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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. Stephanie

    Oh, and hey lady, if you have such a problem with sending your precious Piper back to school-- RELOCATE~!!! I'm sure there is more than just that one school in your area. It doesn't look like Piper would be missed since she clearly has more enemies than friends.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  2. Andi

    Jim: the 'sticks and stones' crud DOES NOT WORK. Get over that. My father used to tell me to say 'sticks and stones' when I as a little 5 year old girl was being beat up by older boys and tormented daily. Give me a break. The teachers wouldn't help and even told me to quiet down when I was on the sidewalk bloody crying (6 years old at the time) and shut their classroom doors so they didn't have to hear me crying.

    Want to know WHY these kids picked on me? Because I was a Jew. This was in Sacramento California in the early 1970s. My parents ignored or didn't believe me, and the boys' parents saw nothing wrong with three boys knocking a small child off her tricycle and punching her, or pinching my infant sister in the stomach until she had huge black bruises. We were one of only two Jewish families in our neighborhood at the time and for some reason, the people there were very anti-semetic. We moved back to Illinois when I was 9.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  3. Gina

    I WAS THIS GIRL. I was the one who was outwardly bullied. Kicked by boys on the way to school. Alienated by girls. And there was an "I hate Gina" list passed around to my classmates to sign.

    Bullying is not a joke. Imagine how you would feel, as a 12-year-old girl, if your "good friend" did this to you? What if the entire school was looking online at this video about how to kill you?? Think you would feel alienated, sad, anxious, depressed?

    Parents who allow this type of behavior from their kids are the ones who bullied in the past. It's called a LACK OF COMPASSION and CONSCIENCE.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  4. Bob


    You're an idiot who obviously doesn't have kids! Is bullying illegal – no. Is making threats of physical harm or death illegal – YES!!!!!!! Ideally these parents should take care of the situation but today's parents go right to the "My kid wouldn't do that" defense and only learn to deal with these problems when cops get involved. These parents will be the first ones screaming lawsuit if a video like that was made about their little darlings. Nip this in the bud and make it public so other little snots learn not to pull the same thing.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  5. maria

    I think we need a new law that covers this entire country as far as bullying is concerned. The parents are supposed to teach their kids to be nice and civil to one another and if they do not succeed and the kid bullys someone then the kid and one parent can go to jail for one week and remininsce over what they should do about this in the future.If this does not help then the parent will have to pay a $5,000.00 fine of which part of the money goes to pay for their jail stay and part goes to the victim. It is time to get tough on the bullys and their parents. This is not acceptible behavior. If you let them be bullies many will be future criminals as well since they did not learn any better. Do we want this? NONONO say no to bullying Now!!!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  6. Stephanie

    I'm not falling for it. This girl and her mother come off as EXTREMELY stuck-up to me. For all we know, SHE could have been making the other girls' lives hell. Maybe she just wasn't clever enough to make a video about THEM! I'm not saying that what those other girls did was right, but maybe the media should go ask them why they did that before they continue to make Piper look like the helpless victim.

    I really just can't help but to think that Piper is the evil one here. You know that father who was too busy cooking dinner?? Maybe his daughter complained about Piper a lot, so the father knew what was really going on. Then, of course, why would he bother talking to Piper's [equally stuck-up] mother?

    May 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  7. kim

    Krista, private apologies don't work in a public setting such as this. if you want to show how horrified the school was to discover this behavior, go public, say how very sorry the school is this happened, explain the punishment and urge the parents to do the same.
    You won't because the school has no back bone. And quit saying this happened three weeks ago. So what.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  8. Josee

    This is really upsetting. last year my stepson put something innappropriate on his facebook account about one of his classmates and he made some threatening remarks to her at school. The girl's mother called the school who suggested that they called the police. The detectives took the issue VERY seriously, came to our house, told us what had happened and took our stepson aside and had him turn on his laptop and erase his Facebook account. The girl's mother ended up NOT pressing charges but told us that she would, if our stepson ever approached her daughter at school. We took our stepson's computer away, sent him to therapy and the following year sent him to a different school. he ended up realizing that what he did was wrong and never did it again. As parents we had no idea that this was happening, but when we found out we took immediate steps to let our child know that this was absolutely innacceptable. What helped is that the police made quite an impression on him and took the issue seriously. it is NEVER okay to bully someone or make death threats either online, vague, or face to face. if the bully's parents and the authorities do not take a strong stand against those actions, it tells the child that what he did was not a big deal. And he or she will do it again and again... until the consequences are fatal.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  9. Diane

    The parents of these students should make their children write letters of apology to the victim. Hopefully these parents will make them accountable for their actions. The school should take those girls and separate all of them.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  10. Carl

    Did the kids involved use school resources to initiate the threats? Is it really the job of the educational system to do the job of law enforcement. Schools take the blame for so many things and that are outside their control. I think this is a deplorable incident and agree those responsible should be punished. But don't blame the school administrators they responded with in their mandate. The parents and law enforcement need to bring these kids together to resolve their issues, but let the school do their job of education not counceling center.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  11. Kathy

    My son was bullied throughout middle school. He saw the school nurse many times for cuts, bruises, and once for being choked, but I was never notified. The first time I went to the principal with a name, I was told "that's the first time anyone ever complained about that kid." (As if that somehow negated the complaint!) I was told it would be handled "very discreetly" and then found out that meant my son was taken out of class at various times to see the counselor about how to handle the bullies. I put a stop to that and threatened to take out a protection order against the bullies, one of whom happened to be the guidance counselor's son. The school's answer was to hold a school wide bully seminar which didn't say much beyond how to identify a bully. My son came home with the sheet of paper with names next to all the definitions and said to me "it's much worse than I thought." Together we went back to the principal and asked what the follow up was. They didn't have one. The bullying ended when all the kids went to high school and the bullies found they were small fish in a big pond.

    Some things can't be dismissed as "kids being kids" or "kids being mean." There's no excuse – NONE – for bullying.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  12. Dave

    I feel for Piper and her family to have had this happen to them, but I am also disturbed by the many assumptions that offenders' of this nature parents are horrible people and that their kids are just like them. Kids do stupid things, and even the best parents can't beat the odds on that. Peer pressure is mighty beast! Most of us parents would never imagine our well brought up kids doing such a horrible thing to another person, so we don't outright tell them never do such a horrible thing until an example like this SHOULD remind us ALL to tell our kids this is very very wrong. How many of you bashing the parents on this blog have taken the time to discuss this incident with your own kids and explain what is so wrong about it? For the 90% of replies to this that lie and say they have, follow up on your own denial and DO IT!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  13. Phil

    Everything Piper says here is a repeat of what the mom says, and not language used by an 11 year old girl. On one hand, yes bullying is a problem, but these girls were caught, and reprimanded. They are 11. If this was an ongoing problem then yes, bring the police in, get the courts involved, if this is not and the 11 year olds just needed a wake up call about how their actions affect others I think they got it.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Day

    Parents must be advocates for their children. Don't apologize for making a big deal out of individuals abusing your child, be it an adult or a child. Recently, in the news two young boys committed suicide after being bullied at school. Always stand up for your child. Always !

