All of the sudden, this morning, I was being told about an 8th grade girl. This isn’t just any story about a middle school student. This was the story about how this young woman was bullied. I don’t know the details — and they are not mine to share. I can’t find anything in the local news. So, I assume that the news hasn’t broken that this 8th grade girl attempted her own life — and in the end, she was successful.
That’s what this 8th grade girl in my church family wanted to talk about. She talked about how she felt. She talked about how the school had responded and the support she’d found. Thank God. And yet, I want to believe that something could have been done sooner. There must have been something that we could have done to protect this young woman so that her peer would never have to tell me this story. There must be something we can do to stop bullying. Right now, it doesn’t feel like it. The severity of this news has sunk in and I want to act. I want to do something to transform this world so that there can be more love — especially in our middle schools. Those years are hard enough. This shouldn’t add to the confusion and the discovery. So, I signed a petition which doesn’t feel quite dramatic enough.
What I really want is to have had a better response when that 8th grade girl told me this story. After she shared all of the details, she carefully asked if she was allowed to ask for prayers for her peer’s family and friends. It breaks my heart that she thinks that she wouldn’t be allowed to ask for that prayer, but then again, that might be part of the problem.