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May 27th, 2009
09:31 AM ET

Mom wants cyber bullies punished

The mother of a girl targeted in an online video by other girls says she wants more to be done in the case.

The mother of a girl targeted in an online video by other girls says she wants more to be done in the case.

What would you do if your sixth grade daughter was the target of a vicious internet video? Beth Smith is living that nightmare. Her daughter’s classmates, aged 11 and 12-years-old, made the clip called the “Top Six Ways to Kill Piper,” taking cyber- bullying to a disturbing new level.

What are school officials and police doing about it? Kiran Chetry spoke with Piper Smith and her mom Beth and asked how they first found out this video was online.

Beth Smith: My daughter perceived this girl as a friend of hers at school. They were friendly. And so we had no idea… Totally side-swiped by the idea that she would be this hateful. Piper came home from school on Wednesday the 6th and told me, “You know Mom, the kids are being mean at school. And I heard there's a video like this out there about me.”

I said, “You're kidding. That can't be.” The more we looked online and... Dad came home from work. He made the phone calls. And it was the first parent, the dad who said… he was busy making dinner and he'd get back to us.

Kiran Chetry: Let me ask Piper – what was your reaction when you knew this video was made?

Piper Smith: I guess I was really shocked that someone would do that to me. ‘Cause I thought we were really good friends and then she was two-faced to me. And they did this behind my back and I just didn't know of it until I actually saw the video and then I just couldn't believe that that was happening. I felt really, really numb.

Chetry: And Piper, you've since been back to school. Have you talked to any of these girls? Did they apologize? What's the relationship now?

Piper: Well, one of them called me and she told me “sorry” and I actually listened to it. But the other two, I was either in the shower or I was going to bed by then and I didn't really want to talk to them anyways.

Chetry: This is what the school district said in a statement they released. “When this matter impacted the student's ability to attend school, the district took immediate steps to appropriately discipline the students who had created the video. Since then, these students have expressed remorse.” Are you satisfied with that response?

Beth: No. I can’t imagine they’ve expressed their remorse to anyone except the school for the fact they got caught doing this. They haven’t expressed remorse to us in any form other than that night an hour after the discovery and we're on the phone with their parents and they're sobbing in the background – “Oh, I’m so sorry.”

Piper: They're sorry they got caught.

Beth: They're sorry they got caught. The school district did as little as they possibly could. They erred on the side of caution of the law and for the civil rights of the perpetrators. They didn't do anything to ensure her safety in school until… they suggested we call the sheriff from our home. So we did and we filed a police report.

Chetry: Here's what the sheriff said to us in a statement to CNN. They said, “This case is three weeks old. All parents were in agreement with the way the girls were disciplined. The case was not a prosecutorial case because the girls were 11 years old. We do not believe there was a real threat.” What is your response to the sheriff's statement?

Beth: Huge. They're covering themselves. I had to make four, five, six phone calls to finally get a hold of the detective. Apparently there are only three juvenile detectives in my district. And when he got a hold of me… he said he was familiar with the case. And it turns out, after I had to extract answers from this man, he said he had not seen the video that we had given to the deputy, he had not read my letter that I had sent by registered mail to the district, which is the only reason action was taken.

If I hadn't sent those letters registered mail to the district, we'd still be sitting at home wondering what's going on. That was the only reason those girls were expelled in the first place, that I started to make them think I would take a legal action, which is not what I wanted to do at all.

Chetry: What has been the response from other parents within the school? Is this a problem in your school and in your district?

Beth: Parents don't know what to do. We go to work every day. But the administration knows the ins and outs of the law. And they’ve got the attorneys there. It took the school three days to get me a letter, maybe two days. But it took two or three days to get a letter from the school summarizing what actions they had taken to protect my daughter at school and ensure her safety.

Chetry: I see you rolling your eyes, Piper. What's it been like to be back in school and be in classes with these girls?

Piper: I kind of felt intimidated by them. Because it was just the whole fact that the thing happened and they weren't doing enough. They were trying to do as little as possible to protect themselves from like a lawsuit and stuff like that.

Chetry: And what are you going to do moving forward, Beth?

Beth: What am I going to do next? I'm sick to my stomach every day that I have to send her to school. I'm sad that I have to ask teachers to be vigilant for her safety. I have pictures in my head of the movie "Pay it Forward" where the kid has a knife. They say they can't inspect the other kids’ backpacks for knives, guns, poisons, because of their civil rights. So, yeah, it makes me sick. I'm nauseous every day I send her to school.


Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (512 Responses)
  1. Brian McCandliss

    SUE the bullies– it's the only solution to let them know you mean business. I have an article how to do it at http://bullyjustice.webs.com/

    Otherwise they'll never stop

    May 29, 2009 at 12:01 am |
  2. lawyermommy

    Cat4everrr????

    I know nothing about that forum.

    You seem a little blase about it though. But to each his own.

    If you take such a laid back attitude you seem to be welcoming their advances and will appear to be one with these pathetic PREDATORS.
    Just a quick warning! If you deal with scum like online criminals... you cannot afford to be relaxed in dealing with them. Big mistake. But I guess from your post you are happy with the way things are!

    Laying over and posting in a blase way online in a lally dally way. WOW... that is not the right attitude. You seem to be cool with having vermin roll around in your life!

    Good luck with that! Let me know what they tell you about their jail bound pathetic lives.

    May 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  3. cat4everrr

    lawyermommy May 28th, 2009 9:55 am ET
    I am dealing with the underbelly of criminality a criminal enterprise run by AKbarShabazz, his wife Shay Riley and other members of this criminal enterprise.

    These criminals wiretap my phone, read my email, infect my computer with malware. You name it. They have done it.
    The solution is to do whatever has to be done to smoke out the pathetic fiends and then follow the law to the last letter to end their criminality.

    -------------

    i am dealing with the same thing but these people hang out in the forum section of mediatakeout.com

    May 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Charlene S ==> Canada

    Addressed to Charlotte ========>

    You said: "If you are out only to help your own child “buck up”, then ultimately you are on the side of the bully."

    Are you kidding me?

    MY CHILD is MY concern, just as the parents of the other child should be.

    I can't take on ALL the cares or all the children who don't have parents that are involved or give a hoot about their kids, you are putting way too much on the other parents.

    Its a full time job restoring my daughter, building her up and tending to her needs! I made a choice to be a stay at home mom to be here for her 100%.

    Don't get me wrong either, in building her up, I am also building her up to be able to stand up and have a voice even for the other kids who might get bullied cause she is no longer a target, that if she sees it, hears it or is aware of it, to do something about it.

    But, as for pouring myself out to another child, to build them up... I haven't got the energy or the time... but, the people who gave birth to them should!

    Start with the Media if you want to go after the ones who are the BIGGEST to blame... their messages are sex, violence and fame.

    ♥♪♥♫♥

    May 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  5. Charlotte

    The other part of laying the onus on Piper and other bullied kids to do something about it themselves – whether that be to stand up to the bully or ignore the bully – takes a lot of self-confidence and support from a concerned and involved family.

    Not all kids have that.

    And so you might be able to coach your kid to stand up for themselves; you might know what to do, what magic words to say to keep your child from living in fear – and the bully might stop bullying your kid, but move on to bullying some other child.

    And unless that child has equal access to a strong, involved, supportive network of adults, that child will become a victim over and over. And most everyone will allow it to happen, because as long as the bully is feeding on someone else's kid, as long as it's not MY kid, people don't care as much. They are relieved. And the adults themselves are under the influence of the bully's power.

    Unless you work hard to do something to support every child, every time the bully does his or her thing, then you're not doing nothing. You're saving your own skin and allowing another child to suffer. Kids don't get to choose their parents or their support network. Children are the most vulnerable members of society, and need all of us to step in every time to help every child.

    If you are out only to help your own child "buck up", then ultimately you are on the side of the bully.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  6. lawyermommy

    Ender does not RULE anything. He sprouts off a bunch of UTTER RUBBISH.

    This is what he said:
    "So once again humans shouldn’t make mistakes, do dumb things, or things that aren’t “socially acceptable”. If they do, they should be “punished”???????????"