    May 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  15. Rick

    So many things to deal with here. Bullying, to sue or not to sue, to take action against the school, to take action against the sheriffs dept, to take action against the other parents, etc.

    First, like some have already said, you can't go after the school. The video editing and uploading happened after school in the other girl's homes. All you can do is ask that they (the school) be aware of what has happened and that you find that there may be a threat to your daughter from these kids. And I think after all that has happened thus far, the school is definitely aware and will be keeping a close eye on all participants for quite some time to come.

    Second, the fact that the Sheriffs Det. assigned to the case wrote it off with out evening viewing the video only proves that he is incompetent and can't be trusted to do his job with due diligence. What would you have done if he had watched the video and he determined, after speaking with each of the girls involved, that there wasn't a threat? What then?

    Third, to sue or not to sue. The only people you can sue, that I can see, are the other parents. Would you win? It's a toss up. If you lost, then it would only cost them money for lawyers. But, it would also cost you money for lawyers. The only winners in a case like this would be the lawyers and I bet there are several salivating out of their shark-like mouths out there at the chance to be a part of this fiasco.

    My advice isn't worth much. Just a couple of cents actually. But it is simple. Piper is the perfect age to learn self defense techniques. She is also at the perfect age to learn to choose her friends more wisely. If she walks back into that school like she is confident in herself with her head held high and not like a victim, good people will gravitate towards her. Of course, if she walks back in with her head down like a victim, then she might as well paint a big target on her back.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  16. ...

    I think the worst part of it all is that the victims are treated like there's something wrong with THEM, and not the vicious animals who just can't leave them be. I remember being harassed on a daily basis in front of the teachers, and nothing was ever done about those girls. I was told to "not let them bother me". Yet all I had to do one day was call one of them a "b*tch" and I was yelled at to watch my language and that if I said it again I'd get detention. Lovely.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  17. Bonnie

    Good for you Beth for standing up for your daughter and not letting this one "go away". At the least, the girls responsible should be suspended from school for a few days and made to write a letter of apology to Piper. I suppose the parents of the others girls should ask themselves how they would feel if it was their child and not Piper. Finally, someone needs to ask, what was the motivation behind this horrible act?

    May 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  18. susan

    I was bullied every day as a kid. I lashed out at the boys and one day I had a pencil in my hands. I warned them to leave me a lone that I would strike out but they circled in closer, so I stabbed one of the boys in the hand. I was sent to a school for the emotionally disturbed. Those boys? My husband knew one from work and one day he tells my husband "your wife bit me." I told my husband to tell him if I bit him, he deserved it. If you are victimized and refuse to be victimized, you are victimized again by the system. We're so messed up. Those boys? Most have gone to prison for dealing drugs. Amazing.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  19. Jason

    The incident described at the beginning of this article is NOT cyber-bullying so much as it is a death threat.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  20. tyrone

    Typical of bad teachers who just dont care about your kids. Anyone with half a brain can teach these kids to get along, reward and punish, teach them how get along in the world and get involved in and participate in the right things so there is no time for the wrong things. I agree part of problem is parents among many other problems through out society today, but it takes teachers with real talent to overcome the other bad influences these kids are surround by these days, but unfortunately there is a serious lack of talent in most schools. Seems like the school violence would wake them up, guess thats tells you much they don't care and just plain clueless.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  21. Suzanne Passow

    My 15 year old son was a recent victim of cyber bullying. Fortunately, he spoke up and we were able to take action quickly. I advise anyone in this type of situation to act quickly and document everything. Print screens or any abuse you fine online. Keep track of phone calls and who you talk to. Let them know this is a serious matter and do not stop until the appropriate action has been taken. Our high school took this seriously and so did the parents of the girl who put the abusive things online. My son's bully offered to print a retraction and apology. Just be aware that this may not be in the best interest of the victim as it just keeps the issue at the forefront and provides the kids at school with more to gossip about. We need law reform, especially with all the new technology we have access to.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  22. Edwin Wood

    What we creating a nation of snivellers?? Grow a backbone!! First if you don't like what's on the net....DON"T WATCH IT !!!! Second what ever happend to sticks and is cheap! The mother only makes things worse because of her own securities...I bet she's a single mother...that creates problems on its own with children's self esteem...the fact is the child is suffering for the lack of proper nurturing which builds self esteem....look in the mirror mom

    May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  23. Jim H

    While being mean may not be against the law, threats to someone's life IS. These juvenile delinquents should be charged, not just slapped on the wrist. They have made a credible threat against someones life and publicly posted it. My prayers are for Piper and the rest of our children that have to put up with the bullies and the threats of violence. Schools and Police Departments that just give a slap on the wrist are telling these kids that they shouldnt do this, but we arent going to do anything to you for it. What kind of message is this? Piper, I recommend classes in self defense. Pick what you want, be it karate, jiu jitsu, kick boxing MMA or whatever. Just remember not to become one of THEM and use it for DEFENSE.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  24. Saboth

    Teachers are there to teach, not make sure your kid's feelings aren't hurt by "two faced friends". So, they made a mean video that hurt her feelings. Deal with it. People in life are two faced. The sooner kids learn this, the better. So, the police didn't open a full investigation into a silly video made by 11 year olds. I'm sure they have nothing better to do that prevent girls from being catty to each other. This whole "cyber bullying" thing is ridiculous.

    If they are bullying her to her face at school, that is one matter. I don't see how it is the school's responsibility to monitor the entire internet and private cell phones and emails so kids aren't bullied.

    Bullying has been around forever, since time began. Just because you stick a "cyber" in front of it doesn't make it new. It is up to the parents to teach their kids how to deal with bullying. If you can't do that, you've failed as a parent. They will be bullied out in the real world and there will be no principal to run to as an adult.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  25. Mike

    The most significant quote in this article:

    "Parents don’t know what to do. We go to work every day."

    Therein lies the answer – 1 parent NEEDS to be home with their kids after school, every day. Until somewhere around the age of 16-18, kids really need a parent home with them.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  26. Kelly

    I feel awful for this girl and her mom, but the real perps here are the parents of these girls. Schools can get involved as a secondary measure, but we have an epidemic of moron parents out there and schools can't stop that, nor should they.

    What were kids this age doing on the internet – unsupervised – to begin with?

    Pretty soon we're going to have toddler cyberbullies and I'm only half joking.

    C'mon, parents out there – wake up. If you're not going to nurture, train, guide and discipline your kids, do the world a favor and don't have them.

    I'm guessing that, ultimately, Piper will be fine. She's a gorgeous, well spoken kid. Those others? Not so much.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  27. King One

    How about this Piper. Go into class the next day and punch someone in the mouth. Thats how you handle a bully. I was bullied for about a year in high school until I knocked someone out. This is the problem. America is becoming cowardly. Anyone saying sue, press charges, or mandatory therapy needs to understand that one good punch in the face asserts dominance and thus keeps bullies at bay.

