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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. Rob

    Most of the people commenting about this, the first thing they yell is "SUE THEM".

    And most admit that they were bullied as children.


    Sadly its called survival of the fittest, which has been taken away in recent times.

    God forbid there be an actual DISASTER in this country. 95% of the population would probably run around trampeling eachother in chaos.

    The weak should not breed. It sounds cold hearted but its true. Due to welfare, laziness, lack of responsibility, people are all breeding making more weak, irresponsible versions of themselves.

    This is what we are left with. Piper and her mother.

    Life is hard, things will happen. Getting picked on in school does not equate a lawsuit, or national coverage.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  2. Pam

    As one whose supposed "best friend" decided she needed to show off for her new friends in high school by sending me threatening and insulting Instant Messages, I discovered that the schools not only don't want to get involved in cyber bullying, but in some cases, even try to pin the blame on the victim (and of course they're "overemotional" parents)
    However, unless the act is committed on school grounds, the school can and will probably do little about it. Your best bet is to contact the bully's parent(s) communicate the severity of the occurrence, and see if they are willing to hear you out or talk to their child. If not, you should contact the local authorities (pester them if you have to) to prevent any future harm, physical OR mental, to your child.
    Not long ago, a group of girls posted a video of themselves beating up another girl...remember that cyber bullying can take a violent form whether you child is being bullied, or is the bully themselves

    May 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Siegbert Tarrasch

    ALL bullies should be punished including these. But it is the PARENTS and the SCHOOL OFFICIALS and TEACHERS and ALL of the people charged with protecting children that DO NOTHING to protect children! They do NOTHING! Even Oprah acknowledges that bullying is considered "a typical challenge of growing up"! Rather, it is an example of ADULTS NOT CARING!!! ADULTS see protecting children, their so-called most precious resource, as just too much trouble, too expensive, blah blah blah. THEY JUST DON'T CARE!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  4. George

    I had to change schools between 4th and 5th grade because the school I was at consistently blamed me for my being bullied. They tried to classify me as "emotionally disturbed" because I was always crying. Well, of course I was always crying, I WAS BEING BULLIED! And all the teachers did was say "that's not nice."

    Later on I did some research on bullying when I was in High School. It turns out that the only sure-fire way to reduce bullying at a school is through intervention. Teachers need to step up and stop things. Even more effective is peers stepping up and saying "stop it."

    You have every right to be angry that they didn't do much. Because that is basically standing aside and saying "it's OK to bully" and the cycle will continue. You weren't the first, and unless people step in EVERY TIME, you won't be the last either.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  5. Alexa

    Isn't this considered assault (or even stalking)? In many states, threatening to kill someone is assault. Battery is the physical attack. Assault can be verbal. Secondly, why not sue the families (of the bullies) for defamation of character? They're threatening actions have caused emotional distress. Look up your state laws. Get an attorney. They'll take a retainer but then take 1/3 of any judgment. Good luck. This is outrageous.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  6. AS

    I agree with another post that this is way more than a case of bullying- this was a death threat and should be treated as such. People don't make videos like that with no intent to act on it, or intent to do some kind of harm, physical or mental.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  7. les

    Oh yeah, does anybody see the halo over the little girls head? I would love to hear the other side of the story BECAUSE you know there is one. AND unless you've taught, you see this type of parent everyday, "My baby is good, everyone else is bad, I want my justice and I want it now, stop the world and take care of my baby!!"

    ps. check out the eye roll by the fallen angel, tell me she hasn't done that a time or two.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Mary

    Those girls who made the video and made it public online should be required to make a public apology to Piper and her family and post it online wherever they posted the video. They should also be mandated to read about bullying and mobbing and do community service in their school district about bullying and mobbing to educate others about this violence. Letting those girls off is enabling them and knowing they have not been punished (how were they disciplined?) will in all likelihood give them and others the message that it is OK to bully and threaten others and get away with it. This is the breeding ground for development of queen bees and girl-to-girl aggression that escalates into women to women violence in the workplace. Shame on that school district.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  9. Lee

    IF the police are not interested in pursuing this case, then take it to the District Attourney. You have a right to press charges, present the case to the Grand Jury, and terroristic threats are pretty serious charges. It doesn't matter if the cops don't take the threat seriously, it is the victim's perceived theat. If the kids did it on their parents computer, the parents are party to the crime.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  10. John B

    Sue the parents! Let their much lighter wallets be payment for thier extremely poor parenting! This is one time when everyone wins including the victim, the community and the school district. Even the kids that did this terrible thing win because they will learn the harsh lesson the parents were not willing to teach to them in the first place! Good luck!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  11. Jason

    Dude, grow up, this is the internet. I've made death threats over the internet as well as recieved them. If you're going to cripple under a childish shenanigan such as this, then you really shouldn't be on the internet anyway! I've ridiculed my friends in similar ways throughout Youtube, and they've all taken it well. There is a distinct line between cyberspace and reality, and this family obviously missed that.

    So here's to the family; I hope your next death threat video goes better!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  12. Scott

    90 days in jail and 6 months probation will teach these kids a lesson, but no lets not punish this behavior, the system fails yet again.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  13. Anon

    "Another case of a parent wanting to shift their responsibilities to someone else."
    -I don't know what this is supposed to mean but the victim's mother is well within her rights to want to see some actual justice and responsibility from law enforcement and the school board. Nobody should feel they are in danger when attending school each day and it is the school's responsibility to protect students while they are there, and law enforcement's responsibility to protect citizens the rest of the time.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  14. Madeleine

    "I’m sorry, but being mean is not against the law."

