MINNESOTA — A Minnesota mother is hoping a video she posted online will help stop the bullying of her daughter on the school bus. The mother says her little girl has visited the principal’s office at least half a dozen times to ask for help.
The video that has already been shared on Facebook more than 10,000 times in less than 24 hours.
The video shows a third-grade girl crying and unable to talk about the bullying that she has been experiencing. Her brother has to describe what the bullying at school is like for his big sister as she cries her eyes out.
“This guy on the playground said, ‘You’re gonna die by suicide they called me a son of a *** and a motherf***er,’” the brother said.
“You tell her you’re stronger than that. You’re better than that. You tell them they’re worth something. Because they feel they’re worth nothing. You tell them there’s adults and people to help you. They’re people to help you. The school will help you,” said mother Sarah Cymbaluk.
Fosston Public Schools Superintendent Mark Nohner said this just landed on his radar despite the parents’ claim that they’ve been trying to get something done since December.
“I found out about the situation a couple of days ago and I think it could have been resolved without going to Facebook,” said Nohner.
“She’s been called into the principal and made to feel like it’s her fault. She’s been told to ignore it. She’s been told to disregard it, basically she’s been told to stuff your emotions and get on with life,” said Cymbaluk.
In the video, the girl tells the audience she went to the principal five times about the incidents and she said nothing was done about them.
School officials admitted that they dropped the ball.
“Obviously somewhere along the line it fell through the cracks. So we need to review our procedures and policies and maybe do a better job articulating to the parents what we’re doing, even though we can’t be specific, we need to do a better job of getting that communication out there,” Nohner said.
Cymbaluk said their daughter was called “a lesbian, it’s gotten physical, she’s come home with scratches and bruises.”
“I want to feel like I’m wanted in the school and people like me,” the girl says in the video.
Cymbaluk said bullying is not just a problem that’s happening in Fosston but across schools everywhere.
“She said, ‘You know what I want. I want it to never happen to another kid again,’” Cymbaluk said.
School officials say they’re investigating but can’t elaborate on any disciplinary action because of confidentiality laws.