    Maybe Piper should take self-defense and stop crying like a baby. Life is even rougher then school. Sensitivity training is for cowards. Learn to fight back and you take away a bullies power.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  28. Henry

    My understanding are that death threats using telecommunications medium like the Internet are terrorist acts and punishable as such. You also could seek a restraining order. But with the offenders being eleven, and this apparently being a prank, it is problematic. Was the video removed from the Internet?

    May 27, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  29. David

    Quick reply to some of the other comments:

    The school has every right to search bags and lockers of students. Anything they bring into the school is fair game. It's a legal concept called "in loco parentis," that lets the school act "in the best interest" of the students.

    This usually amounts to students having almost zero civil rights (tangent: journalism classes and student newspapers being taught about free press and censore by the administration... go figure) and the schools able to do as they please, or need to.

    Also, in this age of "zero tolerance" you'd think the school would react more strongly to an expressly worded statement on not only the desire, but the methods, of murdering another student. Students are suspended and expelled on a regular basis for threats or statements much less specific and much less inflammatory.

    You bet there'd be a federal indictment for any 11-yo child who would have posted "10 best ways to bomb the school." Why is it not a criminal charge to list the 10 best ways to murder another student?

    May 27, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  30. Anonymous from CT

    My son was bullied for years at his private elementary school. The teachers and Administration made him feel like he was to blame even though he was the victim. One of the teachers was one of the bullies and they only moved him from her class. These were not poorly paid, overworked teachers yet they didn't want to do the hard work that is necessary to protect all children. The teachers know what is going on most of the time and just hope they can make it to the end of the school year, promote the student and let it become the problem of the next teacher. Hang in there Piper and keep fighting for her Mom!

    May 27, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  31. Cher

    Things to think about. If it were your son or daughter being bullied, would it be okay?

    If it were your son or daughter cutting themselves, hating themselves, hurting themselves as a direct result of bullying, would it be okay?

    How would you feel if you had to pick out clothes to bury your child in because they couldn't take being bullied, so they ended their lives?

    It sounds so wired, and out of control, but kids are suffering at the hands of other kids, and it's wrong. Some might say, "stop crying about it" this has gone on for years, but that's the problem it's gone on for years.

    Some would say, "what law has been broken", but what about moral law, the law inside your heart that says, "treat people with respect, you don't have to like everyone, but you need to respect them".

    Don't take this lightly... It speaks volumes about where we are as a society and a nation.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  32. Elle

    To Adam are you kidding me a waste of tax payers money. The children as well as the parents should be punished especially the parents for bringing up obnoxious children, they should both have to go to counciling so the children can learn how to act like respectable human beings and the parents should have to take parenting classes, to help them. The problem is the parents don't want to see what they children are really like, and the school doesn't want to get involved, because it will make their school look bad. Bullying is a very serious matter, this is something that will scar children for the rest of there lives, this can lead to trust and self esteem issues..

    May 27, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  33. James

    The US Supreme Court is hearing a case in which school administrators had a 13-year-old girl STRIP-SEARCHED down to, and then INTO, her underwear, in an attempt to find IBUPROFEN!! And these people claim they can't check backpacks for weapons? Administrators get carried away with their petty power, and will use the appearance of legality to get away with ANYTHING, unless they are actually held accountable.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  34. Danielle

    It is absurd to say that this was a harmless prank!

    There was a little girl in my hometown that was in a very similar situation that ended up committing suicide because she became so depressed about the bullies at her school. “Pranks” such as this can really destroy a child’s innocence and ruin their lives.

    These little girls new exactly what they were doing and the humiliation a video like this would bring to their classmate. They deserve to be expelled and they need to go to counseling to figure out why they are so self-conscious about themselves to do this to another person.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  35. shane

    bullies are like pimples. POP them hard enough and they go away.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  36. John

    I believe there was no real threat. Its funny how when i was growing up stuff like this always happened, but everyone grew out of it and is fine now. I believe this mom is over reacting, if she was that worried she could switch schools or home school her kid.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  37. QD

    It all starts at home....if a parent is a respectful member of society, the children will be too. I know that kids can slip and do make mistakes, but then the parent needs to truly discipline the child, and mean it. Take me to court for spanking my kids when they were little...I would do it all over again. They have turned out to be wonderful assets to society and moral beings. These kids that made the video need to be punished in some sort to set an example. School suspension, community service and counseling just to start it out.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  38. Tom Riddle

    This is normal and there is nothing outrageous about this it will teach Piper to be stronger and not care what people think of her. Love yourself that's all that matters.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  39. Jason

    One piece of advise to the victim. Create a blog state details of the incidents then relese the photos and addresses of the perpetrators along with phone numbers and see how the mean world takes care of these bullies lets see how these bullies fare when faced with some really mean people.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  40. Aaron

    I agree with what James said. If this would have been posted by an adult, in the comfort of their own home, stating ways they wanted to kill someone they knew from work, a school they went to, or a child, they would be arrested and reprimanded right away.
    I am not saying these kids deserve to be in jail, but I used to be 11 years old not too long ago, and I knew that any sort of threats were wrong. I have an 8 year old that knows these type of things are wrong. I think the children who posted the video should be dealt with, if not by the school, then be forced to go to some sort of therapy or counseling, and moved to another class. Piper should not have to go to school every day in fear of these children. Stay strong Piper, as you can see, you have many supporters behind you!!

    May 27, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  41. beenhad

    I was bullied in school and at a relatives house throughout by childhood and I can say that bullying does shape the victims personality. That was 35 years ago but to this day, I don't like people. They are mean, coldhearted pos. I would rather have a dog as a friend than a person anyday. Some people seem to think that "sucking it up" means the problem and it's end result will just simply go away. It doesn't. I let things go for a while until I reached a breaking point and started fighting in school. I never got into fights at school until I was bullied. Kids will remember the bullying for life and will take it out on others eventually one way or another.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  42. CJ

    I was teased and bullied for many years in grade school and middle school. I attended a private school, and because the parents of the kids who were doing it had lots of money to throw around, very little was ever done about it. Some of my teachers did the best they could, but with the school administration doing *nothing*, there was a limit to how far they could actually go. High school was better, but even then there were a few situations. Threatening e-mails and comments, mostly. Nothing was ever done about them. This was back in 1998. And all of the stuff I'm talking about actually happened on school grounds, or using school computers.

    There's not much a school can do, however, when the situation doesn't happen directly at school. If these students all got together and made the video at someone's house, outside of school hours and not using school equipment, it's not really a school issue. Only things that happen directly on school grounds should be considered as such, otherwise we cross a very dangerous line. Just because all the students doing this attend the same school doesn't mean the school has the right to punish them for it. Maybe I'm just one of these parents who was on the very edge of the Columbine-line (it happened a month before I graduated high school) who just don't "get" the zero-tolerance and nanny-state policies being put into place in the schools.

