me at 636-226-6927. I will not be able to answer calls while I am working but I can return them when I am off.

This is an act of desperation. A cry for help for my daughter. I do not want her to be the next suicide story you read about.

I need your help. Doing ANY or ALL of the things below will help a TON!

I have posted NUMEROUS times about the bullying situation with my daughter, Jenelle, but today it's all just gotten to be too much. She is in tears, begging not to have to go back to school.

Before you suggest it… We cannot homeschool right now – it's just not an option – and switching schools has proven to be difficult as they have a “lottery” system in effect to choose kids that get to go to the other schools the next year.

{Removed information}

Visit their Facebook page with questions like “Why don't you stop the bullying going on at Mason Elementary?” or other questions that you come up with. They delete them as fast as we put them up but they can't keep up if there are dozens of us. They took that one down.. here is another Facebook page for them.

TWEET THEM!! #stopbullying @slpls_info

Information you will need for report:

Student School: Mason Elementary on Southwest Ave in St. Louis MO
Student Name:
Student Grade: 5
What is going on: See past posts, severe bullying, students calling her a lesbian, gay, hitting her, just harassing her almost daily.

Past posts: When the bullying got really bad – and then when my daughter fought back she got written up for sexual harassment

REPORT TO:

{Removed Report Information as we crashed their systems and I want others to be able to report their issues as well.}

Contact the NEWS

I have sent emails but my emails alone have done nothing. Contact the local news stations:

http://fox2now.com/contact/

http://www.kmov.com/on-tv/contact

If you need any other information, feel free to contact me on Facebook via PM.

UPDATED 12/7

Jenelle's teacher called me today. I left a message asking for a call from the principal, and apparently they passed it off to her and didn't even tell her WHY I was calling. Her teacher has been as helpful as she can in this whole situation, but at some point her hands have been tied. The main bully that Nell has been dealing with is causing a LOT of problems in the classroom but when she is sent to the principal's office, NOTHING is done. The teacher apologized profusely and said she wished she could help Jenelle more because she is a wonderful student, full of light.

After getting off the phone with her teacher, the Team Bully Response Squad called me. They reached out and offered their services to Jenelle at NO CHARGE and said they would love to help us. They're going to talk to the school next week and hopefully help them come to some type of agreement as far as protecting Jenelle goes.

Many of you have reached out and offered support and I appreciate it more than you know. Others have told me I should homeschool, which I'd love to do but financially (and mentally, for me) it's not an option right now. If I could afford a tutor, I would totally homeschool her. Until then, I'm going to fight for my daughter to have a safe place in the public school system.

Some have disapproved of how I'm handling things, and to that I say… I'm not perfect. Nobody is. Until you have children that are going through this, I don't want to hear crap from you. Thank you.

I just spent almost an hour talking to the school counselor. It was not a very productive conversation. I felt as if she was blaming Jenelle, and myself, for this entire situation. She is furious that I'm blogging about it, so I'm going to hold off on updates until I have something BIG to report. PLEASE keep sharing Jenelle's story. Even if our problems are solved, others are still experiencing bullying. Let them know that you will NOT back down!!

how to stop bullying

Resources:

Bully: An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis
Bullying in the Girl's World: A School-Wide Approach to Girl Bullying (Grades 3-8)
Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations

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Sadie Roach is a Lifestyle blogger living in Arizona with her wife, Rachel, and their three daughters. Her passions including traveling, attempting healthy living, and teaching women how to work from home so they can spend more time with their kids.

122 COMMENTS

  1. Just posted the following “recommendation” on their FB page:
    Please stand up for children who are being bullied. This is serious! Don’t sweep it under the rug!

  2. I did the report. And posted the Fan Page which by the way is up to 674 followers!
    I’m going to make you an admin.

    • I did the report. Keep us updated on what is going on with this for your daughter.