    Ender, Bullying and Harassment IS NOT A MISTAKE. IT IS A DELIBERATE ACT USUALLY PERPETUATED BY CHILDREN OR ADULTS WHO ARE CRIMINALLY MINDED. OR IN THE CASE OF CHILDREN, MOST TIMES, THE CHILDREN ARE MISGUIDED OR COME FROM A HOME WHERE THEY ARE REARED BY CRIMINALS!!

    Online Assault which is improperly termed "CYBER CRIMINALITY" has measurable effects on the individuals that are impacted. So should such people not be held accountable for their conduct and punished???

    Breaking and entering in a home armed with weapons is a crime "25yrs to life" in many jurisdictions yet breaking and entering into a computer which contains vital details of a persons life USING MALICIOUS SOFTWARE (and stealing such information) is mostly considered a misdemeanor!!!!! ATROCIOUS A MISDEMEANOR CLASSIFICATION FOR SUCH VIOLENT ACTS???? SUCH SENTENCING IS AN OUTRAGE and encourages criminality.

    The punishment has to fit the crime whether committed on or offline. The sentences for ARMED ROBBERY should be same.
    Hiding behind a computer and using "remote" means to criminalize others should not be sentenced differently from its "real time" counterpart–ARMED ROBBERY!!

    The low sentences are not a deterrent for scum like the writer of "BROTHERPEACEMAKER" blog and other members of this vile criminal enterprise that commit heinous crimes on line.

    ALSO, there is no fairy tail existence when a child calls another names and harasses them. Children are not equipped to cope with such malice. Children who harass other children MUST be punished!! Adults who harass children MUST be jailed.

    I agree that ALL ADULTS need to develop thick skin when surfing or working on the web. The Internet is like the wild west. No strong laws and policing. Prepare for anything, and as I stated in my last post, be ready to chase down the culprits and do not stop till they are jailed! The ADULTS must also be able to file a civil claim for compensation after the culprits are jailed.

    In my opinion, there is ONLY ONE SOLUTION TO ONLINE ASSAULTS and CRIMINALITY– and it is to CATCH THE BASTARDS and get them jailed. Anyone assaulted on line has to be ZEALOUS and unrelenting in getting justice.

    There will be a marked decrease in the number of online bullying cases if such matters are systematically and continiously investigated. The outcome should be STIFF penalties.

    I cannot understand how online harassment could fetch the mild sentence of 6-months in jail in some jurisdictions. Very ODD!!!
    THE LAWS ARE TRULY ANTIQUATED and need to be changed.

    May 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  7. frank rizzo

    ENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU RULE!

    Someone should have called this girl’s mother and told her rather than her daughter having to tell her. THIS COMMENTOR NEEDS TO HAVE THEIR SCREWS CHECKED.....

    WHEN IS IT BAD FOR A CHILD TO TALK TO THEIR PARENT.

    You are so dilusional you probably have 8 of your own your are tainting as well......

    May 28, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  8. lawyermommy

    That sounds really ODD MM. If the video was to be used in investigating a criminal act against your son, it does not have that sort of blanket coverage you are describing.

    I think that ADULTS ought to take action to stop bullying against their kids. If it occurs, it does not have to make the news to be redressed. There are many ways to work with the school and law enforcement to stop this.
    HOWEVER... the main thing I am concerned about is how so many adults appear to roll over and play dead in the face of BRUTAL online assaults. Read my blog by clicking on my name"Lawer Mommy" to see what I have dealt with at the hands of some online criminals. I am dealing with the underbelly of criminality a criminal enterprise run by AKbarShabazz, his wife Shay Riley and other members of this criminal enterprise.

    These criminals wiretap my phone, read my email, infect my computer with malware. You name it. They have done it.
    The solution is to do whatever has to be done to smoke out the pathetic fiends and then follow the law to the last letter to end their criminality.

    These criminals only get more brazen if you do not go after them and hunt them like the vermin they are... DO NOT BE DETERRED BY ANYTHING. Criminals are criminals no matter where they lurk. They look like regular folk but they are worse
    than the vomit of a Rhino!!!!

    Also, if you are being targeted or even suspect that you have been targeted by some faceless bastard on line, HUNT THEM DOWN. HUNT THEM DOWN. HUNT THEM DOWN. If you do not, you are doing yourself and other children and adults a great disservice.

    If Adults are made an example of in such criminality, it will make a big difference in the attitudes of children and others who see the Internet as one big wide world where they can effect their criminality.

    Remember, faceless scum who hide online and commit crimes are just the same as criminal worms in the real world. The best thing to do for yourself is to idenitify it for what it is– GROSS CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT.. and then go for the long (or short haul) to get these people.

    Oh, one other thing. Never allow them out of your site. Keep tabs, follow up. Otherwise, those slime buckets will find another unwitting soul to rob, violate and rape on line.

    Online crimes are serious and it is about time Attorney Generals and other law enforcement agents throw their manpower to stop these pathetic worms. Jailing these malevolent sociopaths is the ONLY solution!

    May 28, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  9. Thomas

    A lot of people are saying its the parents fault that these girls made the video. I can't say I agree. If you were to make a video such as this you would have to have some psychiatric help, and it was the schools fault for not realizing this before hand. I know they're just 11 and 12, but they seriously need to be punished by law and they have to learn that even if they're joking something like this is severly unacceptable.

    May 28, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  10. Minnesota Mom

    Here's just a tad bit about what I've dealt with as far as schools and bullies. First of all, NOTHING would have been done about this incident with Piper if it didn;t make the news. Plain and simple. My son was assaulted 2 times last year and it was caught on school video. The school cop at the time said he viewed the video and my son was pushed so lightly he only took 2 steps back. Well, funny thing is I had 15-20 witnesses tell me this bully attacked him from behind, threw him up against the lockers and threw him up against the wall hard at which time another student stepped in and pulled the bully off my son. I asked to see this video and he told me because of privacy laws I couldn't. If just my son was in the video I could have, but being there were others in the video it would violate privacy laws. BULL CRAP! He also told me the kid was to young to press charges against. A week later a girl the same age beat the crap out of him in the girls bathroom and he filed assault charges. So, the same kid and one of his friends both attacked my son a few weeks later. I beat the principal to the office form home. I left and went right to the police department where we filed assault charges. I also got a restraining order against him for my son and daughter. He has violated it and the schools done nothing. This school also alows kids to fail and pass them to the next grade. One kid brought in a knife and he was made to apologize to the intendant victim and promise not to do anything. That was it!! This topic needs more coverage and school need to be held accountable.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:26 am |
  11. Janet

    In a workplace, if colleagues create such a hostile environment, there are laws and sanctions. In school – nahhhh, blame the victim, everybody gets off, not like the administrators should work on discipline, parents and children should be accountable to the school community, and teachers should be supported in creating an environment where kids don't get this far in pressuring someone out of an education.

    Piper is entitled to a thorough and efficient education. This does not include death threats. More needs to be done to make the school emotionally safe as well as physically better disciplined.

    Oh wait, that would take actual work. Sorry.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  12. itiswhatitis

    This is bullying on a whole new level and totally unacceptable. As someone who had to send a child to another school because of the bullying that was endured, I can tell you that if the parents think their little princesses are not wrong, you won't get anywhere. I can tell you that karma does work in mysterious ways as one of the bullying people was disgraced in a sexting incident. The parents were defending the child as the victim to the media and are suing the school. This child has to live with bad parenting their whole life. Piper at least you know that your mom loves you and will help you grow into a wonderful person

    May 28, 2009 at 12:19 am |
  13. lawyermommy

    There is no reason to bully a child or anyone for that matter online.

    If an Adult is bullied, that ADULT needs to go after the bully and get recompense through the judicial system at all costs! Adults have the tools and ability to pursue such vermin.

    There is no reason to sit back and play the victim role. The bottom line is that any grown up who is targeted online MUST respond by tracking down and hunting those who committed the acts against them. Law enforcement is usually available to assist in getting help for tracking online scum.
    So for adults, I say, if someone assaults you online...chase them down and sue the miscreant.

    Do whatever you need to do and for as long as you need to do it- to stop their criminal conduct. Most Adults have the tools and ability to end online assaults.