    All threats made at a school and/or against a school should be taken very seriously by the administration. But things that happen outside the school should not be dealt with by the school directly. It's a waste of already stretched budgets and time. Threats that happen outside of school should be dealt with by law enforcement or juvenile courts. If they have to get involved in the school to make sure the student is properly protected in the event of a credible threat, then that's the point at which the school should become involved. Maybe I've just never worked for any place like this, but if I have a job, and one of my co-workers e-mails me and harasses me outside of work, he/she cannot be punished by the employer, right?

    Where do we draw the line? That's what it boils down to. I'll ultimately choose to have a bit more freedom rather than have draconian laws that schools can impose. If my child gets into a fight in the neighborhood with another child from school, that should be between me, the children, and the other child's parents. I wouldn't want the school involved at all.

    So while I sympathize with the parents and the girl in this situation, I also have to ask this. Let's say that the group of girls who made this video were *not* classmates of your daughter. What if they were simply other kids in the neighborhood and they all attended different schools? How would you handle it then? Once you can answer that question, you have the answer to how you should be handling this one.

    To people saying this is happening because the Bible is being taken out of schools...please. I attended Catholic schools up until college, and the bullying problems were rampant there, where we had religion classes daily. That's just one of the many reasons I now consider myself an agnostic. Too many people involved in organized religion are self-righteous hypocrites.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  43. Susan

    If that were my child and someone did that to her, I would be breaking down the door of their parents house. I do not think you are overreacting. Kids now days are killing kids. It is a big concern. I would not stop until something was done.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  44. Tom

    THEY BROKE THE LAW! At least in nineteen states (I don't know if in yours) threatening someone's life through email or any electronic media is considered a form of terrorism, as well it should be. Whether they were joking or not, they provided information on how to kill Piper, they encouraged it. If, say . . . some kid who had a crush on one of those terrorizing (by definition) little girls and decided to carry ouit their encouragements, would you consider them responsible in some way?

    Those girls should be disciplined and the owner of the computer[s] it was created on should be exposed and possibly brought to law also.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  45. bobbi

    In response to simply to "Simply Anonymous"

    Do you want the schools to be able to dictate what happens inside of your home? By no means am I excusing this behavior. I cannot stand the way some children treat other people. I have been cursed at and sexually harassed by students. Teachers in my building have been beaten by students, I have had valuables stolen and I continue to go to work every day and do everything in my power to protect and education every student I encounter.

    My point is that the school cannot dictate, police or punish behavior that does not occur on school grounds. Between providing breakfast, lunch, before and after school care, health screenings and such, it may seem like the schools are always responsible for the students, but sometimes the parents actually have a job to do. Most do their jobs, some don't.

    For the record a colleague had a very similar video made about her and we were all frightened, but the school did not even have the authority to make the girls take the video down. The student could not be banned from school activities because she did everything at home with no school equipment. Thankfully, when notified the parents did the right thing.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  46. Hootman

    I agree completely with Adams comment. Why doesthis reporter not talk about the parenting? This is a matter that needs to be handled and disciplined by the students parents. Attempting to take further action and even legal prosecution poses a greater threat to the internet community. What I mean by this is that trying to create a "cyber-bulllying" law is a form of civil rights infringement and nowadays the only form of true free media exists only in the internet. Creating such laws could help the New World Order to manipulate the information that streams on the web. Take this story for example, do you hear anything from the other opposing party? Are they available to present their side of the story and disciplinary actions taken from the students at fault? NO YOU DONT! This is a perfect example of Bias information from a owned network like CNN to try to manipulate thinking in favor of this cyberbullying laws that the Obama administration is trying to enforce. Dont get caught up in all the hype! Its unfortunate for this to happen but once cyberbullying laws are imposed, it affects the rest of the internet community.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  47. dana

    It is outrageous that the school district and the police dept. have not taken this seriously, simply because it is eleven year old girls. They and their parents need to be held reponsible for their actions. We cannot allow 1930's bravodo "it happens on the playground everyday" to continue. This must be called on the carpet for what it is–harrassment and voilent threats, no matter how old they are. They need to be prosecuted, and the parents must be made to pay restitution. I think some picking up of trash on Saturdays for the next year might be good for them, their parents, and the community as well. Make them an example of prosecution, just like they wanted to make her an example of persecution.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  48. woodie

    Not sure I see how she is bullied if she didn't even know the existence of the web site and the girls apologized. This is a simple prank. I'd be leary of making any more of this. 11 year old girls don't typically kill each other. As with anything, you have to use common sense in dealing with children. You tell them what is wrong and not to do it again.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  49. JS

    How was it that these young girls found the time and tools to create such a video without their parents knowing? In this case, it would seem the PARENTS should be held accountable for their lack of attention to THEIR children. Perhaps Child Services should initiate an investigation as to how these parents are overseeing the welfare of their children. In this case, it would seem the PARENTS are far more concerned with their own lives than they are with providing adequate and socially acceptable examples of behavior for the respect of others. I've long been an advocate for parents being mandated to perform half of any punishment a child receives in these types of cases. If both parents had to be expelled from work for a week or perform 40 hours of community service, I'll bet those little darlings would never consider doing this again.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  50. Steve

    Just a couple points here...

    First... teachers teach... hence where the name comes from. Asking teachers to play law enforcement takes away from our students. And our education system (and children today) need all the education from the teachers they can get. If teachers spend all their time "policing" students, who's doing the teaching? That said, along with teaching is the safe learning environment of the student. That means the teachers bear some responsibility to ensure bullying does not take place in their classroom, or on their watch if they are watching the kids at recess/lunch. But stop blaming the teachers for bad kids!!! I have not seen the video. Was the video in question taken at the school? If it was, then some questions need to be asked there... if not, that's where it ends for teachers.

    Parents bring children into the world. They are responsible for those children and should be subsequently responsible for their actions (along with the personal responsibility of the children). So, to absolve the parents of any responsibility is sophmoric in mentality. I think law enforcement should be after the parents as much as the children. Not so much to throw them in jail, but give parents and children community service... in something RELATED to the offense. Make them do community service at a home for battered spouses/children. Make them do community service in a project for bullied children. Etc.

    It's simple... teachers teach... parents parent... where did we get this all screwed up?

