I use affiliate links on my blog. When you click on my links, I may make a commission. Thank you!

This story about bullying comes out of Lake County, Florida. An 18 year old high school senior named Stormy witnessed bullying of a mentally challenged middle school student. Apparently, these girls would tell the mentally challenged student that she couldn't sit in certain seats, and they would feed her food they had already chewed up. Stormy said she actually had to tell the girl not to eat it, because she didn't understand.

teen stops bully gets in trouble
This is not a picture of the student.

The bus drive did nothing.

She complained to school officials.

School officials did nothing.

She and her mother both wrote formal complaints to the school, and waited weeks for a response.

The school did nothing.

Clearly fed up, Stormy told those bullying brats that if the school wasn't going to do something about it, she would.

School officials finally did something!!

Finally, right? Took them long enough! But wait…

They kicked Stormy off the bus for “bullying behavior”.

The school stands behind their decision and says two wrongs don't make a right. No, two wrongs do NOT make a right… but this student is so lucky Stormy stood up for her. And they wonder why the suicide rate for teens is through the roof? Anyone else feel like writing to this school? I sure do. So I looked up these email addresses to share with you. Feel free to send them both a little email telling her how disgusted you are with the school's decision.

District as a whole: feedback@lake.k12.fl.us

Educational Foundation: cullenc@lake.k12.fl.us

Main Phone: 352-253-6500

My best friend all through elementary school, her name was Emily. She was considered “mentally challenged”. I hate that term.. ugh. Anyway, she had Down Syndrome. Nobody would have dared to make fun of her. Ever!! It just wasn't something that you did. Making fun of the fat kid? Maybe. The kid that couldn't run very fast? Sure. (Doesn't make it right, but IT DID happen.) But the ones that couldn't help how they were born? HELL NO! I don't know if times are changing, or if things were just different in our school, but this isn't okay and someone needs to make an example of this school.

Tags : rants
SlapDashMom
Sadie Mae is a Lifestyle blogger living in Arizona with her three daughters. Her passions including traveling, healthy living, and teaching women how to work from home so they can spend more time with their kids.

47 Comments

  1. Those students who bullied the mentally challenged student should all be suspended from school and made to write letters of apology to the student and her family. They should also be required to attend sessions on how wrong their actions were and how to respect all people regardless of their disability. The young student who stood up for her should regain her right to ride the bus and a full investigation into the actions of the officials of the school , who seemed by their actions to side with the student bullying this student. They need more training in how to work with students who are mentally challenged and may not be able to speak up for themselves. Just because the girl said nothing does not mean she went along with it, she was not able to speak up for herself due to her disability.

  2. Stories like this hurt me to the core. When I was in high school, there was a similar situation. There was a mentally challenged kid who was constantly bullied, especially by the football team. I don’t know the specifics of his disability, but someone at the school told me he was the product of his mother being raped by her father. Whatever the case, he had a rough time. He always wore a cowboy hat and referred to himself as Bandit. Another girl and I walked with him to and from classes, trying to defend him. Until one day one of his worst tormentors actually spit on his face while I was with him. I can’t recall another time in my life when I was that angry. Two assistant principals told me to mind my own business. The head principal told me this was not something I should concern myself with. No one did anything until I got to the superintendent, a woman compassionate enough to take a stand. We can act like the schools hands are tied, and kids will be kids, they need tougher skin, etc. But it’s just not true. What kind of person makes a career of working with kids without caring what happens to them? I don’t know what happened to that kid. It was my senior year of high school, and I worried about who would defend him with my friend and me gone. But then what happens to the next kid who no one wants to defend? It is the job of educators, though not an enviable job, to protect everyone. Not just the football team or the smart kids. Especially the ones who can’t protect themselves.

