Support Rolls In For Bullied Teen Whose Cries For Help Were Ignored By School (VIDEO)

A Michigan High school student who has been repeatedly bullied finally broke, and posted an emotional video on Facebook, in which she cried out for someone — anyone — to help her. Dana Hamrick, 16, says she is picked on daily at Truman High School, but that the school’s staff does not take her complaints seriously.

“Do you know how bad I feel?” Hamrick says in the video. “People make fun of the way I look.… This school sucks. I don’t want to go there anymore, but I don’t have a choice.” She describes numerous examples of other students bullying her and, perhaps more chilling, a number of examples of school officials refusing to do anything to help her.

“Please understand how your words…how I feel?” Hamrick implores her tormentors. “How your words affect people. I am sitting here, bawling my eyes out and you tell me to get out of your sight.”

During lunch period, Hamrick says her suffering is so great that she is forced to hide from other students — but a vice principal will not even allow her to escape:

“One of the vice principals, he would threaten to suspend me for three days because I wasn’t in the cafeteria … getting bullied.”

Hamrick, whose only “crime” seems to be the act of dying her hair in a fashion that she enjoys, says that school officials responded to her video — to ask her to take it down. Initially, she complied but, ultimately, she reposted the video.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4v551AHlp8?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=600&h=400]

“I posted this video because I wanted people to know that bullying hurts,” Hamrick told FOX2. “It does. Words do hurt.”

Teresa Winnie, assistant superintendent of Taylor Schools, says that Hamrick’s parents were contacted the morning the video was posted, claiming that the school district offered support months prior but that Hamrick refused.

Hamrick, however, says that the school wanted her to name her bullies — an act that she feared would lead to further torture and physical harm.  “People send their kids to school, it should be a safe environment,”Hamrick said. “I don’t think I’m safe. I don’t feel safe.”

On Thursday, the school released a statement, alleging that:

“We at Truman High School in no way, shape, or form, condone bullying and immediately address any issues once they are brought to our attention…”

According to Hamrick’s parents, however, issues have been addressed with the school in the past. They say the school only followed up after their daughter posted her video online. On FOX2’s Facebook page, other parents and current students say that the school does not properly act to protect bullied kids:4-26-2015 9-53-15 PM 4-26-2015 9-55-08 PM 4-26-2015 9-56-28 PM 4-26-2015 9-57-40 PM

One parent told FOX2 that her daughter received a concussion from a fight recorded on a cell phone a year ago, but that the school did nothing — even when her daughter warned staff that she was going to be attacked.

Hamrick says she witnessed the events leading to the fight, and that not enough is being done to help students who are being tormented. “I think some of the staff should not be there anymore,” she said. “Because they will let someone sit out in the hall crying their eyes out and not do anything about it but tell them to get out of their sight.”

Comments on social media have been overwhelmingly in support of the bullied high school junior, with many leaving supportive notes like this:

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However, the bully mentality persists even among “adults” on the news station’s Facebook page:

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One person, commenting under Hamrick’s reposting of her video on Facebook, went so far as to edit a comment so the he could be certain to get the word “c*mshot” in there:

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On the news station’s Facebook page, Hamrick’s father had a few words for her bullies — both online and off:

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A quick perusal of Hamrick’s Facebook page shows a teenage girl who is full of love — but who has been hurting for some time:

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After Hamrick’s story gained attention on social media and in the local news, some students gathered around the school to protest:

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A local hair stylist even made Hamrick’s hair just a little more awesome:

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According to bullyingstatistics.org:

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
  • Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
  • A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying
  • 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above

ABC News reports that nearly 30 percent of students are either a bully, or a target of said bullies. The CDC reports that approximately 160,000 kids stay home every day because they fear they will be a target.

 

“I just want to thank everyone for being so sweet and caring and thank you for the hugs and kind words.. i might be a wreck but if you see me hug me,” the Hamrick wrote on Facebook. “The world just needs a little bit of love…”

Social media is a powerful tool. It can do untold damage to a person, but it can also lift up someone in need of help, and bring attention to issues that would be otherwise left unsolved.

Good job, internet!


Featured Image via Facebook