    May 27, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  51. kim

    rt, Beth did go to the parents directly who blew her off. She went to the school because Piper was afraid. Keep it up Beth, the more pressure you put on the school and the Sherrif's department, the better for Piper.
    Right now, they are both looking really bad.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  52. vee thomas

    first of all its not a school problem its a home problem. Schools are in the business of educating students . Yes the girls should be punished, but that should be worked out between the parents. Unfortunately the party at fault still has rights in this country too, weather they are right or wrong. There is also two sides to a story, and i bet that the so called innocent party had choice words with those girls, and was pickin at them as well, but didnt tell her parents the exact truth of why these girls dont like her. Any body that has kids will tell you, your child will tell you exactly what you want to hear to keep from getting put in the doghouse. the problem comes that some people believe every thing their child tells them even if its a lie. Iam just tired of parents thinking everytime something goes wrong let the school fix it. fix it yourself or give the child to someone who can parent. Iam a single parent who has raised two boys in a low income neighborhood. I ruled my house with an iron fist, mixed wth religion I paid the bills, what I said was the law. Ive never had a problem with my boys. They were picked on just like everybody else in school. But i handled my business , not the school, cause it wasnt a school problem. My boys are smart enough to know right from wrong and would have just looked at the video and laughed. . Its called old fashion home trainning. Like i said i sure she was picking at them too, but of course didnt tell her parents about that part. She just didnt make a video. Train up a child the way he should go do dont have to worrry about it. My boys were taught early on to over look ignorance and ignorant people. if someone is not helping you up, then you need to go move on and go on about your business. If these girls were so bad, why was she still trying to friends with them and fit it. Her parents obviously have not taught her to find new friends an let stupid people be stupid. But oh well like i said thats a home problem.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  53. MN

    Threatening physical harm to this degree should be a crime, if it isn't already. Parents, check out if you want to see some really horrible student to student behavior. The level of cyber bullying is appalling and all too common.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  54. Sam

    How ugly. But why is this a matter for the school administration? Did they use school computers to post the video? The schools should be busy educating our children, not policing what they do on their own time, on their own computers. The issue is with the children and their parents.
    We need to stop foisting off parental responsibility onto the schools.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  55. AT

    I am a mother whose daughter was bullied also and our school never does anything to the bullies. They tell my children to ignore them. Schools claim to have zero tolerance for things such as this, but they don't. The principle at my daughter's school stated there were 800 children in the school and he couldn't keep up with all there problems. The only problems I see is the problem with the teachers and principles they hire to watch over and protect our children. They are a joke.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  56. Liz

    Adam - There is a difference between bullying and threating a life. Listing "Six Ways to Kill Piper" is a threat to her life and should not be taken lightly. I'm not saying these girls should go to jail but they should not walk away with a slap on their wrist. They should be forced to go to counseling, do some community service and there should be a record of this with the courts.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  57. Ender

    So once again humans shouldn't make mistakes, do dumb things, or things that aren't "socially acceptable". If they do, they should be "punnished".

    ESPECIALLY the children.

    I'm tired of this.

    Let me leave you folks with a bit of clarity in this world you live in so your hearts wont be broken too badly when reality actually takes part in your fairy tale existance.

    Bad things will happen. Unfair things will happen. Tragic things will happen. You cannot stop these things. You SHOULD not punnish others because one or two can't handel the things we've ALL lived through. "Bullying" only works if your child doesn't have the self esteam to stand on their own two feet.

    Maybe if you'd stop treating your children as porcilin figures they might be strong enough to shrug off name simple calling and taunts.

    For gods sake get a grip.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  58. Tony

    I understand both sides of this issue. The simple reality is this....the video was not made or distributed from the school, therefore, they are not LAWFULLY responsible, however, you cannot tell me someone at that school did not know about the video...Someone should have called this girl's mother and told her rather than her daughter having to tell her. From teh police perspective, there is no criminal act here....the girls are minors, so to bring charges and have them serve community service, at best, why spend money on that? The negative press is much worse at this point than any community service they may have to do.

    Having a step daughter with CP, I understand the bullying that goes on in schools, although, thank god, she was never subjected to this type of bullying. You don't whine to the school about it because they will not do anything and you are making your childs life harder. The police will not do anything because of the age of the children involved. So what is there to do?

    But there is a simple answer to all of this nonsense. First, you go to the parents of the children involved. If they take care of the issue, than so be it. For those that deem this a non-issue, you turn up the heat on them and their child. There are a couple of old sayings...."An eye for an eye" and "I did not start the fight, but I will finish it". I am a firm believer in never starting a brawl, fight, or war. However, what these girls did is ridiculous, and if you truly want to make them understand what they did, and how it made your child feel, you do it right back. You don't threaten death, that is over the top, but you embarass them and make it hard on their parents. If the child is involved in other clubs, you contact the paretns of those clubs and tell them what happened. If the parents of the girls have a business, you boycott it. Simple and too the point. It may seem mean, but you know what, it will work. I have seen first hand myself. They will cry mercy long before you do.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  59. Krista Carlson, Bethel School District

    Elk Plain School of Choice and the Bethel School District were informed of this video nearly three weeks ago. Immediately after we were notified, we contacted police because the video was not made at school. We also appropriately disciplined all of the students involved. These students have been punished and have expressed their remorse.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  60. DS

    OK, I am confused. The mom says Piper has to go to school with these girls every day, and in the next sentence she says they were expelled. Which is it? If they have not been expelled, they should be. If they have, the school has done what they can, and the mom and dad should persue the criminal aspect, or take it to civil court.
    Also, as a computer teacher in an elementary school, I see first hand how these things happen. We spend so much time teaching kids how to use the cool new technology available, but when it comes to teaching cyber ethics, and digital ethics...there is "no time" for it, or it is not in the "core curriculum" I see way to much intellengence without ethics, and it is scary.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  61. L. C.

    Sorry Adam, but you should get over the "waste of your tax dollars." The law recognizes a difference between verbal insults and threats to safety. This case by far and away was a physical threat, and therefore a judicial problem.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  62. Hammerhead

    Missy Jenkins at can tell you all about bullying – from the wheelchair she's in after being paralyzed by Michael Carneal in the 1997 Paducah, Ky. school shooting. Carneal was bullied relentlessly. It's unacceptable. Missy's new book is aimed at stopping bullying and changing school cultures. Until the cultures change, nothing will change.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  63. Laura

    I am sickened by this story. Shame on the parents of the girls who put together this video. I too am a mother of a 6th grader. She has been the target of "milder" bullying by girls at school.

    The parents of these insensitive girls need to be held accountable and should have immediately contacted Piper's parents and apologized. I'd like to hear what they have to say – in my mind, they are the ones at fault.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  64. Steve from NH

    This is a problem that has been going on forever, and it doesn't stop with kids – a lot of bullies grow up to be adult bullies ( unfortunately, a lot of them do very well in life ).
    Now, we have the internet which is the way kids communicate (think "phone" when you were a kid.
    Problem is, there is little context in internet exchanges – can't see facial expressions, can't hear tone of voice – so 1/2 to 2/3 of communication is missing. As a result, kids don't have the feedback mechanisms to let them know when they are being mean and have hurt someone – even the best kids do this, and are embarrassed by what they have said to and about other kids online without realizing.
    My daughter was just a victim of a group of bullies (mild, compared to this video). She had friends that stuck up for her, so she learned a few valuable lessons from the encounter. I learned some too:
    – This isn't a school or police problem, it's a community problem
    – Your kids may be "bullying" also, without realizing it – everyone at some time has said a mean thing to someone about someone. The difference now is that it's all in public, by virtue of chat and facebook.
    – Regrettably, facebook is a necessary part of your kids social life. This is about to be more regrettable, it has been partially purchased by a Russian company – look out for revenue generation by sale of information, and if you think your real identity is protected, think again.
    – Print out a page of your kids wall or some chats, and ask them if they would be comfortable reading this in the auditorium with a microphone, and point out that is approximately what they are already doing.
    – Get your own facebook account, and make your kids add you as a friend. It's a little weird at first, but don't you sit with your kids and their friends around a campfire sometimes?
    – Discourage vendettas, it just escalates
    – Encourage your kids to go help those who are bullied that have few or no friends to stick up for them – when my daughter was bullied we discussed how awful it must be to be one of the weaker kids with no one to stick up for you.
    – Even the best kids say and do things online that they wouldn't say or do to anothers face – point this out to them, take them back through some exchanges, make them realize that they need to think, think, think before they press that enter key.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  65. Stephanie

