Bullied girl alone no more

She finds comfort in letters from hundreds of strangers, a campaign begun by Mill Valley sisters

Ilene Lelchuk:

Sitting in her living room amid stacks of handwritten letters from all over the nation and the world, 14-year-old Olivia Gardner of Novato said she no longer feels alone.
A victim of extreme bullying that spanned two years and three schools, Olivia said she has been pulled from the depths of depression by a letter-writing campaign started by two sisters at Tamalpais High in Marin County after they read in The Chronicle in March about Olivia’s ordeal.
At least 1,000 strangers have sent her letters and e-mails of support, and there’s talk of a book deal, Web sites and letter campaigns for other children who are bullied, and the three girls have received countless interview requests.
Whether Olivia likes it or not, she helped bring attention to the widespread and tenacious problem of bullying in school hallways, on cell phones and in cyberspace.

3 thoughts on “Bullied girl alone no more”

  1. this is so awesome to see. kids these days are horrible! no one deserves to be treated like dirt! and total kudos to the girls that started the letter writting campaign. you were def raised right!

  2. I can’t remember if they mention Odd Girl Out in the article, but it is an excellent book on Girls who bully and are bullied and how it differs from male bullying, the impact and the emotional issues the bullying causes. It also focuses on the fact that many parents and educators, when the issue of their daughter being bullied, respond with “Oh, that’s just girl’s these days” which suggests that our culture reinforces the behavior! This was my daughters life in 4th and 5th grade! It’s very painful and hard to get a handle on-most teachers don’t have time to deal with it and ignore it!

  3. An even more complicating development is happening in the MMSD. A trend towards multi-aged classrooms couples 4th and 5th graders at a time when neither age group is able to cope with bullying issues. We’ve had the pleasure of dealing with these issues this past year. 5th grade girls, threatened by brighter 4th grade girls, can get really nasty…and 4th graders haven’t figured out how to stick together in the face of 5th grader pressure. You are correct Elizabeth, for even the best teachers just don’t have the time to deal with these issues- so the social worker had better be a good one!

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