  3. Sent a form and posted on their Facebook page. This is ridiculous. So glad my kids are grown and out of school. Tell Jenelle to keep her head up because she is a smart beautiful young lady and she is better than them. Their ignorance stems from the ignorance of the parents. Give her lots of hugs, she is going to need them. I know I was bullied in school also but I think I am stronger because of it.

  4. I’m happy to help. One other suggestion – have you considered contacting the Megan Meier Foundation? They have gotten very well established and active in the community here in St. Louis.

  5. It blows my mind that in this day and age the school is not taking a proactive response to this abuse. My son had a student at his high school commit suicide last year and the town next to us lost a high school girl just last month again to suicide. I will be writing/posting all I can!!!

    Maybe start a petition, let me go see what the site is…..I get them all the time to sign about causes that people start themselves.

  6. I sent a report in, I really hope that with enough people banding behind your daughter that they will finally do something about this!

  7. I filled out the form you listed. I am so happy to help a determined mother fight for her child. I will keep your daughter and your family in my prayers. I hope that all of us can help to make a difference for the better treatment of your child and future students at that school.
    Laura Carter recently posted..Kirkland’s Home for the HolidaysMy Profile

  8. The next time you go in take a tape recorder in with you. In form them that you will be taping all discussions from that day on and that you have been documenting everything that has been going on. Tell them that if something is not done about the bullying immediately that you will bring a lawyer in with you the next time. Then inform them that you or your spouse (or a trusted friend) will be attending school with your daughter, that someone will be riding the bus with her until further notice – and until you see that ALL bullying has stopped and that the other kids are being disciplined.

    If they want to bring in the superintendent or a lawyer as well the next time a visit is needed with the principle or a teacher tell them that is fine but from now on everything will be documented. In fact, tell them if something physical happens with your daughter you will be there with a lawyer and you will be pressing charges for child neglect and that you will be pressing charges against each child & the teachers present for not stopping it. Tell them enough is enough. It’s time to get tough.

    Personally if it were me I would plan on being there with my child everyday – tell the school this is so you can protect your child since they aren’t willing to.
    Tina ‘the book lady’ recently posted..RejuvaSea – Complete Skin Nutrition SystemMy Profile

    • I completely agree with Tina. It’s totally time to get litigious on these people. And if the bully lays a finger on your daughter, then maybe a call to the police for assault is in order. I’d also find out what the laws are regarding harassment in your jurisdiction, too. I’d also try talking to social services in your area to find out what the laws are regarding their failure to protect.

      Hopefully you can find an activist lawyer in your area that will take on the cause for you pro bono. In an era where bullying is making headlines and generating body counts, the school’s complete and utter failure to act is ridiculous.
      Suzi Satterfield (@ClothAddicts) recently posted..Kawaii Goodnight Heavy Wetter Cloth Diaper ReviewMy Profile

  9. Just wish there were more we could do to help.
    Please let Janelle know she’s got a lot of people concerned about her… she’s such an adorable kiddo and she’s obviously very loved.
    And Sadie, thank you for advocating for your child, and know we’re all behind you.

  10. if your child is being bullied at school KEEP THEM HOME. call the school advising your child will remain at home until they stop the bullying. we must keepour kids safe. hugs n luv

    • Bet I wish I could, but you can’t just keep a kid home. That’s truancy and then you get Child Protective Services trying to take your kids away.

  11. I have shared the link to this post on several LGBT Facebook pages and they are starting to pass the it around. Hopefully the combined power of angry people on the internet can make the school officials pay attention to what is happening to your daughter. I was bullied relentlessly all throughout school, and stories like this really hurt my heart; no child should have to deal with that kind of torment.

  12. I’m saddened but not surprised…..this bullying epidemic has got to stop.

  13. Have you tried contacting Dr. Phil? I know a lot of people don’t like him, but he has started an anti-bullying campaign. He might be interested in your story.

    I’m gong to do some of the things on the list now. Hopefully this will open their eyes and ears to the issues. It is appealing that they would delete your Facebook comments!