    Adam...your above quote is true...BUT...I believe that death threats ARE against the law. These were death threats against this girl and the perpetrators no matter their age, should be punished.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  15. SH

    This depends on the school district. My son was suspended for 5 days for writing a "gothic" poem – no one considered it a true threat, the school claims that the girl feared for her safety but she says she was more worried about my son (who is fine). Yet no amount of discussion reduced the rather harsh penalty – "This community will not tolerate this behavior," were the exact words from the superintendent.

    Turns out 100% of the pressure to punish came from the parents of the girl – no one who knows my son considered him or the poem to be a threat at all.

    I'm troubled by the double standards applied across the nation in such situations. Schools have great latitude legally – I'd look at the influence of the parents and impune the integrity of the administrators on those grounds to get proper action taken.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  16. Andrew

    When are we going to let our younger generations defend themselves? Beth, why is this such a big deal for you? They are 11. You are blowing everything out of proportion. This story is just ridiculous in itself. This is what teenagers do. Do you not remember when you were a teenager?

    May 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  17. Shawn

    You all are funny. "These kids should be punished by their parents" That is a good one.

    Have you talked to some of these parents. Most of these parents have IQ's of a dixie cup, and less sense. I seen a kid hitting other kids at a McDonalds play land, and a mother confronted the father about it..He said "He is to far gone, I cant controll him."

    May 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  18. juan

    those girls who made the video need some serious punishment...a small beating like parents used to do back in the can do whatever they want without punishment cause there laws that prevent any kind of hit/smack/ when in fact some of these kids need a hit/smack for punishment for the stupid things they i'm not saying beat them senseless but if they cant get a punishment from there parents then how are they going to learn?? it seems the only way for them to learn is going to jail...since parents cant really discipline their kids, then as those kids grow up they'll get disciplined in jail if they continue their idiotic behavior (note this applies only to the kids who act up, not everyone)

    May 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  19. jkvt

    What I can't believe from the comments on here is the fact that it was not just bullying. The video was 6 way to KILL. This is not just a case of "I hate you" or "You're ugly". This was a threat to kill the little girl. My god how can the parents of those girls, the police and the school system be so caviler. When the worst happens who pays then?

    May 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  20. M E

    I had to switch schools because of bullying. If I saw the lead bully on the street today I don't know that I would swerve to miss her.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  21. Amy J.

    I applaud this mother for being able to sit and calmly discuss this. I really think I would not be able to control my reaction if this happened to my daughter. How she didn't drive directly to these kid's houses and confront their parents is beyond me.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  22. Kimberly W....Maryland

    Hello Beth and Piper after reading your story I see two very brave people who took a proper stand to keep there family safe! Kids these days seem to get off on picking on other kids they feel are inferior to them. Not only do I feel anger towards your school district but where are the parents of these kids when the kids are sitting in front of the computer putting these video's and blogs together. Our computer still sits in our livingroom, where we could monitor how long and what our kids were doing! It taught them proper behavior on using the computer and not to get caught up in it. Maybe these parents need to get there noses out of the TV at night and pay more attention to there children, or did they have them for a tax right off? It never seems to amaze me how parents seem to so easy right off there kids once they get to a certain age. That is half the problem with families today! Stay strong ladies you are on a much higher level then those girls and there parents will ever be. And shame on the school district where you should feel safe to send your kids everyday!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  23. Adam

    You people are all a big bunch of whiners!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  24. Ron in Jacksonville Fl

    Just read some of the other comments. Wow, looks like there are a whole lot of BULLIES that can read these days. For those that don't get my drift, Yes that was meant as an insult, I'm referring to those of you that seem to think this is all " innocent, blown way out of proportion, just kids, stuck up family getting what they deserve Ext......"
    the mentality that you people have is big reason why children do these things, They learn it from you, the role models.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  25. ToleratingOthers

    I am so sick and tired of everyone living under the delusion that the school should be responsible for everything a child does. No where in this article did it say the girl was threatened at school. The video was not made at school. Bottom line: parents need to start being parents. The parents of the girls who made this video are responsible, not the school. As someone else mentioned, sue the families of the girls. Bullying comes from parents not teaching their chilren respect. If you teach your child to respect everyone and be nice to everyone and understand that some people may be different than others but that you should accept them and not make fun of them, etc, then the bullying might subside. Teachers can't monitor all children all the time to ensure that a kid isn't being bullied, but if kids were taught AT HOME not to bully others, they probably won't go to school and be bullies.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  26. Maurice

    Yeah, blame the parents. What a cop out. We like to say that because we don't want to point at the all pervasive violence and other negativity that these kids are obviously bombarded with everywhere they go. Why? Because we are entertained by all that crap too, if not somehow involved in the entertainment business ourselves somehow, making money off sowing the seeds of hate and violence into the minds of the youth. Now it would be against our own interests to say "Blame the media" or "Blame television" or anything like that. "Censorship?" oh, no that is soo unamerican. No, the parents are always convenient scapegoats. Wake up people! Do you expect parents to sow their childrens' eyes and ears shut? Maybe lock them up in a cage? They cannot control everything their kids
    see and hear – and YES, all of that does have meaning, and DOES
    register into the growing minds of the youth, and no matter what it is
    that the parents tell their children – kids WILL rebel at a certain stage,
    it is only natural. The content of their environment is going to be a
    MAJOR factor in how they are going to express this rebellion. So what
    have we, in America, decided to allow our children to be openly
    exposed to everywhere they go in public? I'm sure I don't need to elaborate on that – common sense should be enough to answer.
    And stop thinking the government is going to help. Our system is all
    about creating jobs and revenue – profit. Kids who have problems early in life most likely will have major problems as adults = lots of jobs for our so-called justice system + therapists, ERs, morticians, and easy prey for fear mongering media moguls and politicians. If it was my daughter, I'd have her take martial arts, and tell her to just kick the other girl's butt in front of whatever boy she thinks is the cutest, and have one of her friends film it. That seems like a much
    simpler and sure way to solve this kind of problem.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  27. Forest