    But in the case of children, it is truly pathetic that the laws on the books do not provide stiff penalties for such aberrant conduct. Children MUST be protected and thus far, the Internet is unpoliced and unsafe for kids (as far as Predators go).

    The laws have to be changed otherwise the Predators, child molesters and other vermin that crawl on the Internet will have ample room to hide and target children.

    Online criminals should be identified, tracked and hunted down like "real time" criminals. The online world is blended now with real time and so there is no reason to selectively enforce the law.

    May 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  14. Gary

    and for the record, no, I do not think that those girls are "angels"! But I also don't think that if they meant it as a prank, it should bring them juvenile charges, expuslions, or even suspensions...because that would ruin their entire future, from college to work and onward.

    Send them to counseling instead, have a meetign with the aprents, and explain tot hem why what they did is wrong and the consequences if they ever do anythign like it again.

    May 27, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  15. Gary

    "I’m raising them to be confident & strong, however if a “child” made a video telling people the best way to kill my child, yeah i’d be up in arms about it because i’d view it as a threat to my childs safety. "

    fair enough...just several holes to fill.

    Have you seen this video? How do you know that the mom is not exagerrating?

    Wuld you publicaly tell the emdia about a video of tha incident. I would perosnally call that child abuse!

    May 27, 2009 at 8:20 pm |
  16. Gary

    "Nice advice Gary… r u kidding me? Bullying needs to be stopped by the parents first and if that don’t work by the schools and law enforcement."

    Oh great, let's brig in mommya nd daddy into middle school, into the classroom, perhaps while they're holding their kids' hand they can even listen to lectures to help the kids with the homework.

    (sarcasm)...the sort of resposne that, if publically uttered, would embarass and shut someone up (like a bully) for good.

    May 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  17. Gary

    "If an adult makes a video detailing six ways to kill, say, his or her boss, co-worker, neighbor, etc., woudn’t that individual be charged with make a deadly threat against another person? Certainly. So why shouldn’t the punks who created this video not be charged with the same? "

    Then what exactly is the point of having juvenile alws in the first place?

    And no, you CANNOT be arrested for threatening to kill someone over a video un less there si credile evidence taht you meant what you said! (weapons in your house, kill notes, etc, a detailed paln, etc)

    May 27, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  18. Gary

    "How is a school full of fear and fist fights any better? What’s your exit plan on that, cowboy?"

    Fist fights (or threatening ro have them)should only be used in extreme circumstances. There's also sarcasm, witty words, embarassing tales, harmless but pranks that aren't fun for the victims, etc...and the "exit paln" is that ocne you stand up for yourself, THERE WILL BE NO MORE BULLYING.

    As oppsoed to what exactly? Blabbing without any evidence (yes, most bullies don't make videos), making the bully ecven more mad and gettign the victim a bad reputation? Oh, and figuring out WHY you're being bullied, and then seeing if youare indeed doing anyhting wrong wouldn't help...sometimes there is nothing you can do, but sometimes you may change certain aspects of your behavior.

    May 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  19. Indiana Pagan

    My oldest son was bullied; that is why I began home schooling him in the first place. A boy in his kindergarten class harassed him, physically and verbally, stealing notebooks and tearing them up, tripping him, things like that, for the last couple of months of kindergarten. If we saw this boy and his parents outside of school, he was totally different than what I has personally observed at school. I asked my son to try to work things out, first, with the other boy. When that didn't work, I talked to the boy's parents, and to the school.

    Everything quieted down, but the following year, in first grade, he was in the same class as this bully again. When it started up again, my son tried to work things out with the other boy, and when it again failed, I went to the kid's parents (again), and both of them laughed it off as "good-natured fun" between boys. When the boy began to make threats against my son, I went back to the kid's parents and was told, "Oh, we'll do something about it." When I spoke to his teacher and principal, I was told that I was making a mountain out of a molehill–even though my son's teacher had heard this other boy say numerous times that he wanted my son dead, and wished he could get his dad's gun to shoot him. This other boy's father was a policeman at the time.

    Not a week after I had had my latest chat with the teacher and principal, my son called me very upset; we had given him a mobile phone for emergencies that he always kept in his backpack or pocket at school. I went to his school immediately and asked to see the principal, and told her my son had called me as recess, saying that several of his friends had told him that the bully had taken his father's gun and brought it to school, and that he was going to shoot my son after lunch.

    Fortunately, the principal had a thinking moment, then, and followed school district procedures for such threats. Sad, isn't it, that any school district considers such a threat so likely or so common an occurrence that they have written SOPs for it, huh? They did find a loaded 9mm in the other boy's backpack; at least the safety was still on.

    They suspended the other boy for a few weeks, but that was it. That was all that they were willing to do. They father was suspended from his job, too, although he was eventually allowed to return at a lower pay grade.

    We discussed it long and hard, and opted not to sue the school, the teacher, or the principal, or the boy and his father. Not because we're ultra-wealthy and couldn't use the money. We took our oldest boy out of public schools forever that day. We opted not to sue because it just did not seem to be the best course of action for our son.

    I agree with Neal that the students do need to be held accountable for their actions in this, but I don't think the parents are blameless. I also tend to agree that this is a matter that should have been, if at all possible, settled privately. This will follow Piper around for the rest of her public school career, and will give other students wherever she attends school, yet another excuse to harass her.

    In Piper's case, from what I understand of the situation, this video was neither made nor distributed on school property or with school equipment, so I'm not entirely certain how reasonable it is to expect the school district to take the lead actions in this case. Seriously, shouldn't this be a non-school issue? Yes, if there's bulling/threatening going on at school, using school equipment, of course they should be involved. The lady who posted saying we need to stop expecting teachers and schools to raise our children is absolutely correct. We need to remember that we're the parents. I do think Piper's mom should have had a quiet word with the school administrator and her daughter's teacher, to apprise them of the situation. I also disagree that the web site that initially hosted the video should be sued; they provided a service, whose terms of service those girls violated. The website, if it has not already, should delete those girls' accounts and ban their ids permanently. But sue the website? No, I don't think that's appropriate.

    I really feel for the hell that this little girl is going to go through over this.

    May 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  20. John

    Sticks and stones may break your bones, but a mean spirited cartoon will never hurt you.

    Come on....quit with the mellorama. It's a mean CARTOON....it's not a threat, and it's no indication that the kids actually wanted to do harm to Piper. Piper will grow up not knowing how to develop a thick skin and to withstand adversity by watching her mom's overreaction to kids being kids. Kids are jerks....that's the nature of adolescents....c'mon, Beth, quit being hypersensitive. Life is full of adversity, and your girl needs to experience it from time to time in order to learn to deal with it. The American populace has grown weak and developed a "victim" mentality....quit asking "big daddy" (the government) to take care of you, and learn to toughen up a bit. Thank goodness we do not have to conquer an untamed continent with today's weak minded, "pussified" American populace.

    May 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  21. Appalled

    I take issue with this being called "bullying." Bullying is when one boy asks another for their lunch money and they decide who gets the money in a fight. Usually that's it. Alpha male established, no need to repeat the experience. This crosses the line into all out, anything goes, anti-social war. Think, for a moment, if this same story had been done about an adult and it was their coworkers who made the video. What do you think would have happened? Why? Sometimes adult-type punishment is appropriate for children who cross the lines of sociality this badly. At the very least the school should have said the perpetrators were a security risk to the other children who attend school there, and were not welcome back, ever. Then give the parents a list of the district alternative schools for children with problems like this.

    But the bottom line is that the response of the school and the police is typical, and should give pause to any parent thinking of sending their child into the emotional meat grinder called "public school." If you can do anything else, do it. I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a ninth grade boy when I was in eighth grade, at school, in the hallway, sometimes in front of teachers. When I told a counselor about it she said it was all my fault for not wearing trendy clothes. I eventually got over it and moved on with my life, but I would be stupid if I was not forewarned. My child will probably not set foot in a public school. Homeschooling is certainly an option, but so are private schools, as long as they don't mind unannounced parental visits.

    May 27, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  22. rainy

    re:hibsh

    Thus I find myself wondering bad thoughts like what did Piper did to these little girls to make them put such an effort into harassing and threatening her. For all we know Piper is the bully and this is the reaction by her victims.