  14. I filled out the form and I headed over to their page. I was a victim of bullying with teachers who didn’t do crap. Your daughter has champions fighting for her.

  15. Have you looked to see if there is a home schooling co-op in your area? I know you said it’s not an option for you at the moment but I’m wondering if you could hook up with others who home school and see if anyone would take on another student for a little while. It might be worth looking in to.

  16. I just tried to check the facebook page to leave a message to them and it appears their facebook page is gone.

  17. I found the blog through Wipe Out Homophobia – been reading through the bullying entries and getting more furious by the second. How dare these staff call themselves “teachers?” A teacher leads by example, and TEACHES the students in their care to respect each other as well as themselves. By ignoring the abuse to Jenelle, these people have lost their right to such a title. I too was bullied during middle school while the adults did nothing, and can tell you that yes, the memories stay. You wonder if something really is wrong with you, if somehow you deserve to be treated like this, because no one gets in trouble but you.. Sometimes you fight back and stand up for yourself, but the steady embarrassment and doubt can wear down anyone, especially a child. The only difference is that I never told my parents; I was too ashamed. Jenelle is very lucky to have such a wonderful parent in her corner.

    Please, give Jenelle a giant hug from me, and let her know – these kids are idiot nothings. Anything they say comes out of nothing. SHE is the important thing, and SHE knows she’s important, smart, and special. By being better than those idiots, she’s setting a better example than those teachers, and EVERYONE is proud of her for it! (also, tell her being called a ‘lesbian’ and a ‘dyke’ is no different than being called a ‘girl’ or a ‘person’ – and it makes the other person look ridiculous.) Love and good thoughts from up here in Washington! Jamie

  18. If they are targeting her because she is (or is perceived as) lesbian, or because of your sexual orientation, then the ACLU might be interested in becoming involved. I don’t agree with a lot of what they do (specifically they seem to more interested in helping the ACLU than the victim) they do have the resources and lawyers to scare reluctant school administrators into toeing the line. It’s worth looking into, anyway.

  19. If you are worried about her committing suicide, KEEP HER HOME. Do whatever you have to. Quit your job. Do anything. NOTHING is worse than loosing her. i pulled my 13 year old from school and kept her at home for 3 years. It was the hardest 3 years of my life, single parenting, no money… She ended up on anti-depressants and in therapy. She survived and is a beautiful 22 year old now. Don’t let her out of your sight. Believe me on this.

    • I am keeping her home tomorrow, but I can’t quit my job. Us being homeless isn’t going to do any good. While it’s a great knee-jerk reaction, it’s not realistic. I am not worried about her committing suicide, or I would have her under 24-hour watch. I just don’t want her to GET to that point.

  20. I can’t find their FB page either. Hopefully that’s a sign that SOMEONE is paying attention and is going to do something!!!!!!!!

  21. Get your child’s doctor involved! If they will support you, they can write a note to have your child schooled at home by the school system! My son had medical issues last year, and they sent a teacher to our home for a few hours a day to instruct him. They will not offer the option, but must provide it with a Doctor’s note!

  22. I have posted this to both of my FB pages, and noticed that Wipe Out Homophobia and STOP Teenage Suicide have shared as well. You WILL be heard, I think we’re all going to see to that.
    Tell Jenelle to hang in there. She is beautiful, smart, and important!

    • Thank you. So much! I really hope the school “gets” it now.

  23. I just sent an email to the super – I hope he reads it, I have some strong words for him. I sent you a message on FB earlier today, please read it. I want to help your daughter and I want to get you in touch with some people that CAN help! My cousin works for a congressman in Michigan (I know, not your state) but I’m pretty sure he can help. I’ll be shooting my cousin an email about this situation to see what he can do to help. His wife sent me some great info for you, so please message me back (or email me).
    HillyG recently posted..Flash KMart Sale!My Profile

  24. 2 ideas: Send your letters by the post office this does get more attention esp if you send it where you get a signature and return confirmation.
    I know someone who home schooled someone elses child.