    Something has gone wrong with the reasoning process here. These girls are not functioning properly and should be subjected to mandatory counseling along with the parents. After all their thinking process was learned.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  28. wrightstuff357

    Why should the school feel obligated to have jurisdiction over this matter if this "cyber-bullying" isn't being done on a school computer or on school property? Schools are learning institutions not police agencies. If a law has been broken let the cops or parents deal with it. As unfortunate as this might sound (especially to a kid that is experiencing this) it's not the schools problem. I mean after all who didn't get picked on in school as a kid. Deal with it.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  29. S.U.

    I was bullied for years and it took years to get my life together. I was also abused outside of school. I went from abused to abuser for a number of years. I became very desensitized to suffering; still am to a slight degree. I've been fighting since Columbine to speak out about the severe consequences of bullying, and to get the message to all people who are being bullied or have been: There is, and there never was, anything wrong with you. Bullies are cowards, weak, and need to be stood up to. Bullies may come across as cool to some, but the actions of a bully always extend outwards and can have horrible reactions. Stand tall, look your bully in the eyes, and tell him or her they are now looking at their worse nightmare, or just walk away. Who the hell cares what they have to say? Can you stand proud? Do you like yourself? Because if you do, it's totally irrelevant what anyone else thinks. Those who are bullied have to take a united stand or nothing will change. The abuse that I was responsible for, I'm asking my local authorities to let me voluntarily serve time to take the fullest personal responsibility that I can. Nobody would be none the wiser if I didn't institute this upon myself, but I feel it's the right thing to do. The problem with some of the crap you hear about on the news is that people either don't want to get involved, someone is obviously hurting but nobody even pretends to care, people have never learned how to handle stress, and then you have those who seem to thrive on bringing down others just for the fun of it. If your children are being bullied, I don't care how embarrassed they may feel, you get involved and stay involved. Enroll your kid in some kind of class or something, but work with them on their confidence and self esteem. You have to take the power away from the bully, and since I've been on both sides, I know that if I had been directly confronted, it would have made a difference. I was out of control; I wanted help; I wanted someone to ask me what was going on in my life. Right now, I'm trying to help someone who has been virtually ignored for years; whether it's too late to have a positive effect, I don't know yet.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  30. Concerned parent

    What the family of the bullied child should do, if the issue is not resolved, is sue the parents of the bullies for say 10 million dollars. Once these parents of the bullies are faced with the threat of losing equity, they will take the appropriate steps and fix their screwed up kids. Sadly in this country many parents don't take responsibility for their kid's actions unless it inconveniences them.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  31. mary

    I don't think what was done by the school or legal authorities was enough in our time. This video legally should be considered a death threat not schollhouse bullying. With the recent history of school house shootings I think the authorities here are more concerned about the "bullies'" rights than the victim's which is remarkable considering. This reaction is the result of all these "good" parents who believe their children are perfect and have never needed guidance much less discipline.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  32. S Callahan

    One thing is for sure...parenting has gone to a new level..not only do you need to keep your eyes and ears open, but also your comptuer.
    In a sense, computers have been a blesisng because the immorality of consciences can no longer be disguised...the truth is right there...good and bad. Now it's up to us, citizens, to make things right for all.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  33. Amy J.

    Their first phone call should have been to the police. This is sickening. Just because a bully is under 18 doesn't make them any less dangerous. It's sick that law enforcement and school disctricts are more worried about the rights of the bullies than protecting the victims. If we need another reason for home-schooling, just look at cases like this. This happens hundreds of times a day at schools but only a few cases are reported.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  34. Private

    My daughter was being bullied last year in school. I knew what the problem was. The bully's parents were getting divorces, the mom was in jail for drugs and the dad was more concerned with his career than his kids. My daughter is a pretty naive and made an easy target for this girl. After 2 months of this and my son getting detention for sticking up for his sister I went in and filed formal complaints and this girl and her cohorts. It took another 5-6 months but things are now much improved. Just don't give up.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  35. JerichoJenny

    Bullying isn't just name calling. It only starts that way. When I was in grade school in the 1960's, I was kicked, had my hair pulled, etc. Why did this happen? Because I was small, shy, and behaved myself in school. The school and the bullies' parents did nothing to make the bullies stop.

    The only time I got called to the principles office in grade school was for beating up a bully who attacked me and my brother on our way home from school. He and two of his friends (one was a teacher's son) attacked us from behind. He started the fight by kicking me behind the knee when I didn't even know he was there. This bully's mother wanted me punished for beating up her son after he attacked me.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  36. Robert

    Another case of a parent wanting to shift their responsibilities to someone else.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  37. anonymous

    And by the way, none of the boys' parents ever called to apologize for their sons' behavior, including the rape threat. And only one of the three boys ever apologized to me. Relying on the parents to stop it is a waste of time. They never believe that their child could have done something that bad.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  38. Bill

    There may be a remedy in civil court for such bullying, I suggest yyou look into bringing an action for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Since this is a tort action age is no barrier and if a judgement is returned in your favor that judgement will remain active for several years (20 in some jurisdictions). The cost to defend would, by itslf, be a strong deterrent

    The action would br brought in the name of the harmed child by his/her parent as "next friend"

    May 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  39. mike

    Let's not make cyber laws of any kind and just concentrate and kids interactions with each other. Seems to me the problem has nothing to do with what gets posted on the internet, the real problem is kids that don't have any respect for each other or any after thought about their actions. I could post nasty made up things about my coworkers (perfectly legal) but I would lose my job. Kids can put things on the internet if they choose (it's their right to do so) but you can be grounded and have your computer privileges taken away by the parent. Real responsibilty for one's own actions is whats needed, not more laws because a minority of people don't like something.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  40. Edwin

    I think "cyber bullying" is a joke. Parents need to be more active in the child's life so that they are capable of dealing with bullies in a constructive way and so that they have enough self esteem to not let it affect them.