    -----–

    Were you home schooled? One doesn't have to do anything to kids, some are just born mean...

    May 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  23. Back atcha

    TO LEGAL MINDED:

    This should not be in the hands of the school to begin with; a threat was made to this woman's daughter and the creepy ghouls who did it are not having their feet held to the fire as they should. Damages have been done and, if they were adults, criminal acts would be recognized. They used threats and words similar to those of their age who have gone through with such actions and they should be held accountable. If a lawsuit is what it takes, then more power to her. The punishment that you speak of did not fit the crime. The damage done to this young girl is akin to sexual harrassment in the workplace that the employee has to go back to everyday (only worse as sexual harrassment isn't a threat against one's life). Guess what? Those situations are actionable and suits are won. If that is the way she goes to get justice and safety for her child, more power to her. You are clearly not a parent.

    May 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  24. J.B.

    When I was 12 my "best friend" turned the whole grade against me, going so far as to say that I should (and would) kill myself, that I had an eating disorder because I was so skinny. It was the hardest year of my life, and I still think back on it and shudder.

    ... but then I remember that oh yeah I'm 25, happy, healthy, self-confident, and most of the people who turned against me turned against her the next... and the year after that it was someone else...

    that's jr. high/high school for ya. Most people (even the bullies) come out okay.... if not better for it! I definitely thought twice about turning against the victims who came after me. This seems overblown.

    May 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  25. Mary

    "Or perhaps people get bullied in the first place because of'their antisocial behavior'?"

    Yeah, being short, tall, skinny, red-haired, or a glasses-wearer is totally antisocial. ::rolls eyes::

    May 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  26. Legal Minded

    Beth is just another in a long line who want to strike it rich without working through what they perceive to be a winnable lawsuit. However, such persons are usually of sub-intelligence to begin with, and having no legal knowledge or legal experience, they fail to see that if they choose to sue the District, they will fail.

    The District reacted when it learned of the video. They investigated and they punished. As long as they followed their written procedures, the District has done all it is required to do.

    Just because Beth is unhappy, that does not a lawsuit make. Oh sure, she'll find some bottom-feeding lawyer who will sue for her, but she won't win.

    Sorry, no pay day for you Beth. No free ride for you. You'll have to keep working for it.

    May 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  27. JUDY STASKUNAS

    I JUST READ CONNORS COMMENT, I THINK HE'S ON CRACK. KIDS WILL BE BULLIED WETHER THEY HAVE SOCIAL SKILLS OR NOT. WAS HE ONE OF THE BULLIES? IS HE TRYING TO JUSTIFY THE ACTIONS OF THESE LITTLE PRINCESSES?

    May 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  28. Neal

    So I have read this story many times, and I have read the majority of the comments that are being left here. What I find amazing is that people are saying its the parents fault, or its the school's fault, but when do we start holding students accountable for their own actions?

    You see this all the time with school violence. The first group to be blamed is usually the school for not doing anything about the bullying the second is then the parents, then society, peer pressure, etc., but we never make the person/people responsible for the action take responsibility.

    It has been my experience that some students just don't care what happens to them at school, because nothing will happen to them at home. Like I previously stated I have read this numerous times and every time I read about the one father saying that he was busy making dinner and he would have to talk to them later, it makes my blood boil. That is a sign of a parent that doesn't care what happens. Their child could be caught holding a butcher's knife over a dead body and the would say "My child would never do something like that."

    I wholeheartedly agree that both the school and parents should be held some what accountable but at the same time the person committing the act should come first. There are too many ways out in today's society for those that perpetrate these acts, and there is too little parental involvement both at home and at school, until something happens with their child. It is at that point and only then that this parent tries to become mother/father of the year.

    I say fight back and fight hard. Help to send a message to everyone out there, that this is something we will not stand for.

    May 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  29. RUkiddingMe

    Let's see...just using the word "kill" in this video should have local law enforcement scrambling. Bullying, whether it be over the internet or not is a serious subject. The internet just makes it easier for people to spread the gossip and slander. How many acts of violence in the schools come from kids being bullied or being labeled as outcasts. The probelm is that in this day and age the violence ends up with people losing their lives. Think about Columbine, or Megan Meier who took her own life after being bullied (albeit from a mom portraying herself as a 16 yr old boy) on a MySpace page. Some people on here have the moronic attitude that t his is all ok. Hey, they're just kids right. Bull Crap! If your child was a victim of any of this I bet your attitude would change quickly. Dont criticize ther parents who are suffering through this until you walk a mile in their shoes, or their childs shoes for that matter.

    May 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  30. KLM

    Again; I see where the posts are all about how the parents are to blame. It is the way they were raised, the parents should be involved.
    What a load of crap; Once a child begins school, their sphere of influence expands way beyond that of the parents control. Any good therapist will tell you that once a child starts school peer pressure and their friends / clicks exert more of an influence than their parents. How many of your parents wee involved in every single aspect of your life? Yes they cared they asked questions, and they tried to do due dilligence in checking up on you, but they were not in no way shape or form involved in every aspect of your life. The real difference was that back then, you were held responsible for your actions; in fact it was double trouble because you got it at school, then got it again when you got home. However; in today's society we keep shifting the blame from the child to the parent If poor little so and so had parents thatt were more involved this would not have happened.

    May 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  31. rsgdbg

    You are so very brave and mature to go public with this and raise the awareness about to what kids have access in their free, unsupervised time. These "girls" (using the term loosely names should also be made public. They should be sentenced to community service so that they have something constructive to do with their downtime. Stay strong and you will not only survive, but thrive. The perpetrators will shrink into nothingness unless they are forced to see the damage they have done; not just to Piper and her family, but to all the kids they represent. To those girls: This is not a shining moment in your life. This is not fame, it's infamy. There are not enough words to describe the horrible, horrible thing that you have done (what in the world were you thinking? what good could ever come to you?) and the only recourse you have is to spend your lives making up for it by being the kind of people that others should emulate and admire not despise or, worse, recreate your actions. Grow up, girls. You have played with fire and have gotten off without so much as a blister. Actions like yours will not make it so easy the next time you do something this stupid.

    May 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  32. Irfan

    I absolutely don't mean to make light of this piece but at first glance the title reads," Mom wants Cyber"
    hmmmmm

    May 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  33. Joe

    Cyber-bullies? Please, I've had to deal with real bullies and physical violence as a youth. As the video is online, you can simply chose not to watch it. My advice is to hash it out with the parents and if that doesn't work, take care of it the way students have been for the past few hundred years; start throwing punches.

    Suggesting that we do away with these inconvenient "civil rights" so that we can feel safer is repugnant. These rights are the very things keeping us from getting harassed by our schools, employers, and government every time someone gets the slightest bit offended.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  34. Jeff

    Well since these children are in 11&12 year old range, I do not believe that have any idea what that did was so serious. They probably looked @ it as a prank and not a serious threat.

    The last thing they need is the law involved. You need to make those who shot the video have some form of counseling (The law/courts just make this worse) . This can be done by the school.

    Not sure this fits the current situation, but with kids committing suicide because bullying the below is a good thing

    And I think we need to add a lesson in school that seems to fallen by the wayside "Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" . Kids need to learn not to set their self worth based on other kids who bully them(This is a job for parents)

    The other thing that needs to be brought back into the schools is corporal punishment.

    Also this thing about expelling bad kids needs to stop, most of the kids do not want to be in school so while you think you are punishing them you are doing them a favor, their punishment should be more time in school.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  35. Samantha

    Also this goes to Bobbie:

    It's because of that "it's okay" mentality that little 11-yr-olds (and younger) have lost their lives.

    A stupid slap on the wrist is not a fitting punishment for bullying.

    Also, where is your sympathy for the victim?

    Oh, let me guess, is YOUR kid a bully too? Is it apparently obvious that maybe you aren't so great of a parent 'cause you have your little demon menace running around causing havoc?

    You're probably piping mad right now because someone called your child "a demon". (if you had one) How bad would you feel if someone thought of 6 "best" ways to kill your kid and posted it on the internet for everyone to see?

    Not very funny or OKAY, is it?

    --------

    Also, to the people who say, "what about the bullies... are you going to let this one small incident ruin their lives?"