  25. I sent in a report. This is so ridiculous. I’m so sorry for your daughter and your family. Such ignorance in the world now and I just don’t understand it. I really hope this all helps. I tried to go to the FB page but the link takes me to FB home page. I searched but don’t see the site listed. Good luck!

  26. A Friend of mine is a famous singer who lives in St. Louis. He has thousands of fans. I will let him know and see if he will be an advocate.

  27. I saw this from One Million moms against one million moms and I gotta say that this is just bs. As a 30 year old that was teased and bullied in high school for being a lesbian its an out rage that these people that call themselves teachers and administration aren’t even attempting to stop it and when your daughter takes a stand is punished for it? I say BS to all of this! Keep your head up and keep on fighting. Someone has to hear your voice eventually if you keep going. You’re daughter is a fighter and so are you! So keep going! It will get better!

  28. you should call cps yourself and tell them everything that is going on with your daughter at the school and all the things you have done to try to get the school to help resolve the bullying issue and document everything dates, times you cal,l everyone you talk to at the school like someone else said get a recorder keep it with u every time u talk to anyone from the school and inform them with the recorder on that u are recording them so it will hold up in court if necessary. if she comes home with any kind of mark on her take pictures. big hugs to u and jenelle i hope things get better quickly for u both

  29. I sent this email to Fox News and I really hope it helps!! I would have posted on the school’s Facebook page but I can’t find that particular school in St Luis,MO. So I hope you like my email to the news station:There is a bullying situation going on at Mason Elementary School on Southwest Ave in St Lois, MO and despite several attempts by this poor girl’s mother to have something done, it is being ignored!! This young child finally decided to stand up for herself, and SHE got written up, and her bullies walk away without a care in the world!! I think it is up to the news of the people to step behind this child and her mother and back them up, like I know Fox News can do!! Janelle has begged her mother not to make her go back, but home schooling just isn’t a choice she can take. Isn’t every child entitled to an education in a safe and nurturing environment? I think this could be another horror story if something isn’t done!! Please look into this and at least see if you have a story and you could help this poor child!! Her name is Janelle Lankford and she’s in 5th grade. Her mother has a blog called “slap dash mom” and she highlights the bullying and everything she has done. This is a link to her blog~http://slapdashmom.com/can-you-help-me-stop-the-bullies/#comments
    Thank you for your time, and I really hope you look into this and help this family out!!

  30. Please tell your daughter there is hope and please share my story. For eight long years I was bullied everyday, not but one or two kids but by almost my entire class. No one would listen. This was the 1970’s and at a Catholic school. I was the first child allowed at this school from a divorced family. The children were told by their parents, the teachers and the priests to pick on me. No one cared about me, no one listened. I suffered daily picking, tormenting, even attempted beatings from the other students. If anything went wrong at the school, I was blamed. No questions, just punishment. I survived and became a strong independant woman. I am now in my 40’s, a single mom, on the PTA and very actively involved in the school. I became successful in my work and have many friends now who love me for who I am. Many of those kids that once tormented me have reached out an apologized. to me. I have learned to forgive them, but I will never forget as it made me who I am today. Bullying should not be tolerated in any form and for me as a parent to see this happen to other kids breaks my heart. Go to your PTA meeting and at the end of the meeting there will be an open forum. Speak up and speak loudly and ask why no action has been taken against the bullying. If the school PTA takes no action, Then go to PTA Council’s meeting and do the same. One of the PTA’s goals is to Promote, support and engage in advocacy on behalf of children, youth and families in our schools, communities, state and nation. If Council does not listen go to District PTA and then State PTA, trust me they will be very mad to hear about this. As a member of a Council PTA I can gaurantee you once the PTA steps in, something will happen! Good luck, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughter.

  31. Here is the email I sent to fox news : I will be praying it helps…. Let Jenelle know that I CARE! and so does my daughter!