    Parent step up and do the job you agreed to when you brought the child into this world.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  41. mom of bullied student

    Schools always error on the side of caution – and allow your son or your daughter to be perpetually caught in the turmoil of abuse - they do not do enough to stop the abuse of bullies. Does it really take someone getting seriously hurt before parents and authorities and schools step up?? What are the parents of these girls thinking??

    Along with what Tom said - how bout a protection order?? Make the school protect your child - explore alternate ways of keeping her protected from the trash that thinks they can get away with this.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  42. Paula

    I agree that it is absolutely the parents job to instill values in their children and send them out into the word. However, having parents face jail time because their kids are "mean" is rediculous and a waste of taxpayers money. This whole society is getting more and more "protective" of not stepping on anyones toes and the freedom of speech is a joke at this point. How is a child supposed to develop as a person and learn about real life? I have been a victim of bullying a number of times when I was in middle school and I dealt with it and turned out just fine. I never involved my parents into this as I felt like it was my personal problem to deal with.
    In fact, I think I was better equiped to deal with different people in college and in the workplace because of my experiences.
    When I have a child, you bet I will instill the values of respect and never bullying or intimidating other kids. But I will also teach them to stand up for themselves in case someone tries to start up with them. As parents, how about raising respectful, strong children who can stand up for themselves and not blame everyone for their problems.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  43. mike

    Good comments and practices on "bullying," Sharron!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  44. David

    I agree that the video could be considered "making ter*****tic threats",
    and should probably land the makers in juvie, or some serious community service.

    I also agree that it's not the schools' business to play law enforcement for activities off campus.

    Seems the main recourse would be to file a police report, send the victim to karate, etc.

    Interesting, in our state lethal force is permitted against lethal force that a "reasonable" person would believe is going to be used.
    So, if the victim reasonably believed that her life were in danger, and used some of the much more advanced martial arts moves,
    it would make for an extremely interesting court case.
    Just remember : "I was in fear of my life. I want to talk to my attorney."

    May 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  45. s. barker

    my son was bullied all through 6th, 7th and 8th grade by the same group of kids. when one of them tried to push him over the top railing of a stadium we filed a police report. the result? the court "recommended" mediation between the parties. the bully parents (who by the way, also participated in bullying not only my son, but my daughters and myself) refused to attend mediation. the police said they could do nothing and the school pretended nothing was going on.

    eventually, all three of the bullies ended up in a detention center after they viciously beat another kid. go figure.

    eventually, my son walked into school in the fall of 9th grade after having grown 6 inches and gained 25 pounds over the summer. the kid who never backed down from the bullies was now the kid who could give back whatever they dished out. they only tried it once. and guess what – he was suspended from school for fighting back.

    nearly 10 years later, the thought of what my son went through still makes me sick.

    the only bright spot is that he won – in his mind, he won. he went to school every day with his head up and refused to let them win – and now, if they see him in a public place, they slink away. to this day, he never gives up on anything, and he never stands by if he sees someone else being bullied.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  46. Jonathan

    We have to have some common sense. The kids should be sued for violation of civil rights. The case should be taken by the county or by the ACLU. The victim has suffered enough....society has to step in and intervene. The parents should be held responsible for their children's behavior. Perhaps, if the parents lost their house and car, they would be more vigilant, and that would set an example for other parents, who are recklessly ignorant. As a parent, I can't know everything my kid does, but I do believe we can react appropriately.

    The schools are out of control. They are more interested in the protection of their reputations then the protection of students. This starts at the school board level. If the school, the principal, and the school board were liable for the safety of students, I think things would be much different. In a way, they are. Most school boards are elected, and we can refuse to re-elect the incumbents.

    In the end, this issue is on us, the adults. There are actions we can take. We don't, because we are too busy or feel helpless. All of us can make changes, and we ought to.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  47. kim

    Andrea, i could agree with you more!
    "This case is three weeks old" So what.
    " All parents were in agreement with the way the girls were disciplined"
    Not the most important parent, Beth Smith
    "The case was not a prosecutorial case because the girls were 11 years old." So, tell them they are darn lucky they weren't 12 because if they were you'd throw their butts in jail.
    "We do not believe there was a real threat' Hmmmm. I guess that part is true, Piper would have to be actually dead before anything would be done.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  48. Debi

    I think there should be charges against the girl creating the video.... threatening murder is illegal.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  49. Sharron

    i am a 4th grade teacher in Tennessee. I deal with bullying at the begining of the year. For about the first month until my class through discipline decides that it is not worth it. If one inccident occurs, it dosn't matter who it is. The whole class is punished, because bullying effects everyone even if it was not you who was bullied. It intimidates you even if it wasn't you that was bullied. Then there is the gossup about it and the gossup just fans the flames of bullies. it is what they want. Bullies are not getting enough attention or feel like they have friends or people that like them. So the bully people into being their friend. This is just not something I let occur in my classroom. We all have respect for one another. I have respect for my students and talk to them with respect and they talk to me with respect.