    I say this, "Of course not, but sadly, I can't say what THEY did didn't already damage their victim's life".

    May 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  36. JUDY STASKUNAS

    piper and beth, i also went through this my whole grade school yrs.my problem that i am and was over weight and kids and yes grownups look at and treat heavy set people differently. i was bullied so badly i didnt want to go to school and i would pretend i was sick. in grade school there was a girl who had long nails and she would dig them into my skin until i bled. it wasnt very smart of me to let that continue but you will do almost anything for people to like you. it finally came to a head when about four or five girls beat me up. i had long hair at the time and it was braided, teh ripped out the braids so my hair was all hanging out, also one of the girls new karate and she used a karate move on me. this was on school grounds. when i got home and my mother saw what had happened she called the school right away and talked to the principal, fortunatly he was very understanding and he called the kids and their parents to the office. after i got out of grade school and went to junior high and high school i stood up for my self. its very hard to do sometimes.there are people who say i hold a grudge but when something like that happens to a child it is very upsetting. i went to high school with these people also, and i see them at the reunions and they are very friendly to me. they have forgotten. but i havent . this did happen yrs ago, i was in grade school in the early 70,s i dont know if bullying has gotten worse or is just more out in the open these days. but now like then people like to hurt people for reasons unknown, unfortunatly i dont think this will ever stop.i will pray for beth and piper tonight.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  37. Barbara

    My daughter was bullied. Her wrist had been severely sprained playing volley ball, and the bullies purposefully damaged it further. When I complained to the school where it happened, the assistant principle laughed. Because she was literally defending her physical well-being, he punished my daughter right along with those who hurt her. She eventually quit school. (She later got her GED and joined the Navy).

    If I had it to do over again, I'd have used every legal threat available to me to wipe the malicious smile off that man's face.

    I'm glad that these people went public with this situation. Schools, especially middle schools, have become dangerous places to send our children. What kind of parent would feel comfortable at sending his/her child back into that melee?

    May 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  38. craig

    To those who so easily jump on the bandwagon of criticizing the school administration and law enforcement, keep in mind you are hearing just one side of the story and that story is loaded with presumptions of school district and law enforcement motives and responses and assumes much in the responses of the offenders. The mother complains that it took 2-3 days for the school administrator to issue a letter summarizing their response and steps to ensure her daughter's safety at school. She then neglects to tell us the school's response and the safety steps. That the school took time to respond tells me it likely looked into the matter carefully. I also know firsthand that properly investigating these matters takes considerable time. And, like it or not, the school's hands are tied regarding what it can reveal regarding the education or discipline of any student. The mother is lucky to have been told anything about how the other girls were disciplined. Lastly, as has been stated a few times, the district's jurisdiction over incidents that occur off school time or property is quite limited. If the bullying from the offending students does not reoccur, perhaps the steps taken were appropriate after all.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  39. Samantha

    Yay! Go Piper and Beth!!! I salute the both of you for not staying silent on this issue.

    For every one person that turns a blind eye on this issue, there are thousands supporting you! Bullying should not be "put up with".

    It is scary, confusing, and extremely hurtful. I commend Beth for being the awesome mother she is and doing her best to support her daughter.

    I also would like to tell Piper to "hang in there". The world is vast and although it's unfortunately sprinkled with annoying a#$*&, for the most part, you're bound to find your way to some friends (you can actually trust). 😀

    May 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  40. Connor

    Its not the school or government's responsibility to parent peoples children. This could have been easily avoided if the parents of this child taught their kid some better social skills, but given their response to this issue, maybe they don't have many to offer. Reguardless, this incedent could have been avoided if her daughter just knew how to fit in. Kids are bullied because they don't have adequate social skills, and the fix is simple

    May 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  41. Julie

    Keep up the fight! This happened to my 11 year old daughter 6 months ago. Almost the same exact scenario. School brought the 3 girls in to discuss, made them apologize and then life goes on. It sickens me that middle school students are capable of such hatred. I do believe there should be laws against this, even if the students are only 11 or 12 years old. Fortunately, my daughter has a new group of friends and is doing fine, but I'm not sure I'll ever get over it.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  42. Damion

    Wow! Ive been spending much time with a lot of people, and I take it that theres a lot of drama going on in school. 6th graders, don't hate. They have this thing in them where they are jealous of the others lives. You must have something they need! I say: Ignore them, make true friends, and have fun! haha. You'll do good in life I promise. You'll have so much fun!

    May 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  43. a concerned parent

    Gary I have heard of the word & i'm not exagerating. I am a parent & i do teach my children to stand up for themselves & to deal with people that are just plain mean. I'm raising them to be confident & strong, however if a "child" made a video telling people the best way to kill my child, yeah i'd be up in arms about it because i'd view it as a threat to my childs safety. Those little 11 year olds that you seem to think are angels & just kids being kids are the same ones that if they aren't taught there are consequences for their actions will also be the ones when they get to high school that may just act out their little video. Sorry, i dont' feel sorry for the "little girls". Sorry i've lived where those threats were dismissed as kids being kids & people ended up severely harmed & dead because of it. I'd rather children be taught that there are consequences for your actions even if it's just to protect 1 child.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  44. Gretchen

    My heart goes out to the mom and the daughter. I know that sickening feeling the mom has when she sends her daughter to school. I went through something similar with my son the past 2 years. The school has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for our kids. This is not being provided. Students are being taught that bullying is acceptable and no actions are being taken to stop this behavior. My son was asked by our district "bullying expert" what he thought HE was doing that caused him to be bullied! She pretty much sent the message to my son that he somehow did soemthing that caused him to be bullied. This is the mentality that exists in the school districts. Oprah Winfrey recently had two mothers on her show who had boys that killed themselves beacuse they were being bullied at school (both boys were just 11 years old.) I happened to tape that show and gave it to my son's Princial and advised her as a Princiapl and a parent that she should watch it. She has since loaned it to the school counselor for viewing. Parents need to watch their kids behavior closely and ask them each day how their day was and keep the lines of communication open. If there are any indications your child is being bullied, don't wait. Contact the Principal immediately. Keep on them until you feel (and your child feels) comfortable. Laws do need to be enacted to stop the bullying. It is not just something that kids do-it is very destructive and sometimes deadly behavior. I hope the mom and daughter in this story receive the support they deserve and I thank them both for coming forward with their story!

    May 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  45. Bobbie

    So what do you want them to do Beth? What else can they do to 11yr old kids? The have diciplined them, already. LET IT GO!!. Kids are mean and that is not going to change. They will grow out of it. You want their lives ruined?

    Bullying is part of life and as long as there is no physical harm, they should learn to deal with it. I am tired of parrent protecting their kids from everything that might get their feelings hurt.

    B.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  46. cat4everrr

    Linda Pike May 27th, 2009 2:04 pm ET

    John Allentown was smart to get the State police to help. My Internet provider told me to contact my local autorities about a similar kind of harassment but the cops in my town of Brookline, MA yelled at me for bothering them. The detective essentially told me it’s not his job. I think the real reason is that he doesn’t know how to deal with it. I should have gone to the State Police.

    ------

    my local police department refused to even file a complaint unless the criminal made direct contact with me. at a minimum, file a report with the FBI online- https://complaint.ic3.gov

    May 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  47. Kim

    I was bullied for most of my grade and high school days. By high school it was threats of being beaten up. I always waited for the day it would happen, but it never came. I stayed strong, found a small circle of supportive friends and dove into my homework and other activities.

    Now, I am successful. Almost finished with my masters and working at a great company with a very well paying job. I have a husband and little boy who are the light of my life and a great group of friends. I know where each and everyone of those bullies ended up. Living in the same small town I came from and working (or not working) at dead end, meaningless jobs. Many are divorced and miserable. So to them I say, bring it on. Look at who it made me.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  48. Ashley

    I am SO confused...HOW is it the school districts responsibility to punish these kids???? Did they make the movie AT school?

    Yes districts have the responsibility to protect their students but lets be realistic. Yes what these girls did was wrong...but they were EXPELLED! The district CAN'T do anything else. If they started searching backpacks parents would go into HYSTERICS.