  3. Things like this just make me sick. I am seeing more and more of things like this happening. The kids that are trying to do the “right” thing are too honest to be sneaky and try not to get caught because they are honest and not doing anything wrong. Stuff like this is exactly why I choose to homeschool my children. They are allowed to stand up for things they believe in without fear of adults telling them that it is wrong. Schools are supposed to be a safe place for all children.
    Ashley S recently posted..Disney’s FrankenweenieMy Profile

  4. Times have changed so much since we were in school and it makes me sad. Bub has had to deal with bullying just because he is not cut from the same fabric as everyone else. I can not stand that kids now a days think that making fun of someone is okay because they don’t have the mental capacity to know what being bullied does to the child they have targeted! Enough of it already, bullying has to stop!
    Heather Beyant recently posted..Dad Is Sweet~A Giveaway!My Profile

  5. I was with you until you said this:

    “Nobody would have dared to make fun of her. Ever!! It just wasn’t something that you did. Making fun of the fat kid? Maybe. The kid that couldn’t run very fast? Sure. But the ones that couldn’t help how they were born? HELL NO!”

    I’m hoping I simply read this wrong because the way it looks to me is that it’s okay to pick on the fat kid and the kid who doesn’t run fast because they weren’t born with it. And yet, it’s not okay to pick on the kid with Down Syndrome because they WERE born with it. How is that right? Bullying is bullying whether the person being picked on was born with something or happens to be overweight. It is not okay to pick and choose who to pick on based on that logic.

    As I said, I am hoping I read that wrong. I don’t want to write a long spiel here only to find out that section was simply poorly worded.
    Kim recently posted..Moving Forward with Education: Big News!My Profile

    1. You obviously read it wrong. :) I said “nobody would dare make fun of her but they would make fun of others (citing fat kids or kids that couldnt run the fastest)” not “nobody should make fun of her but should make fun of fat kids and kids that cant run fast”. I don’t think bullying is ever okay but sometimes it is just “kids being kids”. Bullying a mentally challenged kid crosses that line.

      1. Making fun of the fat kid is never “kids just being kids”. I was the fat kid in school and I’m still the fat kid (and working on losing it). Being teased for my weight over the years has caused some serious emotional damage and feelings of worthlessness. I’ve learned to be less sensitive to it but the sting and bad memories are still there. We cannot justify teasing the fat kid with comments like “kids just being kids” but turn around and say “Bullying a mentally challenged kid crosses that line”.
        Kim recently posted..Moving Forward with Education: Big News!My Profile

        1. We will have to agree to disagree then. :) I feel that some teasing is normal when you’re a kid. I’m not saying it’s okay, I’m saying making fun of a mentally challenged kid is WAY OVER THE LINE.

          The kids that ran slower (like me) got made fun of sometimes. Not as big of a deal as these middle schoolers making a mentally challenged girl – WHO CANNOT STICK UP FOR HERSELF – eat FOOD they’ve already CHEWED. If you don’t see a difference, that’s totally fine. But I do. A HUGE difference.

          1. You say that bullying is not okay but then you say the “some teasing” is just “kids being kids”. Sorry to disagree, bullying is bullying and ever student should be protected from it.

          2. You shouldn’t apologize for disagreeing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I believe when you call teasing “bullying”, you are lessening the severity of the word. REAL bullying happens every day, where the taunting is relentless to the point of suicide for the victims. I don’t think “some teasing” is the same. Agreeing to disagree is completely fine with me. :)

          3. Even some teasing can have devastating consequences. “Some teasing” about my weight gave me my eating disorder. “Some teasing” made me hate myself so much I would go home and cry in my room thinking about how ugly I was. I was not tormented but little things added up and it almost killed me. Of course that sounds dramatic but its the truth.

