12-year-old pens heartbreaking petition asking school to stop her bullies
Bullying is a problem in schools all over the world, but what’s a kid to do when it feels like their cries for help are being ignored? One 12-year-old bullying victim wasn’t getting the help she needed, so she bravely started an online petition to demand that school officials take action against her bullies.
Tayla Sekhmet is a student at Dysart State High School in Queensland who recently penned a raw and heartbreaking petition with her mom that shows exactly what kids go through when adults don’t step in to keep them from being harassed. “I’m the most unpopular kid at school and people make my life a living hell,” the tween explained in her petition. “Every day people call me fatso, weirdo, ugly, freak, and tell me I should kill myself.”
Sekhmet said the abuse she faces is constant, and sometimes comes from people in other grades that she doesn’t even know. “I’ve been pushed to the ground, had people go through my bag, or break my scooter when I rode it to school,” she wrote. “Other people in my class throw things at me and film it on their phones… One boy continues to sexually harass me. He calls me rude sexual names and spreads rumors about me which I can’t post here because they are too sexual.”
Teachers have told Sekhmet to “just ignore” the abuse, but she explained in her petition that she simply “can’t take it anymore” and doesn’t know where else to go for help. “My life is hell,” she wrote. “I only beg for you to please sign my petition to ask Dysart State High School to take a stronger stance against bullying and for the Government to stop the school getting away with this.”
Guess what? People listened. Since the petition went up, it’s amassed more than 74,000 signatures and even been tweeted out by the likes of William Shatner.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) June 17, 2016
Tayla’s mom, Kali, tells Buzzfeed the petition has pressured the school to finally make a move. Tayla was given access to a private room where she can sit during lunch and recess and listen to music, read, or relax. Still, both Tayla and her mom hope the petition will influence the school and the educational system at large to look for better solutions.
“I’m happy we can finally take a breath,” Kali told Buzzfeed. “But last night all I could do was think about all the other kids that are out there suffering. We have to change the school policies for dealing with bullying, because at the moment they just don’t work.”
According to StopBullying.Gov, around 70 percent of kids in the U.S. say they’ve seen bullying take place at their school, and 28 percent of students in grades six through 12 say they’ve experienced it firsthand. Internationally, almost every developed nation has about the same rates of bullying. It’s a problem, no matter where you live, and telling kids to “just ignore it” doesn’t make it go away.
Tayla was incredibly brave to tell the world what was happening to her and to demand other solutions when it felt like her school’s response was inadequate. Hopefully her inspiring bid to fix the problem will encourage parents and teachers everywhere to come together to look for new solutions to bullying, and more importantly, to always listen to kids when they say they’re hurting.