    Parents need to be more responsible. Teach your kids right from wrong. Teachers have your kids for 6 hours a day (not even half a day!) for HALF the year. Why does all the responsibility fall on teachers and administrators who dont even have your kids HALF the time!?

    If you want to feel safer homeschool. OR better yet, volunteer in your child's classroom. Until you spend the day in the shoes of a school administrator don't tell me they aren't working hard enough.

    Get off your high horses and go volunteer at school to help your kids be safer. Until then...stop whining.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  49. Enrique

    What's the worst the school can do? Expulsion? Juvenile criminal? These are the questions that need to be answered first. Also, it is not up to the Sheriff whether or not they should press charges and/or go to court. The option is still on the table.

    The parents should be the ones (in addition to the girls) to be punished. My recommendation for the girls: expulsion and applicable juvenile charges with, at a minimum, community service. For the parents: civil lawsuit against the parents of the girls (optional).

    There needs to be an example made here. This, thankfully, never got out of control to include assault, battery, and/or murder. Something needs to be done here and justice has missed the opportunity.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  50. Brandy M Miller

    To those who claim no law was broken, there are laws against threatening harm to another person – those laws are assault laws. Furthermore, it is against the law to threaten to or to incite others to commit murder. This is a serious crime, and needs to be treated as such. People who don't take it seriously will find it turns into a Columbine.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  51. Scott

    I agree with Jill, this is definitely bad parenting, if my boys were the ones doing the bullying, let me tell you they would regret it – however I teach them to be good and I set a good example as far as kindness and treating others as you want to be treated.

    Piper be strong, not everyone is like this – unfortunately these children are cruel. However pracitce caution and above all don't let them steal your happiness, eventually these kids will have to deal with their actions and I don't know too many who want to associate with these type of cruel kids.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  52. Troy

    I meant to say "Then and only then will you get it."

    May 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  53. Arnie

    Unfortunately, the concept of "personal responsibility" is nearly gone from our society. After every unfortunate event everyone involved runs around trying to cover themslves by pointing their fingers at as many others as they can in order to deflect direct responsibility.........sad. Then all we are left with is a victim that has to live in a state of fear and/or humiliation in the wake of a society that refuses to deal with its problems. If you are convinced that those who are abused go on to abuse others, be just as sure that those who shirk personal responsibility will teach others how to avoid it, also.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  54. mason jar

    It will probably take another 50 years and another 50 suicides before schools will admit that bullying even exists. They won't even use the word, or if they do, they slap legal mumbo-jumbo on it like.. "perceived bullying," then they put all the blame on the victim to make the changes. The schools are totally wimps when it comes to dealing with these issues. Probably because they're taking all their advice from those other bullies, the school attorneys..

    May 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  55. Linda Pike

    John Allentown was smart to get the State police to help. My Internet provider told me to contact my local autorities about a similar kind of harassment but the cops in my town of Brookline, MA yelled at me for bothering them. The detective essentially told me it's not his job. I think the real reason is that he doesn't know how to deal with it. I should have gone to the State Police.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  56. Chris Bollard

    Maybe you shouldn't have named your daughter Piper. That right there subjects her to getting bullied.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  57. Troy

    And furthermore... for you and the rest of the "sorry they got caught" crowd. I shouldn't have to tell you this since you already know it: You cannot get a sincere apology from anyone on demand. Not from kids, not from teenagers, and not from adults. You pushing them through the media isn't going to change that, not now and not ever. Over time, the kids will grow up and will likely have a sincere apology for your daughter. Then and only then will you give it.

    The real reason why the district and the sheriff's office isn't doing more to help you: You're acting like a child yourself.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  58. Angel

    I agree that kids like this get their behavior from their parents. There are a lot of grown women and men who are lying, gossiping, connivers and they raise kids that watch them and learn to behave the same way. Those same little girls will grow up to be the women gossiping and carrying tales in the workplace and the boys will grow up to be either the thugs on the streets or the backbiting, theiving wall street crooks with a lots of money and ZERO character.

    The moral problems we face as a society are reflected day in and day out in the news through child suicides due to daily harrassment from other students or just as this article, a girl victimized by other kids that were supposed to be her friends. Our schools need Jesus, but they don't want Him. They don't want God at all and thus we have a morally deprived culture where character in adults and children is darn near completely lacking.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  59. none

    Talk to the kids = in one ear and out the other
    Take stuff away or ground = they don't care
    Spank or grab = same people saying kids are terrors call cops=
    you go to jail

    May 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  60. Samuel Adams fan

    Bullying is not against the law, Adam, but THREATENING to kill another person surely is! Why do we prosecute some students who make lists of people to kill and not these girls? Because they are little girls? They are just as capable as boys - there's a double standard being used by the sheriff's department making it much harder on the family of the victim.

    Just before my son entered high school, a girl in the neighborhood told him that "Chris and Mike and their friends with guns didn't want [my son] going to that school". I called the school, I called the police. Their response? The school: "he can go to peer counseling". The police officer: "I have my own kids to worry about".

    I can certainly understand this mother's frustration.

    Your daughter will be fine because she has you. The girls who threatened Piper need punishment and long term counseling WITH their parents!

    May 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  61. MJR

    What about the rights of the child being bullied! It makes me angry that everything else is given such thought except for the child being bullied.

    I have a child that was bullied in cyberspace. This went on for a while without my child telling me, suffering in silence and embarrassment until it escalated to threatening level. Appalled, I printed out the exchange, drove to the bully's house and stayed at the front door until I could speak in depth with a parent. When I spoke to the mom, I nicely explained the situation which she wouldn't believe at first until I showed her the print out which her bully used own first and last name. Thankfully, my child's situation seems to be resolved and the bully apologized and was punished the parents.

    Hey parent's reading this in a similar situation: keep any electronic or paper record of those mean exchanges. If the school, law enforcement or parents won't do anything, maybe a harassment lawsuit will get someone's attention...just saying

    May 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  62. Bev - Virginia

    EXPULSION. How many future bullies would learn from these young
    ladies if they could be expelled as they should be.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  63. Rick from NH

    Someone said it here on your post. The only solution is to "take out the main bully" . Whether you the parent, or an older sybling do it, it's the only real solution. Make these kids so scared they will never want to be near you or your family ever again...EVER

    May 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  64. cat4everrr

    Christopher May 27th, 2009 1:38 pm ET

    Stop being such a drama queen Beth.

    It amazes how thin the skin is of this generation. The parents only compound the problem with their babying.

    Im sorry your daughter felt threatened but did she really feel scared they would hurt her or was that you forcing her to say it just to make your case sound stronger?

    This video was obviously a joke video. Kids are cruel and that is a fact. but that doesn’t mean every kid that plays a mean prank is going to “pay it forward” stab your kid.

    Relax Beth it’s only the interwebz.

    -----

    i disagree. when my situation developed to my cell phone conversations and daily interactions being repeated on the website mediatakeout.com i was terrified. i didn't know if someone had broken into my home or bugged my house. i was force to make the decision to buy a fire arm and receive training in the event i would be forced to protect myself and my children. it is extremely terrifying and stressful

    May 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  65. Norman

    This lady is insane, and now her kid's probably going to be ridiculed in person at school.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  66. jbandy

    If an adult makes a video detailing six ways to kill, say, his or her boss, co-worker, neighbor, etc., woudn't that individual be charged with make a deadly threat against another person? Certainly. So why shouldn't the punks who created this video not be charged with the same? And don't give me that crap about their being juveniles. If they are old enough to think of ways to kill somebody, they're old enough to be held accountable under the same laws that apply to adults.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  67. a

    Ok....to those of you who believe that the judicial system has no jurisdiction in this matter, remember: The video is called "How to Kill Piper".

    Take that fact in again.

    It is hard to draw conclusions without seeing hte actual video, but by the sound of the title, there was at least some feigned interest in causing real physical harm to this girl. Causing physical harm or the threat of physical harm IS a matter for the justice system. In fact, that is a large portion: assault, battery, attempteted murder, conspiracy to comit a felony etc.