    I have a daughter that is going through the same thing and the school would not do anything about it. So I took matters into my own hands I told these girls that if they lay a hand or do any harm to her that I will do the same to them.
    i think that these kids need to be held accountable for their actions and their parents should too!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  66. John

    Reading other comments on this story, I get an interesting feel for what other people are thinking. I was bullied for a few years in middle school, but it was nothing more than name calling. I don't think it's fair to say that coming up with the best ways to kill another student is quite the same. Apparently a large number of people have forgotten the lesson learned from Columbine and other school shootings. Here it is again, for the absent-minded: take all threats of violence in and around schools seriously.

    Putting myself in Beth's shoes, I'd be doing everything in my power to make sure the other students are no longer attending the same school as my child. I'd be suing parents left and right. I'd be speaking with the superintendent about an en masse meeting with the students of the school to explain the consequences of their actions.

    Lest we forget, sending children to school is a legal requirement for parents. Therefore, the protection of ALL children is the school's responsibility. By responding with severe punishment for this infraction, the school district does two good things: establishes a precedent to be followed in later incidents and also leaves an impression on other students and parents about what is acceptable behavior.

    Parents: don't be afraid to enter your child's room - frequently. Actually look at things and decide for yourself whether you need to ask questions. The most pain free way to guide a teen away from trouble is to put them on the spot with questions. If they seem uneasy while answering you, keep digging until you're satisfied or a truth comes out.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  67. Jerry Hall

    For the people who have replied "Get over it", you just don't understand what it is really like to be bullied over and over as a child. Perhaps, in school you thought that it was cool to harass and bully other kids.....Let me assure you, it is NOT!!! And for the people who reply that the most effective response is to "beat down" the lead bully. Well, that doesn't work either...mostly because the lead bully is seldom alone and because the person being bullied is often one of the physically smallest people in class. They don't go after the big guys to bully. The bullies are cowards at heart and go after the easy targets, often striking from behind. Parents, schools and society in general has to deal firmly with the issue of bullies. The people who are bullies while they are children will very often grow up to commit violent crimes against others, to include children, because they learned early on that they can get away with it. I know what it is like to be the target of bullies for essentially all of my school years. Stop the bullies now while they are young, while you can truly make an impact. It doesn't matter if they are using their fists or using a computer to inflict their cruelty upon others. People need to be proactive. The victims of bullying need to also know that it is OK to tell people that it is happening so that something effective can be done to stop it. It's not being a "snitch" or a "tattletale". It's stopping something that is wrong from continuing to happen.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  68. Indiana Pagan

    To the person who commented that it's not the parents' fault: of course it probably is! If parents would teach their kids right and wrong, and how to think for themselves, there would be a huge reduction in the amount of incidents like this. I am a parent of three boys, 15, 9, and 5, so I'm not just randomly yapping, here. I'm not saying all parents can always instill values in their children that will always cause those children to do the right thing, but damn it, people! Try!

    The tv and video games and the Internet are NOT babysitters or substitute parents. There is no substitute for good, old-fashioned one-on-one parent/guardian to child teaching. If I turned my kids loose on the Internet, or expected the local video arcade to nurture them, I would expect little hellions that cared not for anyone or anything to be the result. As it is, although my kids are absolutely not paragons of virtue–they're kids, they're human–I am proud to say that I have seen them take up for the underdog more than once, and they will not have anything to do with kids who go in for this kind of behavior, even if they have previously called those kids "friends".

    I feel for little Piper, and I agree that her mom should get her some martial arts training...not just the massive, chain-gym kind either, but with a teacher schooled in the traditional Asian customs. Piper will definitely learn respect for herself (and others), self-discipline, and will gain tremendous confidence and better social skills, as well as being able to defend herself if need be. Before he became disabled, my husband was a martial artist, and all three of our kids have been trained–and the results are worth the time and effort.

    I also think that we need to teach kids that it is okay to stand up for themselves. For too many years now, we've been doing things that give our kids the idea that they have to go with the herd, that being an individual is dangerous and bad. This is one way group bullying catches on; everyone's too afraid of being different to walk away from it. Teach our kids the skills to negotiate, debate, and discuss–but also to protect and defend themselves if they must.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  69. George

    The parent took the wrong action here. Bullying is something everyone deals with in some form or another. it does not stop with a diploma. It is human nature to try to push others down to raise yourself up. The difference is, we are not teaching these kids to do anything about it. If your child is being bullied in a way where their life is not in danger you do not call the damned police. You dont go whining to the school board. Grow up and be parents, talk to the childs parents, talk to the child, talk to YOUR child and teach them to stand up for themselves instead of being passive victims.

    Running to the police, the school and the media will only make your child more of an outcast making the situation harder on them. Is that really what you want? Our children need to make a place for themselves within social circles, we cant make them for them. Stop looking for laws and rules to make things easy and be parents.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  70. James

    The Supreme Court is hearing a case in which school administrators had a 13-year-old girl STRIP-SEARCHED

    May 27, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  71. Nick

    I was a kid bullyed when I was a kid, and even after I graduated high school. I was bullyed for years to come. One main factor to teach your kid is to do the right thing, and most important of all to teach the kid to STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR THEM SELF ! NO LIE. The truth. I still am paying the price for being bullyed in my past years.
    I never had a girlfriend.
    I cant socialize with other people
    People judge me before they even say one word to me
    I feel paranoid around others
    I went to jail for something I didnt do and had to pay 7,000.00 of money I didnt have and almost serve 2 years prizon which I did get cleared of it.
    People still make fun of me who dont know me.
    I carry a gun on me ready to defend myself all the time now
    Im living a lonley life. I only have like 3 freinds.
    I can carry this on and on. I will be amazed if I am not in jail or dead in 10 years from now. Yes I do stand up for myself now, but all the damage it does on a person and what it did on me.. I am age 37 now.. email me at

    May 27, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  72. Katherine

    My son was bullied for two months at a private school and they hardly did anything! We finally got him moved out of the same classroom as the bully but he still was bullied on the playground. Finally he snapped and kicked this kid's ass! The school called me and told me and I just laughed and said that kid had it coming. The kid never bothered my son again.

