Nicci | 2008-11-10
High school gossip
My daughter is currently 15 and in Grade 9 at a local high school with children from all sorts of backgrounds. What worries me is the vicious gossip, malicious slandering and verbal victimisation which she is experiencing. The girls spread filthy untruths and she seems unable to cope or find a solution.Speaking to the teachers does not stop the gossip. She needs "mental tools". But how do we teach her that? She is not allowed to socialise much out of school, due to our safety concerns for her e
This type of bullying is quite prevalent amongst adolescent girls and it is extremely hurtful to an adolescent who already has numerous issues to deal with. Girl bullies are often far nastier and more destructive than the typical male bully and bullying needs to be taken seriously and not overlooked by parents and schools. Your daughter needs to understand why these bullies are doing what they are doing and why they are picking on her, as this will empower her to address the issue assertively. The following website offers some good suggestions for girls;
In summary they suggest:
- Ask for specifics when your daughter hints at bullying. Who? Where? How?
- Tell the principal and classroom teacher the specifics of how she is being bullied. Have them tell other teachers and staff so that everyone who comes in contact with her can be on the lookout and poised to intervene.
- Explain to her that reporting an incident is not the same as tattling, and have her tell an adult at school when she is being bullied.
- Encourage her to stick with a friend at break, lunch, in the hallways, on the bus or walking home because she is more likely to be targeted when she is alone.
- Teach her to convey self-confidence by walking confidently, with her head up. Bullies target those they think are weaker.
- Pay attention to how she is sleeping, eating, feeling and doing in school. If you notice changes in any of these areas, have her see the school counsellor.
- Arrange opportunities for your daughter to socialise with her friends outside of school to help her maintain a strong social support system.
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