My beautiful 16 year old daughter was so excited to be going to Junior Prom! She had picked out the dress and rented even before she knew for sure that she would be asked, because it was the perfect dress, and just in case, she wanted to have it reserved for her. About 2 weeks before the date, she got asked to go. We are “old fashioned” so her date had to talk to Joe to get permission, but once that was worked out she was excited. Her group was busily making plans and coordinating for the special night. She was speaking with one of her friends about some of the arrangements when female student approached them.
“I heard you have been tweeting about me, and telling lies about me!” she said accusingly.
“Well, I’m sorry that is the story going around but I have never tweeted anything about you and I haven’t been talking about you,” defended Liesl.
The girl repeatedly tried to accuse Liesl of ‘trash-talking’ about her and Liesl kept denying it Liesl barely knew this girl, and had never spent time with her with the exception of one outing the previous summer, where they went with some mutual friends to the mall.
“Well, you just better watch your back!” she threatened.
Liesl didn’t think too much of it, since she had seen this girl make some threatening remarks, and one time even cracked an egg over another students head that she was upset with! The girl continued to make comments to Liesl every day and Liesl tried to be mature about it and not get dragged into the drama by letting it get her upset and taking it personal.
Then one day word got out that she wanted the same dress that Liesl had reserved for prom. There was only one of its kind and she was trying to get it for herself. She then posted some very derogatory tweets, and pictures of herself in the dress. Someone must have tweeted that the dress looked good on her because she posted a reply that said ‘Well, thank you. Polygamist bi—es would beg to differ, but what do they know, they have sex with their dads.:(‘ (frownie face added by her).
Understandably, Liesl was upset by this but tried not to let it phase her, and I was very upset by this! Not only was it very crude and uncalled for, this is exactly the kind of comments that I don’t feel should go unchecked, and exactly why we try to educate people so these types of damaging stereotypes don’t get perpetuated. It is not okay to make these types of slurs any more that it would be okay to make racial comments.
On top of that, I was actually worried for my daughter’s safety at this point. We have all heard stories of cyber-bullying with some very tragic outcomes. I told her to keep a written record of the things that were said and tweeted, especially anything threatening, in case we needed to get some kind of a restraining order. It might sound like we were going a little too far, but you never know these days. I even called the school police officer and left him a message about my concerns. Also, when her date picked her up I let him know some of what had gone on so he was aware and could watch out for her her if she needed it.
Thankfully, nothing happened that night, the girl avoided her, and has ever since. She had a wonderful time at prom but I am still keeping my eyes and ears open for my daughters safety. Liesl has grown from the experience as well. She was very worried about being public as she entered her junior year last year. Now as it is time for her senior year I see a much more confident young woman who has taken each of the experiences like these to discover who she really is, and as her mother I am very proud of her.