Bullies are cowards disguised as tough guys and mean girls. Something inside them makes them feel so bad about themselves that they have to find a scapegoat for their negative feelings – so they turn them outward, harassing innocent victims.
Bullying can end in horrible ways, but for one 5-year-old girl, it showed her that there would always be people in the world willing to protect her.
At the beginning of the new 2019 school year, Samantha Womble found out that her 5-year-old daughter had a traumatic experience on the school bus.
Not only had other kids picked on her and called her names, but the bus driver – meant to be the responsible adult in these matters – made it even worse.
Womble took to Facebook to tell her story. She began:
“My 5-year-old had her first bullying experience on the school bus. She was called stupid and ugly over and over. Instead of an adult handling the situation, he threatened her with the police.”
We don’t know the other circumstances surrounding the incident (was he yelling at her or all the kids?), but it sounds like the bus driver made Womble’s little girl feel like she was the one in trouble – an embarrassingly poor choice for an adult to make.
The problem with not dealing with these situations correctly is that victims suffer further and they become afraid to stand up for themselves or seek help.
The driver’s unwillingness to stop the bullying and threatening to call the police gave the girl serious anxiety.
“My daughter was then horrified and traumatized. As we drove home, we passed an officer, and she covered her head while crying scared to death,” wrote Womble.
It’s not surprising – a child so young doesn’t know any better than what an adult tells them.
That’s when Womble asked for prayers – and they were answered in the form of some very kind police officers who knew the value of teaching kids that they’re there to help.
“I put out a post for prayers and it didn’t go unanswered. That night officer Jonathan Luttrell and officer Blake Burress with the Booneville MS Police Department knocked on the door. They heard what had happened and brought her prizes. They made her feel comfortable and let her know they were her protectors and weren’t out to get her. That night she labeled those cops as her best friends.”
Thanks to the sense of duty of Officers Luttrell and Burress, Womble’s daughter now knows the police are her friends.
And they did her one better – two other officers showed up at school the next day to support the girl and walk her to class. There was no interaction with the bullies, just a silent show of support for the little girl. And they got the message.
“The next morning deputy Taylor Walker and Tyler Reese from the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Dept came to the school. Deputy Walker met her at the vehicle with a smile. He took the time to get on her level and speak with her. She walked back with the biggest smile and stuffed puppy. He held her hand and she was more than happy to have him walk her to class.”
In a perfect world, we would all have experiences like this with the police. Putting politics aside, no one can argue that what these officers did was going above and beyond the call of duty.
And yes, there are bad officers. There are bad people in every uniform. But Womble wanted to make sure to share a piece of good news on behalf of the police. She continued:
“So often law enforcement is thrown under the bus, given horrible names, and used as a scare tactic in the wrong situations. In reality these are the people willing to put their lives on the line to protect us, and care more than we can imagine. These officers made a point to take time out and helped my sweet girl feel safe, cared for, and protected after hearing they were used as a scare tactic against her.”
Good community relations is the key to good policing. If we only see the cops when things are bad, we learn to associate them with our worst moments. These officers knew that they had to be visible as friends and protectors as well.
And it sounds like simply seeing the officers curbed the bullying. Womble updated her post to share a photo a letter sent to her daughter by one of the girls who was picking on her. The parents of the girl promised they would speak to her and let her know that what she did was not ok.
We think the text of the letter means this little girl is starting to learn her lesson. And with parents who care enough to correct her behavior (and identify her behavior as “bullying”), hopefully it will be the last time she does any name-calling.
We have to remember to give kids a chance to learn and correct their mistakes, even though it’s tough when their behavior is so disappointing.
Let’s all remember that while this situation turned out for the best, not all of them do. We all have a role to play in preventing or intervening in bullying behavior, from the playground to the workplace.
Be sure to scroll down to see the original post and all the supportive comments.
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Source: Love What Matters via Facebook