    These children need to be punished at some level beyond the reach of the school district and the parents. This is a matter for the juvinal judicial system.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  68. Charlotte

    "How is a child supposed to develop as a person and learn about real life? "

    Uhhh...in "real life", if you post a video threatening to kill someone, you get in a lot of trouble. Or should. Seems to me the bully girls are being coddled and shielded from real life.

    "Stepping on someone's toes" is telling them you don't like the color of their t-shirt. Threatening to kill them in a very public way is an entirely something more and much worse. You want someone to learn about real life? How about the girls who did the deed, not the victim. Lots of bad things happen in real life, and we don't just tell people to buck-up and put up with it. We tell them to take a power position and take action. This mom is taking action, and I bet that her daughter, Piper, will be someone who someday stands up for the rights of everyone here, even the miserable hate-filled stick-your-head-in-a-hole-and-pretend-nothing-is-happening people.

    Thank you, Piper, for standing up for anyone who has ever had to put up with idiots and wanted to say "enough" but didn't have the guts to.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  69. LoC

    Jeff, you say that parents lose control because of "outside influences they can't control"? How. If they are a good parent, there is no outside influences you can't control. If you don't have time to see who your child's friends are, if you can't control what they watch on TV and at the movies, what they read (if they read), and what they see online, then you are simply not doing your job as a parent (or are a bad parent.)

    While growing up, I was a kid constantly pushing the boundarys, and even with both of my parents working 2 jobs most of my life to get by, they still managed to know who I hung out with, what I watched on TV (and kept me from watching things I shouldn't), and once we got a computer, blocked certain things being able to be browsed. I can't say they were perfect, but they were parents and tried, which is more than can be said for most people today.

    On the flip side, the second best example of a bad parent here is the mother who is brainwashing her daughter into believing that if something goes wrong it is always some other person's responsibility to right that wrong when she should be teaching her daughter how to right it herself.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  70. Troy

    Seriously, get over it. You have the audacity to complain in the national media about something that's been happening in various ways to kids throughout history? And then you complain about civil rights trumping over-exaggerated fears? You're setting a horrible example to your child. It's disgusting.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  71. DJ

    Beth, hire a lawyer and sue the parents of the girls who took to bullying your child. Children live what they learn so they come prepackaged in the bully form once they leave the home and hit the school grounds. Force the school to make note of this bullying in the school files of these bullies so that if at anytime it resumes against your child or any other during their school years (right up until graduation) that the girls responsible can receive the appropriate punishment. Don't rely on the school to do the right thing, they always operate under a progressive tolerance policy which leaves little or no protection for the child being bullied. Be sure to contact the police ever time it happens. We went through this with our youngest son and it wasn't until we threatened a law suit, restraining order and the six o'clock news that they finally sat up and took notice. Continue to be strong for your daughter and don't take any lip service from the school or the police.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  72. RickL

    This is a fact of life in schools today – Children aren't held accountable, nor are the parents of these children! My daughter from age 7 on, has been repeatedly harrassed by 2 girls and even today gets verbally abused by these two individuals and my daughter is 13! Yes, 6 years she's been ridiculed, pushed around, death threats, verbally and mentally abused. We had it go all the way to the Super of Schools to try and get this stopped. The only thing that was done was the girls were talked to. At one point both of them went after my daughter on the play ground, she defended herself, and yes – my daughter was the only one to get detention. The other two play'd the teaches and made it sound like our daughter attacked them. My daughter has show "great" restraint for a child thoughout this whole ordeal.

    What bothers me most is that these two girls have teachers who don't believe they could harm a flee, they're teachers pets and the teachers take sides because they have relationships with thier parents. And, even worse, the first thing that will come out of the parents mouths are statements like "not my child!" or "my child would never do something so mean!" Yet, here they are – and today kids all over the world have to deal with the consequences of not being held accountable for their actions – even at a young age. I "know" my child is no saint! I research first and speak last – I find out by speaking with both sides and listening to both side. I look at the facts before I pass judgement on what they have or have not done. If my child is inocent or has not done something to provoke a reaction then I will back her up. Otherwise, she'll have some explaining to do because I do hold them accountable.

    Why can't parents learn, as well as the children, that a potential consequence to this type of treatment historically has a very bad ending! This girl will be looking over her shoulder for years, it'll affect her grades, attitude towards others, and will scar her psycologically for the rest of her life!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  73. Scott

    I tell you right now, if my boys ever come home and tell me something like this I will not hesitate to pull them out and take action against the school and also to put pressure on law ebforecement, we are allowing these children to act like this – this behavior goes beyond normal, they are acting out a murder and how they can get away with it. I would have a few choice words to tell law enforcemnet, judges and the state as well !

    May 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  74. Anita

    Beth,

    Please persevere because, bottom line...what's happening – be it Piper or any child is wrong. It's horrifying to think that this is becoming more common place and the school administrators and your city's local authorities are not stepping up on Piper's full defense to get wrongdoings like this stopped. What I wonder is "Why arent' they (the school administrators and the police dept) standing up for what's right? Their lack of handling this correctly and ethically would be different if it were happening to their child. Maybe someday it will.... given the universal principle that exists in life, Law of Karma (what goes around comes around) a.k.a. People reap what they sow.. ;-(
    Is there any way to be in touch with you directly, Beth?

    May 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  75. Joan Willgood

    As a parent, I am fully on Beth and Piper's side here. I would like to know what Beth thinks would be an appropriate resolution to the issue? Should the girls be moved to another school? Go to juvenile detention? Take sensitivity training? A lot of her frustration seems to stem from the fact that neither the school nor the police took her seriously. But if they did, what would the next step(s) be?

    May 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  76. David

    Reading some of the responses on this thread I can't help wondering what this country and its parents are coming to. These are kids. Kids are not little adults. They are immature human beings. They often do stupid, cruel and inappropriate things (yes your little darlings included) without fully understanding the meaning or consequences of their actions. But they are capable of distinguishing right from wrong up to a point and they have to learn what is socially acceptable and what is not. It is the responsibility of the parents and the school to discipline these kids and discipline them severely. Bullying should be a serious offense at any school and the punishments should be severe, effective and immediately enforced. If the school system officials don't understand how to do that, they need to be replaced and instead of whinig you need to get off your pathetic lazy butts and get something organized to force your school system to be held accountable for its failure to address this problem. I took my kids out of the public school system precisely because of this lack of accountability on many issues.
    Getting law enforcement involved at this stage frankly is just sick. Police and prosecutors are not social workers, nor can you trust them to be. Law enforcement may well have good and caring people working in it...sometimes.., but you don't know who they are, and it contains many people who get total job satisfaction by effectively destroying the lives of other people who they deem to be lawbreakers. Society has decided that this is sometimes necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of the larger population, but these are not the people who should be correcting obnoxious behavior of children. Get real!!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  77. Lin

    Response to Adam, Get Real Dude, ever hear of Columbine? Bullying – Cyber or Otherwise – is not "Mean" it's destructive and Parents do need to be held accountable. Sometimes getting the authorities involved is the only way to do that. And counseling and monitoring for the bullies, not only the victims, it necessary to make sure these girls (and others like them) stop heading down the road to becoming sociopaths. – then my tax dollars will be spend in prosecuting, housing and feeding them. A little now prevents a lot latter – do the math

    May 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  78. Mary

    What I don't understand is how schools came to be responsible for the actions of students outside of school property and hours. This happened on her parents watch. Piper admitted that in school the girls were no threat to her. The video, as horrifying as it is, was made off school property, not during school hours. Would the school be reponsible for discipling these students for other acts that did not happen on school property or during school hours. I am absolutely not condoning the behavior of the other girls. They should be held accountable, but by their PARENTS who are supposed to be raising emotionally healthy, productive members of society, and possibly the judicial system, but not by the schools. We have turned into a society that expects the school system to raise our children.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  79. Furious In Bethel, Washington

    Hang in there, you DO have more support than you know. Your principal was overheard telling another teacher that he thought the girls that made the video were "smart and creative." Your principal should be fired! The teacher he spoke to has told her family and other about this and everyone is horrified.

    You should sue the parents of the other girls. The Pierce County Sheriff should be fired too. These are the kinds of kids that wind up murdering dozens of kids when they get to high school- and your Sheriff would be laughing over dead kids.