    Also I have a very good program that i teach in my class that teaches why bullying is bad. It also covers alot of different social situations. It has a story and discussion questions after wards and then a skit to act out showing how these situations might feel. None of the students want to play the bad guy so i end up playing the bad guy most of the time. My students end up wanting to play the friends that stand up to the bully, in a nonconfrontational way. They realy enjoy the skits.

    Also. I encourage team building skills with positive reinforcement. When i see the children working and playing together peacefully I allow them extra time outside or freetime in the classroom.

    All I am trying to say is that if you do not teach children why it is bad to bully then they will not know that it is bad. Especially if it is happening to them at home.

    Also, 1 hour a week at the guidance counselor's is not enough time to teach all the social lessons needed to be a well rounded individual.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  50. Kelly

    I think something needs to be done. I have been cyber bullied for a year now from my ex husband's wife even taking it so far to use my 7 yr old as a pawn.

    Spoke to the Sheriff's department and they said UNLESS they physically hurt you then there isn't anything they can do. What she said about my child they were looking into it. That was 9 months ago.

    There need to be strickter laws for this. This is just as bad as Physical and Mental abuse WHICH is a crime.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  51. Tim

    School sure isn't what it used to be. Kids settled their differences on the school yard. Now that the liberal parents are all involved, we've come to this. This is a direct result of the babying and coddling and no coporal punishment you people created over the years. So deal with it. See what you created? Not so fun is it...

    May 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  52. Rob

    When I was in school kids got beat up in the playgrounds. They got their bikes stolen, you know, REAL bullying.

    This is nothing more than a youtube prank. Its very clear the that this family is stuck up and is blowing this way out of proportion.

    I think this is the same lady who tried to get a 911 dispatcher fired for making a joke about how she couldnt control her own kids. People looking for attention. Nothing else.

    BREAKING NEWS: My nephew got called a booger face at school. Film at 11.

    Kids can be cruel. Welcome to Earth.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  53. Dana K.

    It seems to me that there is more bullying in schools today than in years past. As a child in grade school, I witnessed my share of bullying, but most of the time, expulsion seemed to work. In this day and age, and the technology that is available to kids, parents are not always aware of what they're up to. The speed in which they can contact each other is amazing, and short of taking these electronic devices away from them, there's little that we as parents can do. In this instance though, the parents of these girls should be taken to task, and the girls themselves made to go through counseling. Unless they're already "gone in the head", nothing works quicker on a kid than taking their communcation abilities away from them and putting them on notice that this type of behavior is unaccepable. Kids this age are exposed to so much violence, they've been de-sensitized to it. Not only is violence prevalent in movies and TV, but just about every day you hear of "children" picking up weapons and either killing themselves, their parents, or other kids. The number of school shootings in the past 10 years is testament to that. Unfortunately, the legal system seems to be more sympathetic to the perps. I also agree that Beth and Piper should keep this story in the media for as long as they can. Nobody wants bad press, especially the police and the schools. If all else fails, home schooling is an option. Pretty soon there won't be schools, and we'll all save tax money!!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  54. casey

    another suggestion. SCHOOLS NEED TO IMPLEMENT BULLYING LAWS!!!. IF a kid bullies another kid, and there is proof (like in this case) the kids need to be suspended or expelled. Thats what they would do for physical assault, mental assault should be the same.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  55. Barbara

    schools and administrators really need to look a cyber bullying. it is bullying even if you don't see it. kids are scared of going to school. i wasn't bullied as a kid, but people did make remarks about me. it is cruel and mean.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  56. Ron in Jacksonville Fl

    I have a son who was threatened by another teenager on my space. I printed out the threats and went to the school resource officer at his school. He confronted the teenager and advised him I was ready to file charges on him with the state and that if it happened again, or if he or any of his friends said or did anything to my son I would. My son was never bothered by anyone again. We as parents have to let the administrators of the schools know that we will not tolerate our children being subjected to bullying of any kind and that they the ADULTS will be held responsible for anything bad that happens when our children are in their care and they choose to turn a deaf ear to the complaint or tell the child they can't do anything because they didn't wittness the incident. I think the main problem is that the adults in these cases always want to use the excuse that they are just kids being kids. Well I say that we see a whole lot of news stories about children killing other children and WE have to be responsible adults and teach our kids that these kind of things aren't kid games Even if THEY are just kids being kids.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  57. Hibsh

    The facts are missing from this article. The article isn't news and it doesn't help the issue. It is simply CNN helping this Mom provide negative publicity to the police, school and families involved. Enjoy the 15 minutes. What more does Beth want done? It sounds like the school possibly expelled or suspended the kids. It sounds like the kids parents of the offenders addressed it with them and even made them call and apologize. It sounds like the police diligently talked with the school and possibly the offenders and determined it was out of their jurisdiction. I don't really know because this purely sensational article does not provide a single fact other than Beth is really pissed off.

    The article reads like a horror story for this family and probably it was, but I find it suspicious and disturbing, and very poor news reporting at a minimum, that no facts have been reported and "the other sides" stance is not represented. 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. All of you people commenting here about throwing these 11 year old grils that did something really stupid, or their, clearly horrible parents as you immaturely assume, in jail, which is just ridiculous, have no idea what you are commenting on because CNN does not have news reporters anymore, just this crap.

    If CNN and Beth want to help or want other people to help, then make sure all of the facts get out , make an effort to allow the offenders to be heard, and help start a useful and realistic discussion about what can be done from a prevention and punishment standpoint. Otherwise this just comes off as CNN helping Beth get revenge because it might make good ratings.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  58. Beth Baergan

    Take a look at the crap these preteens are watching on TV – shows that are full of self centred attitudes, sass and 'in your face' behaviour. Add the computer and video games that promote the same things and voila – nasty kids. There has always been the cliquey we're special and you're not so we can humiliate you mentality with kids in school, but it seems a lot more vicious these days. Perhaps it is time for schools where all kids are in uniform (so no one stands out as more or less "cool"), and where they refer to teachers with Sir or Ma'am.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  59. Marla Wickham

    1 word..lawsuit

    May 27, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  60. susan kelly

    Chetry is obviously a very beautiful young lady both inside and out, and beautiful girls just like her are very often the main target of these "gangs" of girls and boys who have no self-esteme.

