• Teen bystander punished for defending bullying victim

    Date: 06.15.12 | by Judge Tom.

    Stormy Rich is a 18-year-old senior at Umatilla High School in Florida. Because of her school work and credits earned, she doesn’t have a first-period class. Stormy takes a middle school bus later in the morning to her high school.

    She noticed a special needs girl on the bus who was regularly picked on by other girls. The girl was told where to sit and was force-fed food that Stormy told her to spit out. Stormy told the bus driver and then school officials. “Just because she doesn’t understand doesn’t mean that should be happening to her,” Stormy stated. Reportedly nothing was done. However, the school banned Stormy from riding the bus!

    “[The district official] said what I did made me the bully, with me telling the kids that if they didn’t stop, and if the school didn’t do anything, that I would have to handle it.”

    Stormy Rich

    Stormy graduated the following week with a 3.67 GPA and was awarded scholarships. She strives to continue to help others and plans to start nursing studies at Daytona State College. Stormy unquestionably did the right thing and we commend her attempts to stand up to bullying. The school owes her an apology for their mishandling of this matter.

    Irony: A sign posted at the front of the school reads: ” “Caution: This campus is 100 percent against bullying. Speak out.”

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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