        2. I was also the “fat kid” in school. I was never bullied. I was teased, sure, but the thing is, you have to grow some pretty thick skin, or have a great sense of sarcasm, which I do. I have NO lasting effects of that teasing, and I’m still fat. I learned that when being teased, the best thing to do is to give it right back. “I may be fat, but you’re ugly. I can lose weight with no money at all. The money you will have to spend to fix your face will cost way more than anything I would have to pay to lose weight.” OR, “OMG, I’m fat? REALLY? Oh, wait. I knew that. Can you come up with something I DON’T know?” Always shut them up. I ended up with more people who, maybe weren’t my FRIENDS, but who respected me because I could give it as good as I got it. If my daughter comes home and says some kids are teasing her, I’m going to tell her to do exactly what I did.
          I do think however, which I’ve already said to Sadie, that teasing CAN BECOME bullying. When it happens daily, constantly, and your child comes home crying everyday, swears they’re NEVER going to school again, and starts becoming depressed, THEN, it’s bullying. BUT, until then, if it’s happening a few times a month, or once or twice every few weeks, you need to just learn to stick up for yourself. Your children are never going to learn to do that, unless you teach them to. If it becomes bullying, THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. The End.
          Melody recently posted..Fifty Shades of Gray-Is It Worth the Hype?My Profile

          1. I was, and am, the fat kid. I got teased. RELENTLESSLY. I think it gave me the ability to think on my feet, because I needed to have a fast comeback to the girls that were doing the teasing. It helped that I was smarter than them. Bitter you ask? Nope just stating the facts. :-)

            That being said, no one wants to be teased or have their kids teased. What parents need to do is build up their kids and teach them how to deal with it. If we shelter kids from EVERYTHING bad, we will not be properly preparing them for adulthood. My self esteem was rocked but never broken, because I had a great Mom that helped me realize that they were just words.

            My Mom always told me that it is OK to stand up for yourself and others. She also reminded me, almost everyday after school, that just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. PS. She never said “Oh honey you’re not fat.” BECAUSE I WAS. She did say “I love you just the way you are.”

            How can we expect kids to grow into adults that can deal with life if we, as parents, friends, aunts, uncles and grandparents, don’t teach them how when they are young.

            Bullies are a fact of life and exist outside of childhood. There are all kinds of grown-up bullies and we owe it to our kids to show them effective and hopefully positive ways to deal with them.

      2. I agree with Kim. You differentiated between the two types of bullying on your post by saying ‘but the ones that couldn’t help how they were born’. So the kid that couldn’t run very fast, that wasn’t a way they were born then, that’s just them being lazy? Excuse me, I’m asthmatic. I run pretty fast now but I didn’t before I had treatment and that wasn’t something I could help. Also, a child is solely responsible for their own exceeding of an arbitrary and unscientific measure of what they ought to weigh, with no aspect of that being due to how they were born? Sorry, this part spoiled what I otherwise thought was a very good post, and your refusal to acknowledge that the last bit is problematic isn’t impressing me at all.

        1. I am not here to impress you, Pavlov’s Cat…

      3. there is no such things as kids being just kids
        no matter what there is a victim
        you cant put it in boxes and say this is okay to bully this is not
        bullieng is just not okay nomatter the victim

        and maybe some think that calling a person ugly,fat or other thing is just” teasing”… you wouldnt think that if it was YOU
        i have and will never be okay with people degrading people and making them less than they are

        1. I never, EVER said it was “okay to bully”. Please do NOT put words into my mouth. I said IN MY SCHOOL, kids KNEW BETTER than to make fun of the mentally challenged. They may have made fun of the fat/slow/skinny/whatever kids but never one that was born with a disability.

          1. I don’t think Sadie was saying anything like that. There is a difference between teasing and bullying. I think it is mean either way but it is WAY more innapropriate to do what those kids were doing to that girl. That was UNEXCEPTABLE and those students should be ashamed of themselves. This I think comes from parents who are not parenting. My kids would be in huge trouble if I found out they were calling anyone fat or slow and they would be especially in trouble for doing something to those who are mentally retarded. Try not to be offended by someone just for not wording things great. I do not think Sadie thinks it is good for people to tease at all…but kids do it. They do it and you cannot deny it. You cannot punish every kids for teasing. But you can punish for bullying. I was a teacher myself and I cannot believe that teachers are letting them get away with this!