    I find it very pathertic, but sadly, I am not at all suprised.

    There is little one can do in these situations, except perhaps sue civily; and, too often, the parents of these snipes are so consumed with their own insecurities, they are unable to accept their fault in it.

    I hope Beth knows she is not alone in her fight on this issue!!!!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  61. Ted

    A lot of us kids where bullied in school and we managed to make it through and turn out to be reasonable adults. This is what kids do. Get over it.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  62. David Axlerod

    "Thats a convient answer, blame the parents. Everyone likes to fall back on that.

    The only problem is thats probably not the case. More and more I am seeing kids out of control not because of the parents but because of outside influences the parents can not control."


    May 27, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  63. Ashley

    I also agree with everyone who says that it is NOT the schools problem!!!! This did not occur at school and SCHOOL NEEDS TO STAY AT SCHOOL! This actually made me very angry! I still can't believe that this made it to CNN! There are so many other REAL problems that we need to worry about other than some little girls cat fight with some other girls at school!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  64. Jim

    Really very simple. It does not matter if the parents were good or bad parents. Or whether they knew what their child was or was not doing.
    Sure you can blame the bullies, who are indeed children. But you can also blame Bill Gates like some blame gun manufacturers. Ridiculous.

    The parents are responsible for the children. They were suppossed to raise them properly to fit into society, not harm it. Bottom line, hit the parents where it will get their attention. If they are well off, hit their pocket books until it hurts. If they are not well off and proud, a couple of 100 hours doing community service with the orange suit on along the road works,. If they don't care about their child, take the child away because it's only going to get worse. Let's stop making excuses for the offenders and their parents. Life is tough enough but it's tougher if you're stupid!


    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  65. Imran

    When I in school, there was this girl who was constantly bullied by a group of boys. She ended up in therapy. What is strange is no one stood up for her, as a student I wanted to say something but couldn't. But more importantly, the teacher wouldn't say anything! Not only should the bullies be prosecuted, but the teacher should be held responsible for not protecting our kids. There needs to be a process put in place to handle bullying, specially when it is happening in front of you as students and teachers.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  66. casey

    The problem with this girls statments are this. THEY ARE GOING AFTER THE SCHOOL WHICH HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CASE. I am so sick of parents blaming schools. Instead of taking legal action against the school (which cannot control what kids do outside of school) TAKE IT TO THEIR PARENTS. SUE THEM, not the school. I guarantee if it becomes a nuisance to the parents, those kids are going to be disciplined a lot harder. Unless this was made, and uploaded at school, I dont think they have any right to go after the school district. Sure, they are classmates, but people have to start taking action against the people doing this, not the schools.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  67. Uttam

    Krista Carlson, Bethel School District,

    Schools supposed to have ZERO tolerance about bulling. If you did
    this should not have happened. Even if you did (on paper) you never
    implemented it.


    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  68. mike

    The world is not Disneyland. Unfortunately, some of us must come to that realization before others.–sorry, Piper... What they did was unfair & cruel–but typical of little girls lacking sufficient role models. Their parents should be severely ashamed! Until children are 18, parents are RESPONSIBLE for the consequences of their childrens' actions.

    Empathy is apparently being bred out of humans. The offenders' parents don't have it, and subsequently, their little spawn lack it as well.

    A just punishment would be: To have the offending girls post another video to the internet Identifying themselves, admitting each to her role in the hazing video, and apologizing sincerely for the harm they have caused Piper. They should close the apology video with the statement, "We are sorry that we lack the empathy to understand the consequences of our actions, but we promise to act like good human beings in the future."

    Wouldn't that be nice...

    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  69. Kathy

    Please slap all those families with a lawsuit. It is the only way anyone will pay attention. You have to protect your daughter and it is obvious nobody will do that unless they are forced. They threatened your daughter's life and that is a major problem. It is not like they called her names or something. It is much bigger than that with kids these days. It makes me so angry so I can imagine what it does to you as a parent.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  70. Mark

    I think it's a shame to see this family in the position it is. What once was a beautiful, interesting, funny and amazing show which produced good memories of a growing family, has now resorted to a media-frenzy over the alleged infidelity of the two parents. Sadly, there can be no winners in this and even worse, the losers are those children. Kate needs help and Jon you can only do so much - but I respect you immensly for what you are being put through. The kids need you, hang in there buddy.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  71. TamarS

    The school should have the children involved attend required counseling sessions – individually and together. The kids got the idea that such behavior is permissible from their parents who, it sounds like, tried to minimize the effect and potential danger in that video/slide show.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  72. Ken

    I cannot believe how many have posted here with words to the effect that "no law was broken...". I hate to bring realism into the equation but making threats against another person, particularly death threats, is not only a crime, but it is a rather serious crime. Obviously, as juveniles, they are not subject to the same punishment that an adult, but they absolutely need to be charged, tried and adjudicated in the juvenile court system. Their record will NOT follow them into adulthood, but it will allow them to be punished, and, more importantly, allow authorities to monitor these individuals more closely and make sure this situation does not repeat itself or, even worse, begin to escalate. Assuming the children who committed this crime (and again, I must emphasize in the strongest possible terms that THIS IS A CRIME!) learn from their mistake and do the right things going forward, this little incident will disappear from their records at 18 and will not "ruin their lives" in any way. On the other hand, if these little brats intend to continue on their self-destructive path, maybe a few years in a juvenile facility will scare them and their parents straight.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  73. Bonnie

    My daughter is only 9 years old and in 3rd grade. She has been bullied by 2 girls her own age and 1 girl older. I contacted the school, not once have the parents contacted me in any way to say they are sorry.
    You go after them for all the other little girls that have been bullied. I will help in anyway I can. I have saved this for my daughter to read, she isn't the only one that this has happened to.
    I feel that the children and parents are both resp. Both should be punished. The parents for teaching them that it is okay to bully and the children for doing it.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  74. Rob

    Its called being bullied. It happens to a lot of kids. It's been happening for hundreds of years in schools.