    It never should've come down that though. The school should've intervened and the kid should've been expelled. But I'm glad my son gave him what he deserved.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  73. kim

    Jen, learning how to apologize after you have screwed up comes directly from the parents. You apologize early, often and try to make ammends. These parents haven't gone public and those apologies need to be as public as the humiliation and intimidation was Piper. I think the kids and their parents should make a you tube video apologizing and post that.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  74. Mike

    A very strong reprimand is required – expelling these students for a year should send the message this will not be tolerated in the public school system.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  75. SE Hugueley

    This is a severe problem throughout many schools. My 12 year old was cyber bullied this year at school. The final straw was when they started leaving messages on her cell phone that she was "a freak of nature and needed to crawl away and die." Brought it to the school's attention but not much was done, especially since the main culprit is in the National Honor Society!!! This all occurred at a private school and we felt like the school did not want to offend "paying parents". We've had to change schools. We need laws to fight this and support from school administrators that we will have a zero tolerance for bullying.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  76. Jan

    My message is straight to Piper. Don't be afraid!! Don't let nasty two-faced snots like this keep you from being yourself and striving to be the best person you can be. You've already shown how strong you are by facing up to these threats instead of hiding and changing schools. Keep it up!

    I was bullied incessantly in middle school. One particular boy named Joe even thought it was fun to make fun of me the day I was crying in class because my cousin had just died. I was slapped, spit on, slammed into lockers and threatened on a daily basis.

    It ended up that Joe and I went to the same college. We even ended up in the same class. One day we were talking about the cruelty of children and I told my story. I could see him shrinking further and further into his seat. Finally, at the end of my spiel I turned to him and said, in front of the whole class, "Joe, you were the worst of those kids. Why did you treat me like that? What did I ever do to you?" His friends started in on him and he ended up leaving the class, humiliated. Shortly thereafter I got my apology. It only took 10 years.

    You just hang in there, keep doing what you're doing and don't let these shallow, worthless people stop you from succeeding at whatever you want to be. I didn't.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  77. b

    hmmm – last I heard, threating to kill or do bodily harm to someone is a crime. Did that change? When after Columbine? 9/11? Not even supposed to "joke" about stuff like that – because it can and does happen.

    This is not "kids being kids". To threaten to kill and create a film, even a cartoon, shows a lot of thought about killing someone? Kids are being kicked out of school for having a kill list; this is a movie!

    No – what they did what not kids being kids, or even free speach. try that same idea concerning airlines/airports/courts – see which cops show up at your door and if you are even aloud to stay at your door...

    May 27, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  78. Mitzi

    If your child is being bullied – Put them in a new school! Make a change!

    Private school, church school, the school in the next town – drive them everyday if you have too.

    Do something to change the situation – don't just wait for other people to "fix" the problem.

    It is a pack situation and the pack always rules – unless you pull the weakest link out. Then the next weakest link will get it.

    My parents bought me a cute little mustang (under $2K), got me some basic cute clothes, and a haircut – and it stopped. – I was lucky that was all it took. But that was 15 years ago.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  79. Jose

    The problem here is that our country is being run into the ground by our government meddling into our personal affairs and all the bleeding hearts. What ever happened to spanking/disciplining your child when they got out of line? It went by the wayside since people are crying for child services if you even look at your kid wrong. When I was growing up, I was a stubborn knucklehead and my mom would let me know the consequences to my actions by giving me a whoopin' no matter where we were. As a good friend of mine used to say, "Beat your kid for a better America." lol. But seriously, we need to let parents be able to discipline their children whether it be in the confines of their home or in public to minimize these types of incidents or worse.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  80. Bastet11

    And this is yet ANOTHER reason that my daughter is homeschooled.
    I understand not everyone has this opportunity or even wants it, but if I were the mother of Piper, I would have taken my child out of school.
    I know at that age, there are some cruel people..but this is downright alarming. Even in the 80's when there were not these laws, had we done something like that, we would have been expelled from school at the very least. Who is protecting these girls? It is one thing to say " I hate that girl" or even "I wish she was dead." (which is a horrible thing, but remember it is a strange age and it is doubtful they actually mean it..) But to actually make a video about it and to seemingly plan out another students demise? These girls need to see a therapist or something before they actually start to put their thoughts into action. Easy for people to get carried away, especially with their peers egging them on.
    James has a good idea. The mother should at the least invest in self-defense classes for the girl, not just to boost her confidence but to protect herself.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  81. Todd

    And then on the other end you have schools that discipline kids for simply putting negative opinions about classmates on their MySpace pages and call it bullying. Because hurting someone's feelings, even if telling the truth, is bullying now. We've really gone over the edge on this whole thing. When I was a kid, we sang a song every year around now, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school.." I'm sure lots of people are familiar with it. Yet we did not burn down schools, hang teachers, or shoot principals. Today, we'd be arrested for making terroristic threats.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  82. Recee

    May 27th, 2009 11:35 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    They need to take this seriously, cause. Just last week on Oprah, she had two parents who’s sons killed themselves because of bullying, if the girls who are doing the bullying are not punished, then they will continue to think that this behavior is okay. They should both have 60 hours of community service. Where they will go and talk with someone about bullying and go and listen to victims of bullying. All students involved should be have to turn in a 10 page report on tolerance. And they should not be able to participate in the next 5 school events. It sounds a little harsh, I know, but these young people made a video about KILLING and or wishing the DEATH of another human being. They need to know how serious this really is. And It’s not okay.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  83. wil p

    This is one BRAVE parent and one lucky girl to have a mother stand up to a school who DOES NOT care about this issue. It is obvious the parents of the little B$%ches that did this don't care they just want it to go away. These parents should be shunned. They are foolish if all they had to do was say i'm sorry and that was it. this act has malice intent. These are brazen girls- I am sure if we looked at these girls in 10 years we would see other bad behavior and they would prove to amount to nothing in the future. They need consequences for what they did to get them on track to become good citizens.

    Why should we as tax payers pay for public education, salary for teachers and administrators for school that make outrageous salaries when they DO NOT PROTECT our children in schools. This issue should bring to light the bigger picture- our kids are NOT SAFE in public school. How many cases of bullying, death threats, weapons in school do we read each year. Each year the kids get more bold. Each year schools contact legal counsel BEFORE parents. Schools and districts wants to sweep these incidents under the rug like they never happened. We need to demand for resignations from teachers and administrators who failed to take action prior to the media getting wind of the story. Shame on them and others in other districts that allow this type of hatred to continue in our schools all around the country. What a waste of money paying these useless individuals. If you have ever had a child victimized at school you should be furious that this still happens. If you plan to educate your children in the public school system- take notice of what is happening now and make a promise to get involved so that it gets corrected before you allow your child to go to one of these schools that does not care about student safety.

    Look at some of the presumed best school districts in the country, they have issues they hope the media never gets hold of
    D20 in Colorado Springs had a student raped by another student during school hours. The school did not want to take responsibility for placing a "problem male student" with a female special needs student. The parents in this situation sued them. As they should have but not before they were berated by the district. Schools use tactics to make the victim feel like the problem.