    Dear Fox News,
    I am writing you to ask you to please help a loving mother protect her her 5th grade student at Mason Elementary school. Jenelle Lankford, is a 5th grader that is either being ignored because of the prejudice of the schools faculty or because of just plain ignorance and neither of those should be acceptable in the school systems who’s fundamental purpose is to educate the children of our future.
    It has been said that Jenelle Lankford has been called names, criticized for her mothers sexual orientation, punished for defending her self and even singled out by bus drivers and been asked to move while the children who are using obscene language are not even addressed. This type of behavior is completely unacceptable, not to mention is against the law.
    Ross, P. N. (1998). Arresting violence: A resource guide for schools and their communities.: Suggests that social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by attempting to socially isolate the victim. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim’s manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim’s race, religion, disability, sex, or sexual preference, etc.). Ross[17] outlines an array of nonviolent behavior which can be considered “indirect bullying”, at least in some instances, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/false gossip, lies, rumors/false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking. ” Such as calling a fifth grader who is in the midst of finding out what her own sexual orientation is, gay.
    I am willing to plead with you on Jenelle’s behalf, to please look into this matter help this little girl find some peace. NO child should be so terrorized at school that she comes home crying regularly,that she never wants to go back. This little one is hurting and needs help, wont you be the ones to bring this little girls pain out from behind the blind eyes of the school officials and into the light of the public so that she may have the same opportunity at an education, the same opportunity that is afforded to every other child has?

    Thank you for looking into this matter, I will trust that you will act in the child’s best interest to end this horrific situation. Rebecca A Thieman.

    • Also sent to CBS ‘s 60 min.’s & The cbs evening news… and in the AM i will forward it to GMA also I will be praying this helps.

  32. Bullying is an epidemic it always has been. It’s sad that its tolerated for one second.

  33. If they’re calling her a lesbian, I’d think some other fifth grader would call them homophobes and tease them mercilessly for being scared they’ll “catch the gay.” Boo!

    Sorry, an immature response, but for me that’s the only way I ever survived bullies – turning whatever attacks they were making on me back on them. At one point one bully in middle school just gave up, exasperatedly saying “you always have a comeback.”

    Be very careful. Like others have said, if you believe her to be in danger of any sort keep her home. I remember when my younger brother was in fourth grade nothing got done by the school until the bully actually broke one of his bones.

    Don’t be afraid to threaten legal action. The moment the bullying becomes a legal liability, things start to change. Of course they know you have no solid evidence for a case now, but even just knowing you’re watching for some might encourage them to take action in regards to the situation.

    Let Janelle know that she’s got lots of people on her side! Even though she might feel alone at school in the shadow of a negligent administration, she has people all over the country on her side, wishing her the best, and offering moral support. It’s hard right now, but she will survive, she’s not alone, and there is hope! <3

  34. I can’t get to the Facebook page. They might have taken it down. I will be sure to call them tomorrow and tell them that the bullying needs to stop!

  35. Also going to be visiting the facebook page to let them know what I think. If your daughter needs somebody to talk to, please get in touch with me. I don’t know how to send a private message on here but if anyone would tell me, that would be great.

    I’ll be sharing this with everyone I can, and I really hope this is one of those things that takes off. Someone ought to talk to the other kids. They should understand what this sort of thing means.

    So glad to see that you are taking action now, not waiting until it’s too late. Hang in there, both of you. Best wishes from me for her future. Things really do get better!

