With the suicide of middle schoolers and teens rapidly on the rise, tackling the problem of bullying has become more important than ever.
After their children take their own lives, the gut-wrenching regret of so many parents is, “I wish I would’ve known, so I could’ve stopped it”… Or even worse, they question, “If the school knew what was happening, why didn’t THEY stop it?”
Well, Aimee Johnson refuses to be that mother living with regret. In an attempt to thwart a tragic ending for her own daughter, the Louisburg mom has recently spoken out on social media about the relentless bullying her 9-year-old has experienced on the school bus. And her painful yet powerful plea to raise awareness has since gained Internet-wide attention.
Alongside several headshots of her tearful daughter, Aimee wrote the following message on Facebook last week:
“This is NOT ok! My daughter has been bullied on the bus since we moved to Louisburg, continuously by the same 3 little boys. This is the 3rd time physical violence has happened to her in 4 months. I’m done! This time her water bottle was taken from her and they hit her upside the head with it! Called her ‘ugly’ and ‘dumb’. The first time I was told that the cameras were pulled and the act was seen by the bus department and the principal and that action by the principal would be taken.. never was! I was told by the child who did this to her it wasn’t. This is the 3rd time! I contacted the bus department extremely angry, and told them that action WILL be taken this time! They went on to tell me that it was the last time! Lies! I was told it wasn’t! My daughter does not deserve this at 9 years old by 4th and 5th grade boys! Teach your sons not to hit women! Done!”
“This right here is the reason we see so many young girls committing suicide! They are bullied! I’m not going to let this happen to my child again! Louisburg needs to step up and stop this right now! If not, I’m contacting the local news channels and will make sure my daughter gets Justice!”
And this passionately protective mama meant BUSINESS.
Six days after her initial post, Aimee posted an update of the situation since contacting authorities who further investigated the incident:
“We had a meeting with the Superintendent, Principal, Bus Department Director, the chief of police and the school SRO. We found out that the Bus Director, even though she told me that she made the principal aware of the situation and that he had watched the video, now claims that she didn’t report the first incident of assault. She said ‘Well, you told me that you were going to discuss it with the child’s parent so I thought you had it handled.’
She lied to everyone in that room stating ‘I never told you I would report the incident to the principal’ and expected me to take care of the situation. I’m the mother of the victim! How am I expected to handle it by myself!? This violates everything in the school code of conduct. As the director she is suppose to report even name calling to the principal. But failed to report assault? I’m completely baffled! How are any consequences for this child’s actions supposed to be taken without her doing her job! Her job as the director is suppose to keep children safe and to report any and all forms of bullying to the principal. She failed my daughter and lied to everyone in that room to save her job! The principal and superintendent are not to blame here as they cannot take care of the situation if they were never notified by the bus director.
Watching the videos today was heartbreaking. I give praise to the child who ran to the front of the bus and told the bus driver that my child was being assaulted. You are a true hero whoever you are! I also give praise to the bus driver for taking immediate action!”
Though she’s thankful for this brave hero, Aimee fears her daughter still may never recover from the scarring experience.
“What we have been trying to tell her is that she’s amazing, don’t listen to what these people say about you,” said Aimee. “But even with us saying that I feel like this is going to scar her forever.”
Since sharing her daughter’s disheartening experience, an online community of supporters has spoken out with their own personal stories of bullying gone unpunished. Thousands are sharing her testimony of the power of speaking out and taking action.
“We were just trying to let our friends and family going on and then the next thing we know it’s viral,” said Aimee’s husband Brett. “We’re just trying to get the awareness out there that hey this needs to be stopped, this is not cool and it should not happen.”
Government research estimates that as many as 1-in-3 students in the United States have been the victim of school bullying.
For more information on how you can talk to your children and be a part of the solution, visit StopBullying.gov.