    More parents need to be like this mother. Do not get bullied by the school. Do not get frustrated with the police lack of action. Take it to the media. Do not shut up until something is done. The idiot parents of these video girls should have to be held accountable for their offspring-s actions. These girls should be made an example and be permanently removed from this school. They should be forced to work hours of community service along with their parents. The parents should be forced to take parenting classes AT THEIR expense. Bad parents,absent parents, selfish parents create monster children.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  84. johnjacobjingleheimer


    Have you seen some of the counseling services out there....who pays for that?

    THe irresponsible parents....or the taxpayers??????

    May 27, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  85. marno

    I say call Elk Plain School of Choice in Washington State & let the principal know you disapprove. That's what I'm doing. It takes a village - and not just the voices of Piper and her Mom.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  86. jack

    The parents are making much too big of a deal of this. The “video” (watch it and look at the childish drawings) is ridiculous and it is obvious that no real threat ever existed. Piper’s parents are making this much worse on her by calling all of this attention to her. She’s going to be forced to transfer schools. Can kids be cruel? Yes. Was anything other than Piper’s feelings ever at risk of being hurt? No. Get over it.

    The mother is acting like she truly believes that the other girls were really contemplating MURDERING her daughter. Everyone reading this knows that the mother did not truly believe that… she is just being overly dramatic about this and making a spectacle of her and her daughter.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  87. Mondodog1

    Right on about Home Schooling.... our girls have been for several years now. Think back to your public school days,,, a huge institution , especially jr and high school, where kids are crammed in like Cattle, with minimal adult oversite, only in the classroom, and a free for all outside where kids call their own shots, good and very bad.

    Find a new group of friends, several..... and the girl will be fine. Ingnore the creepos... be strong.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  88. Annabelle Moore

    Six Ways To Make a Mother think Homeschool is the way to go-

    These children made my blood run cold, poor Piper what an awful situation for a little girl, and her parents. The school district is negligent, civil rights my foot those little thugs need to be taught that those rights were earned by the sacrifice of many to afford equality not so that they can hide behind them.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  89. SHOOTER12

    It is unbelievable that children could even consider getting away with this type of conduct. The thoughts behind actions like this should never occur, there is something seriously lacking that kids would act in such a vile manner. Darned straight they should be prosecuted and punished...and hard. Our thoughts and prayers are with Piper and her family, and also the family of the little heathens that did this.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  90. Lua

    Since when are schools responsible for what your kids do at YOUR home?!!! Parents, get home and watch your kids if you know they are little brats (and most teenage girls are). Don't blame the school for a video that was made at your child's friends' homes. Grow up and raise your brats yourselves.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  91. Melissa

    99% of the time, the bullying is happening right in front of teachers who do nothing. Yes, the school is responsible, sorry. They raise the children during the day, including morals. Thats life.

    its time to hold schools responsible for things happening right under under their noses.

    As for the parents, its time we get laws saying that parents who do nothing to stop their children from bullying other children start facing jail time.

    Its either that or allow children to keep killing themselves over the bullying.

    Responsibility must be taken and the responsibility isn't with the bully'd, its with the bully's.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  92. johnjacobjingleheimer

    ha ha ha ha...i love this thread.....

    If only some of you worked in the PUBLIC school would then have a clue....

    but since you dont, you can speculate....

    PUNISH POOR PARENTING.....but that might hit a little to close to home for some of you...........take responsibility for your childrens actions.....oops, that might hit a little to close to home as well....

    May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  93. Pat in AZ

    The "kids will be kids" attitude is part of the problem here. Yes, bullying has been going on since I was in school (and I'm in my 60s). But that doesn't make it right, and it's gotten meaner through the years. The attitude that one should just ignore it is part of the problem. This mother is teaching her daughter to have the courage to stand up for herself even if it makes a situation more difficult. Bravo.

    It's time to take bullying more seriously. It's not enough to just state in the school handbook that it's not allowed. Kids who bully need to have strong punishments for what they do. They need counseling (and not in a group with their friends where their behavior is reinforced by those who are doing the same thing.) They need to do some community service. Their parents need to be inconvenienced (have to take off work to take their children to sessions or make child care arrangements because their kids are suspended from school). Then maybe they will be more likely to discipline their kids and take a look at what kind of person their child is becomming. The victim should not be the one who is punished.

    Unfortunately, the middle school/jr. high age kids are the worst offenders, but it starts in elementary school. We need no tolerance rules with some teeth in them for all schools and solid attention to this matter by parents and schools at an early age. We are creating too many mean spirited, rude kids. It's time to ask why this is happening and what we can do to change it. It will take more than just complaining and talking about it.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  94. Simply Anonymous

    To Bobbi,

    As an educator, I can't help but wonder if you'd think differently if the video they made had been about "Six Ways to Kill Your Teacher." I mean if it was made off school property and some girls are just mean and all...

    May 27, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  95. Karen

    I really hope that those kids are made to be responsible for their actions. This case is appalling. I was bullied all during junior high and it was awful. I've never forgotten how it made me feel. Those kids must be punished. This is not acceptable.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  96. Mobius

    Just publish the names of the kids involved – the internet community at large will be happy to police our own – as we've done since it's inception.

    Hang in there, and ,,!,, to the haters!

    May 27, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  97. Cheryl

    As the victim of bullying for over 10 years at school, I hope this girl's parents sue the hell out of the parents who allowed their children to post this information.

    Please make sure your daughter gets professional counseling, and also place a restraining order against those girls too, for her own safety.

    School administrators didn't listen to the bullying complaints that happened to me, and for the written death threat I received, the girls in question only received a one-day suspension.

    20 years later I am still living in hell from what those girls did to me. I am so glad you are taking your daughter's threat seriously!

    May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  98. OAK

    OK... Just playing devils advocate here but I saw the actual broadcast of this story and Piper came across as a bit of a snot, rolling her eyes during the interview, and seemingly well coached by Mom. This might not be a case of picking on a child because he is different, or has funny clothes, becaues Piper seems to be a normal and bright pretty young lady (aside from the attitude) but it is such a hot button issue that everyone gets all "oh my god! cyber bullying!" I am not advocating the other girls video... but they were kids, and for all we know Piper could be a little brat and this was there way at expressing distaste in a stupid and childish mannor... just trying to be critical...

    bring on the overreacting follow ups.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  99. David

    Laugh in their faces. Bullies can't STAND to be laughed at. Ridicule them and their 'threats'. Treat them like the simpering cowards they are. Even if you have to bite your lip, laugh in their faces.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  100. Stan

    I was bullied in school too, on three occasions, when I in elementary school years ago (I'm 48 now). On each occasion I had to to the extreme. On one I was in full swing with a baseball bat when a guy behind me on the school bus grabbed the bat. As the bully got off of the bus I kicked him as hard as I could between the legs. He never bothered me again. My son gets bullied some, however he does know karate, but I can't get hiim to use it. I recommend that you get in the attack mode. That is all that a bully can understand. It's the same in the adult world too. People will run you over.

    May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am |
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