  6. There should be a zero tolerance for bullying. Bullying not only affects the child as a child but into their adult life (if they last that long). Looking back there were times I was mean as a teen-ager (I know, hard to believe right?) but bullying wasn’t labeled back then as it is now. No child should be made to feel that they are less. Sadly the ‘bullier’ usually has so many issues of their own and therefore needs help too.
    Becky Ryan-Willis recently posted..Dyson Housewarming Giveaway 6/1-6/15/2012My Profile

  7. This is so sad. First, the school should have done something — even if it was to lecture the children on the correct behavior and what would and would not be tolerated. Then when the girl tried to help, the school should have found out why she had to intervene and to commend her for helping someone who wasn’t able to do it for themselves.
    She after all was “helping” — and I am sure she saw it as that.
    Darn… I guess we live in one crazy world but I hate it that common sense isn’t used anymore in dealing with things like this. I also hate it that kids do this stuff at all – but I think that’s human nature.
    Johannah recently posted..The Indianapolis 500My Profile

  8. Wow! I can’t believe that they did that. I agree with you! You should never make fun of a person for having a disability. I think personally you should never make fun of people regardless of what the reason is. When I was in 5th grade I punched a kid in the nose (it was on the bus) because a kid wouldn’t stop making fun of another kid. Granted I didn’t get punished. In fact the bus driver (after everyone was dropped off, I was the last one to get dropped off) told me way to go. This kid had been in trouble before for being mean. Nothing too seriously though. Time out kind of trouble. Bullying needs to be taking a whole lot more seriously then what it is. A slap on the wrist isn’t going to do it.
    Jacqui Odell recently posted..Spotlight Sponsor : Moja CreationsMy Profile

    1. EXACTLY… you should NEVER make fun of anyone regardless BUT there is a difference between “kids being kids” and kids making a mentally challenged girl chew up food they’ve already chewed. It is scary to me that adults are not able to differentiate the two. Guess we know where the kids get it.

  9. I just can’t believe the action taken by this school, in my days at school we were thought that the strong should protect the weak, Stormy deserves a medal not a punishment

  10. Is this the same county school board that insists on a Jesus prayer before each meeting? A sure sign they have no ability to make decisions based on evidence and reason.

  11. I have emailed both. The behavior of the school officials is appalling. Good for Stormy, her mom should be proud of her

    1. I agree! I would be so proud if my kids stood up for someone else. :)

  12. I agree there is no kids being kids in bullying. It’s never right and no situation that warrants this despicable behavior. Former fat, slow runner kid that got teased for everything including my race. It is ALL BULLYING.

    1. As a former “bean pole” “skinny minnie” “slow runner”, I disagree that it’s all bullying. I think saying that it is ALL bullying is making the ACTUAL bullying seem not as serious.

      1. It is all bullying no matter the form or the person. We when you make light of it when or where is the line drawn. I call it how I see and won’t make any teasing as just fun and games. To a kids self esteem it all feels like bullying.

        1. We will have to agree to disagree then, because I’ve seen how serious bullying can get (think: kids making a mentally challenged girl eating chewed up food; think: suicide), and I’ve also been on the other end of teasing (I was the slow runner I was talking about in my post), and it did nothing but make me want to try harder and run faster. I know all kids react to it differently but I’m not about to compare the two.

  13. You can “think” teasing for things that don’t offend you personally is all right and just kids being kids as much as you want, but you’re wrong. Amusing or entertaining one’s self at the expense of making another feel bad about his or her self is never an okay thing to do (and that’s something that adults are supposed to make sure that children understand.) It’s unfortunate that you seem unable to comprehend that.

    1. And you can “think” you’re right, by insulting me and calling me stupid in a round about way (bullying much?? HMMM)… but we will just have to agree to disagree. :)

      1. You can have an opinion, just as everyone in the world has the right to, but you can’t have your own facts. You are on the same spectrum as the girls you are complaining about, just not at the extreme end they are at.

        1. I don’t believe you – or I – have stated facts, just opinions. However, you’re being rude… so how about we call that bullying, too? Saying I am on the same spectrum as girls who made a mentally challenged middle schooler REchew their food, because I have a different opinion than you? Are you serious?