    Lets all run to the news everytime our kid gets picked on in school. That wont backfire and lead to even more harassment...

    May 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  75. Dawn Green

    Why is this not considered communicating threats??? If my son, at school, threatens another child he is instantly suspended, so why does it matter where the threat took place? We live in small town NC but my kids schools have in school police and metal detectors. My oldest got in trouble for carrying a fingernail fileto school but these girls can threaten someone's life and get away with it? Something is wrong with that picture.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  76. Brian

    I know how to take care of the situation. If I was the father of the little girl I would just go beat the S H I T out of the other fathers for raising retarded children. AND YES it is the parents fault if they would quit smoking dope and watching OPRAH all day and instill discipline in their children this C R A P would not happen!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  77. Andrea

    Beth and Piper, I wish you the best ... this is a horrible situation in which to deal with.

    The article talks about Beth, taking it first to the parents of these children... but the parents were too busy to take the time and learn what kind of monster is living in their home! And it was a natural reaction to take it to the school, as this is where the children interact, and if I saw a video that was called "6 ways to kill Piper", I'd be afraid of what COULD happen at the school. It would be necessary to inform them of this.

    The Sherrifs dept is the one that should really be embarrassed about this publicity... they are the ones that definitely dropped the ball on this whole situation. Any threat – whether it was from an 11 year old girl, or a 32 year old man, should be taken seriously. Maybe not prosecuted, but this should be looked into. My initial response would have been to send an officer to the home, and have a chat with the parents, and child – explaining the seriousness of the situtation. SCARE the hatred out of them! This may have been a one time stupid trick, but they need to know that this kind of attitude won't be accepted in our society!
    There's bullying at all school's but there's a point where it becomes extremely harmful, and threatening the life of a child is beyond that point! I hope this exposure will help others in the same situation

    May 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  78. Ashley

    This is insane! Children have been picked on in school for hundreds of years. Parents need to stay out of their children's affairs. The girls who made this video did not physically attack Piper. She needs to suck it up just like everyone else had to. It will not be the last time that someone makes fun of her. I was a little girl once! We are mean, we stab each other in the back, we talk behind friends backs. Its part of being a little girl! I can't even believe that this made it to CNN!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  79. Kathy


    Change the scenario to adults and try to keep the same mindset. You would be punished whether by a harrassment lawsuit or by law enforcement. It IS harrassment – just because it's kids, doesn't make it right.

    "Meanness" like this should have some ramifications from law enforcement if necessary. Especially if the school won't do anything.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  80. Marc

    Jeff it is the parents fault, even if the kids are being influenced by other kids. It is up to parents to make sure that their kids aren't weak enough to succumb to social pressures from other kids. Parents get away with blaming the influences of other kids for why their kids decided to become a part of bullying. If you raised your kids right from the beginning then they would never want to become a part of something that was meant to only hurt someone else and make yourself and your friends feel better. You better believe if i had been a part of such bullying and my parents found out there would have been long term consequences. But, my parents raised me right from the beginning, so I would never feel the need to boost my own feeling of adequacy by acting out in such an evil fashion.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  81. Tom

    1. lodge a complaint with the hosting site, was it myspace? And have it flagged as inappropriate content. Do what you can to get the user accounts locked.
    2. I have to feel for the little girl. Her mother has blown this way-up, and now this poor girl will have to put up with the harassment for the rest of her time in school. Mom, shut up!
    3. This appears to be (however weak) a possible threat to murder. Bring that up to the state attny. general. If you get nowhere, then go to the papers.
    4. Don't waste your time on the kids parents. They're obviously not going to discipline their little brats. Perhaps some good legal "threats" would put the fear in the parents.
    5. Finally, complain to the ISP that hosts the girls accounts and get their internet access pulled because of threats.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  82. Munson

    I can see why this grl gor bullied, with a mother like that the girl clearly has issues. Totally handling this situation all wrond by going to the media. The girl is like 11, no kid is going to want to be friends with a taddle tale and her psycho mom.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  83. Cindy

    If this were an adult making a video like that they would be charged with Conspiricy to commit murder which is exactly what it is. All these parents and kids that are not being confronted or punished for this must have something juicy on the school officals and law enforcement communtiy.
    Vee, so harm comes to a child on school property after a know death treat was made and the school did nothing to protect the threatened child. Is that still not the schools problem and responsibility. DUH!!!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  84. RDS

    Document everything you that you send to the school or teachers and copy the district. Use hard copies (paper) and emails, leave as much of a paper trail as possible. That will get the notice of school and the district to react because then they will know of their potential iiability.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  85. E.B.

    Yes... these kids making this video is horrible and I would hate for my younger brother and sister to fall victim of anything like this. BUT... this is not on the same level as the kids who have been beaten by their classmates on video. Maybe the sheriff and detective don't care because they have more important juvenile cases to deal with like child abuse, rape, kidnapping, and murder.

