She knew of one girl in the eighth grade that had been cyberbullied last year. It sounded pretty bad and apparently the school wasn’t doing much about it. There were rumors of the girl’s mother storming into the office and demanding the principal stop it. There were rumors that someone hacked into her account and posted pictures of her changing in the locker room and posted insulting comments about teachers and her friends as if she wrote them. It sounded awful and she had hoped the rumors weren’t true. The girl changed schools though. Jenna found it hard to believe that there were kids her age that were just so mean and horrible to do something like that to another human being. Yet there are many cases like this around the world.
“Good thank you,” Katie said.
Of course her brother said, “Yelling at your sweet little brother to get out of your room and making him vacuum it.” No one else agreed with Steven luckily.
Jenna learned that her parents had both been bullied at times as well as her younger brother. Her Dad had even been in a fight that turned physical. Just because he danced once with a girl he had just met. Turns out she had a boyfriend there and when he found out he and his buddies went after her Dad! Jenna was shocked. She felt bad that she never knew her brother was being picked on so much when he was in first grade. She was at the same school that year enjoying fifth grade. She would have helped him out somehow if she had known. She might want to put him in a box (with breathing holes of course) and overnight him to the opposite side of the world some days, but she did not like anyone else being mean or saying anything mean to her baby brother. That was never okay. Even if she was looking up shipping costs for an 88 pound package at the time.
Jenna had been bullied at times herself. When she was just five years old some mean neighbor kids all surrounded her and made faces at her. It didn’t seem so scary now but it had been terrifying to her then. She had been made fun of and called ‘teacher’s pet’.
Then starting middle school she was invited to hang out with some girls that seemed nice. They made her go through a strange initiation though. They told her to do weird things like crawl down the center aisle of the auditorium while the choir rehearsed, steal a pencil out of some kids back pack, and stand up in the middle of class and just start clapping loudly. Jenna couldn’t bring herself to do these things. Finally she confronted them and said, “Either you want to be my friends or you don’t, but I’m not doing these weird things.” They decided to be friends with Jenna but they were never really good true friends. She felt so lucky to have Mary and Katie as her best friends. Having two true wonderful friends was better than having twenty or more pretty good friends.
At least her parents were supportive of her B.U.L.L.Y. Club idea and said she could have meetings at the house. Her Dad told her not to focus on changing the world. Baby steps were better. Jenna decided to take it one day at a time and do what she could. Her brother asked to be in her club. She had an internal struggle with that request.
On one hand her club was to help all kids become aware of bullies and how they can stand up for themselves and others. On the other hand she was thinking this was a fun and important thing she was going to do with her friends! How could she exclude her younger brother? She didn’t especially want him tagging along but she couldn’t say no, right? Then an idea came to her. She told him he could join her club. However, some meetings were just for her and her friends. Steven was welcome to come to the once a month ‘open to all’ B.U.L.L.Y. Club members. She told him she would even help him start a B.U.L.L.Y. Club with his friends for his school. Steven was happy, she was happy, and she got approving nods from their parents. Phew!