  14. Imagine: shy new, chubby Japanese girl being teased daily by brutally mean, only black, special needs challenged girl. ( the last part I didn’t find about till years later. Bullying feels like bullying no matter what or whom it pertains to.

    1. Being teased in a brutal way daily is bullying, I’ve stated that many times.

  15. I am happy that this girl stood up for another who couldn’t stand up for herself. It’s sad that the bullies were never taught right from wrong. I will guess that their parents were bullies also. As for the school- I think they need to take the trash out. Any school staff should have put an end to this. Their actions were reprehensible.
    For those who don’t understand the difference between teasing and bullying…
    I was bullied horribly. Not just for one thing, but for everything. My hair was frizzy and poofy, I didn’t have nice clothes, I had asthma making me the slow kid, I was fat, I was ugly, not to mention I am a girl with the name Ryan… whatever they could find to say, they did. Living that hell on top of the hell I lived at home, I became depressed, leading to eating disorders, self abuse, and being suicidal. Eventually I lashed out at anyone…everyone. I became aggressive and it only worsened over time. I was expelled in 11th grade, not long after becoming a foster child. Then finished up my teen years living on the streets with a boyfriend, and was pregnant and homeless before 18. Flash forward many years, I have 5 kids. My oldest is 14. She’s bullied. She ran from the bus at 7 years old. SEVEN YEARS OLD!!!! Crying that she wanted to kill herself. Why? Cause they just wouldn’t leave her alone. I dealt with the school VP on this matter. His response- “all kids get picked on it’s not a big deal, you and your daughter need to get over it. ” Really? No. He doesn’t have a job anymore. My 11 year old son is big, very big. Plus he’s a brainiac. The bully in his class last year, quickly learned not to mess with my son, or anyone else. After being suspended from school 7 times last year, because in his mom’s words, “that bitch mother won’t stop complaining” they told him they would switch his school if there were any more problems.

    Yes, it’s true, all kids DO get teased for something at some point. Whether they get caught picking their nose, eat something uncommon, wear an ugly shirt one time, rip the butt of their pants at recces or what have you. Getting teased for something once in awhile is NOT bullying. Bullying is day in, day out, everyday, for any and all reasons that the bullies can find, to make themselves feel better.

    Sorry for ranting on your blog.

    1. Ryan, THANK YOU. Thank you. Thank you! That is exactly what I was saying but didn’t know how to say it. I am so sorry you had to deal with bullying… and so sorry your daughter had to deal with it as well. :( That is absolutely horrible and the VERY reason I said there is a difference between teasing and bullying.

      You are welcome to rant on my blog any time, hell, I do! :)

  16. :)

    I have a blog for my own rants, but sometimes other people have better topics.

  17. actually, this is pretty common. most schools consider bullying to be normal behaviour and usually ignore it. truth is, the victims are easier to deal with and shove under the carpet (that characteristic is why they usually get bullied in the first place.. :) )

    unfortunately, this usually gives the victim 2 choices: fight (which usually means a severe measure as they are usually fighting a stronger opponent, or just accept the humiliation and damage to their self esteem at that formative period of their lives)

    usually it doesnt take long as a student’s cries for help are ignored before he realizes the school is not going to be any help and he has to help himself.

    but when a victim decides to stand up to it, the school usually reacts, forcefully, against the victim because now they will actually have a conflict on their hands which will spotlight their apathy and neglect of their duty to provide a safe environment for the children. therefore, they come out harder on the victim because their refusal to just shut up and take the abuse is causing additional work and trouble for the school administrators.

    this is on some levels conscious and some levels subconscious, but very common. my childhood alone entailed over 13 incidents where after repeated reports of bullying to authorities i finally took matters in my own hands. on every occasion i was punished and the bully was not, even if the teacher witnessed the entire incident.

    unfortunately bullys quickly learn there is no consequences for bullying and get to enjoy watching their targets punished for trying to resist.

  18. Emailed and I will be calling tomorrow. I will not be silent til this is heard across the country! Thank you!

    Stephen Dimmick.

Leave a Response

CommentLuv badge