‘But mommy, it wasn’t someone else. It was him.’ She hurled herself into my arms, sobbing. She was broken.’: Mom defends daughter branded a ‘liar’ after preschool bully relentlessly torments her

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“Bullying is something I feel very strongly about. My beautiful, happy, confident daughter was bullied for almost 4 years by the same little person from pre-school. Pre-School… 4 and 5 years old!

She was physically assaulted with a metal toy that cut her eye and left a scar two weeks into starting school. The bully was ‘dealt’ with… it was ‘rambunctious play!’ Was throwing her headband into the car park rambunctious play? Was the constant pushing and shoving?

It went on for years, us telling her to stay away, to play elsewhere or with others.

It came to a head when the persecution became emotional as well as verbal, when my happy, confident little girl became so anxious she got tummy aches, feigned illness and became clingy.

The bully began to write on her desk, he stole her belongings and hid them… cleverly so that no one knew and so when the class were asked who was doing this, they didn’t know and couldn’t answer. My shell of a little girl thought this meant no one liked her. She talked about changing schools and my heart broke a little. She was 7 years old!

At the school dance he kicked her and pushed her. When she played soccer he repeatedly called her name across the field. When asked ‘why?’ by staff, he said, ‘so she knows I’m here.’

One day he gripped her by the collar, shook her and screamed in her face, for no other reason than she was talking to her friend in a queue!

I am thankful this was a day she didn’t have to go to an after-school club, as when I picked her up, she hurled herself from the classroom into my arms sobbing. She was broken, she’d told staff what happened, and she had essentially been branded a liar. She was defeated at 7/8 years old.

Despite the fact there has been a campaign of bullying/abuse from this child against not just my daughter (though she was a primary target) she was questioned as though on trial. Children were made to re-enact what happened that lunchtime, and questioned independently about what they saw or didn’t see as the case may be.

My daughter was told she should apologize to her friends for putting them through this, for lying. She wasn’t lying.

Staff asked if there were others around when it happened. Yes, there were. Could it have been them? Yes, it could. ‘But mommy,’ she said… ‘it wasn’t someone else. It was him.’ I work in safeguarding…. you cannot lead a child in their answers like that.

Finally, someone came forward and had seen it. He admitted it.

She was exonerated, but not before she lost her trust in those supposed to protect her, to believe her.

The child in question is now monitored.

The school worked with us, but I shouldn’t have to have fought for this. My daughter shouldn’t have had to feel the way she did… the way she still does.

Another child took her self-belief from her and that is hard to get back, no matter how much your parents, family, teachers tell you.

If someone has made you feel so worthless you want to leave a school where you have made loyal and loving friends, thrived academically and grown emotionally, despite all of this, then there is an issue.

As parents we have a tendency to see our children through rose tinted glasses, but as parents we know our children better than anyone.

Teach your children kind words, kind behaviors, kind actions… and recognize when they don’t.

Bullying takes many forms, and it affects in many different ways.

As parents, teachers, family friends… know and be aware of the impact it can have even upon infant children.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jem Lord. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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‘I used to be a bully. I was awful, and I wanted so badly to be liked.’: Woman admits to feeling ‘pang of guilt, shame’ at being childhood bully, proud of her ‘efforts to better herself’

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