  36. My daughter was having similar issues at school with being bullied and picked on. Shes quit the…whatever the baton and flag twirlers in parades are called because some girls told her that she couldnt afford the spankies so why bother even joining. I was busy that day so my grandmother took her uniform to the office and reported it and apparently the message never got to the leader because she called and said that even though she had missed 2 practices, she could still carry the flag. I was absolutely astounded and needless to say my daughter didnt go back. Shortly after that, after spending the money to rent her instrument from the school and buy reeds over the summer. A message was left on the answering machine (same teacher as before) saying please bring it in so another kid can use it. So apparently the TEACHER kicked her out of band as some kind of punishment for quitting? I dont know really. And besides all that my daughter was almost adament about not going to school in september because of some little jerk that picked on her last year. And no one was doing anything about it. I was working so my g-ma went to her conference for me and spoke to one of my former teachers who is now one of my daughters teachers and he pretty much said if she fights back she wont be the one suspended because its been reported to principals and teachers and such. Thankfully the brat was expelled for threatening his cousin. Your daughter is not alone in this SDM. I told my daughter if they hit her first go down swinging. If she gets kicked out so be it, Im not going to punish her for defending herself from idiots at school. Let someone from the school show up at your door looking for her, maybe then they will pay attention to whats going on.

    • I am so sorry your daughter had to go through that! :( I do not condone violence but I recently told Jenelle the same thing… if they hit you, you better go down swinging.

  37. I posted on the School Violence Hotline.
    I am PISSED that you have to take such drastic measures, but YAY YOU.
    Let us know!

    BY the way, I’m a St. Louisan, a homeschooler, but a St. Louisan.

  38. I am not familiar with St Louis and their policies. And I did read that homeschool is not an official option but in many states you can keep a child home on safety concerns and file a police report with documentation to cover truancy. If you have a friend or relative she can read and “unschool” during the day (read and explore anything of her choosing) and then the school can be forced to send private after school tutors in the afternoon. I have seen it done – Have had special ed teacher friends who have done it for the extra money.

    Also possible ACLU? Shes being sexually harassed and if the district refuses to do anything about it then they have big guns and pocketbooks.

  39. Have you considered a petition directed toward administration? Change.org gets a LOT of traffic and has made a difference on several issues. I have emailed administration as well. Will follow this to keep updated. Keep us posted! As a lesbian mom myself, I understand the complications of dealing with schools. We are lucky that our only daughter is in private school, but that will be changing next year. Prayers for us all!

  40. I say keep your kids out of school, dowhat you have to do to keep the violence null/void… When you have to burry A child, there will be no turnig back, for that child or for the parents of the child, and/or family… Home school them, find A PHD that will write A letter helping you get permission to keep A bullied child home safe w A parent… Expose the bully, do whatever you have to do…

  41. I filed on on-line report, tweeted them to stop bullying and posted on the FB page 3 times, but they keep deleting it. I think it is sad and wrong that anyone should have to keep their child home from school or consider other options for school because the school will not keep that child safe. This is an outrage and Mason Elementary should be doing everything in their power to keep Jenelle safe. I will post all day on their FB page if I have to. I will have your family in thoughts and prayers :)
    Amee Burr recently posted..Can You Help Me Stop the Bullies?My Profile

  42. Hi, I got here from Reddit.
    It saddens me so much to hear this is going on. I wish there was more I could do apart from using the bullying form. If I could call and yell at them I would (I’m in England).
    I was bullied in school and it ruined it for me, but I like to think that I’m a bigger and better person for it. Tell your daughter that things do get better and to keep her head held high :)

    It’s great she has such a supportive parent. And a community of people doing what they can to help.

    I hope this gets sorted soon :) I’m thinking of you both.

  43. Have you considered having your children evaluated by a child psychologist. Not associated with the school? This could garner you some valuable information, and the psychologist may be able to get involved with the school directly or guide you in a better direction.

  44. I’m not sure if this will work but I thought I would suggest it anyway as I’m hoping it can but have you tried making a petition on http://www.change.org/en-AU? I think it is absolutely disgusting how the school is not doing anything to put a stop to the bullying. I have seen so many stories similar to your own and it is really disheartening. I’m actually scared to put my own children into school when the time comes and the thought of home schooling has crossed my mind numerous times.

    I wish you and your family the best of luck with your ongoing battles against these bullies and I hope that some justice is done in regards to this school.

    Kind regards,
    Tiarna M.

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