    Your kid was bullied via video... be thankful that was all!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  86. maria

    I also think it might be a good idea to start some organization that helps with stopping this bulling throuhout the country. We have Mad(Moms against Drunk drivers). Parents who have children that are victims need to unite and meet and brainstorm someway to stop this. The bigger the group the better. The school needs to be brought in as well and held constantky accountable for what they are suoppose to provide. Maybe there should be a rehab for bullies where they get intensive treatment for their neurological sickness. The school psycho;ogist should follow up with these kids and the parents at least once a month to make sure their attitude has changed. The schools should tell their students to report any act of bullying they see anonymously. then an investigation will occur and the bully will be kept under a microscope. If these bullies want attention lets give it to them. Make the bully feel they will get attention but the type they will hate when they get labeled bully

    May 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  87. K

    Where are the parents of the girls who did this... make them face the reality of what type of child they are raising. I truly feel that this world have become to easy for these kids with the technology we have today. They have too much freedom and parents are not watching exactly what their children are doing. Get rid of the their computers and cell phones and ipods. Teach them the correct lessons and make them actually work for the privledges to use these items.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  88. majique

    I think a civil suit against the families would be in order, and the
    children involved would pay and pay through each proceeding by
    seeing their parents suffer the consequences of their actions.
    I'm serious. It's doable. Go for it. If there ever was a case, this
    would surely be one, in my humble opinion.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  89. Bob

    Don't be such a pansy. Free speech is WAY more important than your feelings. Find some new friends. Maybe your mom shouldn't have named you Piper.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  90. steve, Moorpark, CA

    SUE 'em! Nothing a like a civil lawsuit to bring these miscreants and their parents into the public's eye. A few hundred thou should get their attention.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  91. marcus

    We here a lot in the media about shootings going on in schools. most of the time their are clear signs that are not identified that could have saved those kids lives. This video is a threat. It clearly illustrates killing in many ways. if this isn't a sign then we are in trouble. Those kids should be treated like any kid bringing a weapon to school. If they are not when will they after someone is dead and they look back at this video.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  92. Eric

    I have a wonderful solution. Allow Piper to beat the heck out of those kids without repurcussion. The school district should look the other way as Piper and her friends show these kids why bullying is wrong. I'm teaching my son to punch any kid that makes fun of him after the third time. First time tell a teacher, second time tell a parent, third time tell a principal. After that he is free to beat up whomever it is and I will not punish him. In fact I plan on taking him to whatever his favorite place is for dinner for successfully sticking up for himself when no could or would do anything to stop this behaviour.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  93. Ranah

    Why are they demanding that the school district take action? Was this video made at school? Was it posted online at school? Was it made using school video equipment? The PARENTS of the other children are responsible for taking action. The school is responsible for educating children on topics like reading, writing and arithmetic. Putting schools in charge of every aspect of a child's life and upbringing is undermining their efforts to educate. No wonder are children are illiterate.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  94. Corey

    I have worked in high schools, and currently work in higher education at a major teaching university in New York state. I come into direct contact with future teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators, on a daily basis. Most (not all) teachers go into education because of long summer vacations, and because schools are all they know. They went to elementary, middle school, high school, college and now right back into them again as a teacher. Unfortunately schools are filled with teachers who never had the imagination or wherewithal to do anything, let alone tackle difficult situations like this story.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  95. Tina

    I am a teacher at a high school and I can say that I see my share of bullying. However, unless it is done on school grounds or during a school function, it is not the schools or the teachers fault. The only thing they can do is monitor the situation and make sure thr girls are not in the same classes. Even that is more than a school has to do. Stop putting computers in childrens bedrooms. Start doing family activites so that time is spend doing something that is constructive and positive. The responsibility is on the parents not the school. Go ahead and sue the just means that your taxes will go up next year for the lawyer fees.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  96. Jim

    Of course the Cops don't see this as bullying! The Cops were all bullies in high school themselves and spent all their time bullying and being cool. So they couldn't get a decent job (no education) so now their cops. And cops have lots of fun bullying everyone, what a job!

    May 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  97. wendy

    OMG Beth and Piper, my support is here for you both...I am in spanaway as well, have a 16yr old, dread that my 4yr old still has yet to experience the glory of school day taunts etc...tell your Piper to keep her head up and do her best to show how strong she can revenge is to show that her life will indeed go on and she will be a valuable member to society, we know the other girls have more of a challenge in that department..if they are doing these things at this young age...well, the road is laid out to what type of friends they are...hopefully thier other friends are reconsidering who they hang out with.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  98. Al

    Freedom of speech is paramount. Your daughter is in no more danger than she was the day before the video was made.

    Congragulations on getting your dramatic over-reaction publicized. I have a feeling it may bring more heat down on your daughter.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  99. John

    I'm guessing that some of the commeters haven't read the story. These kids made a video about how to KILL her. This is a lot more than being mean, this is scary.
    Perhaps these same commenters suggest we ignore the next video on YouTube made by some angry teen that says he's going to kill his classmates.
    That "head in the sand" approach would certainly not have spared untold number of lives at a school Britain last month (police were called and kid was stopped just outside the school with machetes and gas can.), or a couple of months ago in Florida.
    Hey, maybe we should just all pretend that terrorists are just mean people and their threats are harmless

    May 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  100. mt

    Children have become much crueler than 20 years ago – and the parents are to blame. Adolescence is hard enough – add the internet and the gang mentality – it' s beyond cruel. It is not about sucking it up and fighting back because more Columbines will happen. Of course maybe that's what needs to happen so school officials and parents address the real issues instead of creating numerous rules.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
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