    I would make sure that these girls names get out and everyone stays vigilant and make sure that every school they attend knows – as do the parents – that they have already threatened to kill another student. It should be on their school records so that no college will ever accept them and every parents knows that these girls are NOT acceptable to be around and should be watched before they do hurt someone.

    Perhaps in time the other kids will learn to voice how they really feel about these seriously disturbed girls.

    Their parents are just worthless scum. Some people should never have been allowed to have kids. Why isn't social services stepping in and removing these girls from their homes to ensure that they are in an environment where they can learn right from wrong? Their parents obviously can't handle the job!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  80. Lisa W Louisville KY

    Maybe the detectives and the school district should do a little research about how situations do get out of hand. In 1992 a friend of mine was brutally murdered by girls she thought were "friends". Shanda Sharer was 12, the 4 other girls were not nuch older than her. Children don't really understand the depth of their actions or words until someone gets hurt.
    The school should install whatever protection necessary to protect the children. The civil rights of the girls involved in making the video were revoked by their actions.
    Look up in the Crime Library to read about how sorry other potential murderers are now.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  81. megs

    Am I missing something here, or isn't what these girls did considered a death threat? If a reference to "kill" anyone had happened in the workplace, the offender(s) would be terminated immediately. The workplace has the obligation to protect it's employees. Don't the school systems also have this same obligation to protect the students? (By the way, some would call this a RIGHT instead of an obligation.) In the wake of many public school tragedies, I can't understand how those girls are still allowed to attend the same school, and I certainly don't understand why they are required to go through a counseling program along with their parents.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  82. cat4everrr

    been there May 27th, 2009 1:30 pm ET

    The first thing you need to realize is – these children one, took a lot of pleasure from this and secondly were very powerful while they were doing it. If you do not do something these kids will move on to other victims and most likely the behavior will only strengthen.

    Please understand NO ONE is going to protect your child. Only you can do that. I took my kids bullies and their parents to civil court. Yes, I sued them for what they did and not only made the parents pay (boy did they learn a lesson) but also, as part of the deal the children had to attended counseling for bullies. It was painful, and a blessing. Your child has nothing to be ashamed of and by calling the bullies out and bring the actions into the light victims can walk away knowing they are not to blame, and not the ones that should be punished.

    -----

    *ROBUST STANDING OVATION*....*SECOND CURTAIN CALL*

    May 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  83. Helen

    I don't think it's just the methods of bullying have changed, kids are much crueler. I'm only 24, I wasn't in school too long ago and I was teased for being chubby, my brother was teased for his bad acne, a friend of mine was teased for being short, whatever.

    Today kids are calling each other horrible names (there's another article on Sexual Bullying on the front page), alluding to sexual orientation or promiscuity. This girl is only ELEVEN years old and people at school are talking about ending her life. In the other article they mentioned a bully saying the kid had no reason to live.

    People saying "sticks and stones"...that doesn't apply anymore. The kids aren't calling victims names, they're saying much worse. If a group of people said you had no reason to live and talked about killing you, would you brush that off? That would be hard to take as an adult, but this girl is a child. I don't know how you can expect kids to deal with this level of harassment at such a young age. I applaud her mother for going after the school and the police. She shouldn't stop until the bullies have been punished and all parties have been reprimanded for failure to take action. If the kids ACTUALLY killed her daughter, the public would be outraged. Since it didn't go that far, many of you are saying it's rediculous for her parents to take action against the school and law enforcement? Seriously?! Guess we'll just wait for the murder next time.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  84. cindy

    The video was not made or posted at school...this is a civl matter not a school matter. Schools are not resposible for students when they are at home...the parents are! The schools should monitor the behavior and protect the students while they are at school,,,but the punishment for this should not be from the school. It did not happen there! The punishment is a civil matter!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  85. Tia

    BAD PARENTING, its that simple. why do people have children if they can't take care of their little angels. folks, throwing money at your children and expecting the school to raise your children is bad parenting, or not parenting at all. its really pathetic to say that you have no control over your 11-12 year olds. Spend time with your child and find out what they're doing...or not doing for God's sake.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  86. Garman

    blame eminem!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  87. Gary

    "Just goes to show that bullies don’t always grow out of their antisocial behavior."

    Or perhaps people get bullied in the first place because of"their antisocial behavior"?

    May 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  88. Art

    I would venture to bet that, if a court were to award the Smith family private school teachers, or, pay for transportation, room, board, and private school tuition/fees/books... etc; in order to afford equitable education, that Piper can no longer receive at the school, then, and only then, would school systems and officials take action to stop bullying in the school. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a system where me an my freinds formed a little "bayou hooligan" gang.. .of sorts, so we had our own "justice"system at the end of a set of fists. These days "that's barbaric" seaux, ya just can't do that anymore. I guess we are much more civilized now! MAKE THE SCHOOLS PAY FOR THEIR INCOMPETANCE!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  89. evan thomas

    I am so sorry that you're going through this Beth. Gay and lesbian children go through horrible situations like this, being terrorized on a daily basis. For myself it began when I was about 10 years old and continued long after I was out of school. I tried so hard to be "normal" and make it stop, and was unable to tell anyone out of shame. The positive here is that you know what your daughter is going through, the community now knows, and you're a good mother, involved with your child's life. There are several options of ways in which you can channel this energy into positives. The most important thing is to build strength – inner strength from the challenges you're facing. It will prove an important "life skill" for your daughter to learn how to build courage and wisdom. And be thankful that this is not a daily act of emotional and physical abuse from a wide array of her peers in the community as it is for most gay and lesbian children. God bless

    May 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  90. May

    Please, don't make a display of your daughter and the other girls.
    They are all children. They don't deserve to be put in stocks on the internet town square. They all need counseling.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  91. Jon

    Sheesh. First of all, bullying has always existed and will continue to exist. Just because this case has bled into the internet doesn't change a thing. Now the media is parading this boring middle class kid (with her boring middle class problems) around like some kind of freakish spectacle. If that little girl is anything like her super-mom, then I think the bullying makes sense. How about you teach your kid to stand up for herself and maybe give someone a fat lip for that stupid vid. Give up this attempt to censor the internet before the entire nation hates you and your weird kid.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  92. JenC

    These kids arent even old enough to get into a movie over PG. What should the mom do? Ignore it? Cause that has worked really well so far... What did the Columbine parents say? "Oh yeah, they were working on a big project in the garage." Turns out it was a sawed-off shotgun project. I'm not saying these girls would do that. Nor was it necessarily the parents fault entirely as the Columbine kids were much closer to adulthood. I'm just saying they need to understand what they have done, and the girl who is the victim needs to feel safe at school. The parents of ALL of these children need to know WHAT they are doing ALL OF THE TIME! They are little kids! Barely out of elemenary school!

    May 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  93. cat4everrr

    please check out this video which is exactly what my cyber bullying developed into

    youtube.com/watch?v=sV_I7cgkqXc

    also, you might want to educate on another tool that bullies/stalkers like to use

    youtube.com/watch?v=YWjer8Fhzh0&feature=PlayList&p=48E11398B3258AD6&index=0

    May 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  94. Gary

    "As a parent, you are utimately responsible for your childrens actions."

    If your kid becomes a bully's buddy and looks on as my kid is bullied, I won't sue you, but I'll gladly accept your college savings to use for my kid...

    May 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  95. duron201

    thats actually kind of funny, and on top of that its no different then normal bullying, except now parents are too sensitive and so are kids.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  96. Gary

    "I guess if you can’t beat em, join em? Let me take a wild guess Gary, you don’t have kids do you?"

    No, I'm still a college student. And actually, neither of us are bullies, as the guy hasn't bullied anyone else, to my knowledge. The guy and 2 o his friends (he was actually more of a sidekick) were making fun of me because I made the varsity soccer team while they did not, now we play soccer together during the summers.

    And when I have kids, I will teach them about self-respect, honor, and standing up for themselves...my parents taught it to me and look where it got me...not being bullied. Shocker, I know.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  97. cat4everrr

    what happend to the lady in the first video is exactly what happend to me. and they even tried to contact my family to convince them that i was crazy so nobody would believe it was happening to me. it didn't stop until i went to the fbi.

    May 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
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