Professionals in the field of entomology support a child bullied for her interest in bugs
A seven-year-old girl obsessed with bugs is being bullied for her extremely cool hobby by kids at school. Her mom decided to help her in an unusual way, and it resulted in an outpouring of support from the science community.
According to Buzzfeed, Sophia has loved bugs pretty much her whole life. Her mom, Nicole Spencer, explains that her fascination began when she gave the child a bug-catcher when she was just a toddler. It was love at first bzzzz, and the little girl has been mad about insects ever since.
— Nicole&SophiaSpencer (@sigalmummy775) August 27, 2016
“Her best friend and her named themselves ‘The Bug Hunters’ — a name she still uses today,” Spencer shares. “For some reason I cannot explain, she has a connection with bugs.” Sadly, she had to separate from her bug-hunting best buddy when the family moved to a new town, meaning Sophia started at a new school.
Spencer says her daughter’s special relationship with bugs has other kids calling her a “weirdo” and taunting her in ways that would make any parent’s stomach turn. From being “dragged through mud” and hit, to a girl telling the other kids to stop playing with Sophia, the child has had a hard time adjusting to her new school. The most cringe-inducing instance of bullying? A boy who asked to see one of her bugs then stomped on it and killed it.
Is your heart broken now? Allow us to sew it back together.
After telling Sophia to to speak out about how the other kids were treating her, nothing changed. She said the teacher “either ignored her or did nothing about the names and teasing,” so Spencer took matters into her own hands.
Worried the teasing would cause her daughter to give up on her love of bugs, the mom reached out to people who might be able to help. She sent a letter to the Entomology Society of Canada. And boy, did they come through.
— Ent Soc of Canada (@CanEntomologist) August 25, 2016
In her note, Spencer pleads with the pros to encourage her daughter and to tell her she could one day turn her unique hobby into a career as a “bug hunter.” The response to her request for an expert to tell her she’s “not weird or strange” was nothing short of overwhelming.
— Nina Zitani (@papiliovorus) August 25, 2016
— M.G. Leonard (@MGLnrd) August 25, 2016
@CanEntomologist she can contact my lab anytime! We are happy to send her papers, nets, whatever will keep her entomology passion going!
— Jessica L Ware Lab (@JessicaLWareLab) August 25, 2016
@CanEntomologist I am not an entomologist but have a bug mad kid (7yo) in Australia if she would like a pen pal – let me know!
— Jacki Liddle (@jacki_liddle) August 25, 2016
@CanEntomologist In the world of high school banality, being called weird is like a badge of honor. I loved being the weird bug girl.
— Judy Schmidt (@SpaceGeck) August 25, 2016
— The Bug Chicks (@TheBugChicks) August 25, 2016
@CanEntomologist I’d love to. I was totally that girl 🙂 I’ll DM you.
— Jess Vickruck (@jessvickruck) August 25, 2016
Did you catch the fact that most of the experts willing to help Sophia are women? The outpouring of support from female bug professionals was not lost on Sophia, either. Her mom says, “She was jumping up and down on the bed, so excited that there are female entomologists, scientists, biologists all over the world.”
And if that’s what she wants to be one day, we have doubt she’ll make it happen.