23 answers

Freshman Girls Being Bullied in the HS Gym Shower

My twin high school freshman daughters have been having a problem with the same girls since 7th grade. One girl who is also their grade runs and dumps her gym bag by the shower to "hold her spot" as next in line so she can shower early even though she walks away. Then if my daughters are ready and try to get in the shower, this girl verbally bullies them and won't let them in the shower. Now that they are in HS, the same girls who are 1 year older (and were a problem in 7th/8th grade) are at it again too but now are sophomores.

My girls have tried to be nice and not cause a scene or fight. In middle school my girls discussed it with the coach and it helped for a while, but there is no adult supervision in the showers so it continued. My girls just used wipes most of the year. Now that they are in HS, we don't think that is acceptable. We have encouraged them to hold their ground and tell these girls they aren't waiting for them. It just seems like it will escalate among the girls.

What are you suggestions for my girls. Is it just older kids being mean to younger ones and should be expected and accepted?

Desired Outcome: I want them to advocate for themselves and don't want to get involved with the school myself at this point (they need to self-advocate first), but having not experienced anything like this myself, I don't even know where to begin on how to mentor them to a positive outcome on this. I would like guide the girls to nip this in the bud with class and finality.

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

No, they should not have to put up with this. It is not appropriate for anyone to harass anyone.

They need to speak with the Coach or PE teacher about this.

6 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry they are going thru this.. But they need to speak up for themselves and tell their coach or the pricipals.. It's not going to stop, and schools now take bullying very seriously.. I know its hard for them to get them in trouble and then be considered Tataltales (sp?) but they have to. I promise you if administration heard about this somehting will be done immediately and they can continue to enjoy their high school years with no bulling.. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Tell your daughters to go to the office and tell the principal staff.
Also, you should call or go down their yourself because bullying has turned into an epidemic and if you've heard any stories on the news: they can get truly scary/ugly/out of hand.
Don't let your daughters fight this battle alone please.
I understand what you mean about wanting them to do things for themselves but again when it comes to bullying don't take any chances!
Keep them safe.

6 moms found this helpful

No, they should not have to put up with this. It is not appropriate for anyone to harass anyone.

They need to speak with the Coach or PE teacher about this.

6 moms found this helpful

Sometimes being nice is not the answer.

Oh my, yes I said it. These girls are taking of the shower and they EXPECT your girls to back down. I don't know how the showers are set up, but i would tell them just to walk in, snag a shower head and if the other girl says anything, ignore them. Highschool girls are cruel, and sometimes a girl's gotta be a little b****y to deal with them.

It is good practice for later on, your girls are going to have these types all through life, and you can't always back down, or you'll get walked all over!

And no, unless something really happens, don't go to the school. As soon as they get involved, the parents will be brought in, the bullies will get even more "ammunition" against your daughters (tattletales), and even if they post a watchdog teacher in the lockeroom to stop the problem, those bullies will probably find new places and ways to "punish" your daughters even worse. BUT they may not pick on them if they know your girls can stand up to them.

Of course- if anything violent happens, or there are physical threats or whatnot, then you must inform the school, because that is beyond "bullying".

-M.

5 moms found this helpful

They should get in the shower, if there's nobody in it. I doubt the bullies would say anything - most of their schtick is that they expect everyone to do as they say, but most of these people don't have much to back it up! And if there IS a problem, your girls should go to the coach together, and let the coach handle it. I bet the bullies would back off pretty quickly at that point because no coach would rule on the side of the bully - AND most schools have zero tolerance for it anyway.

5 moms found this helpful

Um, if there is NO ONE IN THE SHOWER WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER IS READY FOR A SHOWER, then she should just GET IN THE SHOWER, regardless of whose stuff might get wet. First come first serve, I'd say. Being a 'nice girl' and being a door mat are not the same thing.

At 15, there is as much supervised as unsupervised time, as it should be. Bringing this to administration will make it worse for your girls

If there is confrontation, your girls can say, I'm sorry, there was no one in the shower so I got in. Even a gym teacher cannot argue with this rational.

:)

Although I should say, that any threat of violence needs to be taken seriously and reported. And why is there not enough showers for everyone? And why is the gym teacher not in the locker room moving the process along?

4 moms found this helpful

At high school I think this will always be a problem I remember high school and there were clicks against clicks... that's just the ripple in high school. Now, as for your daughters they need to stand up for themselves. I'm sorry but in high school when a girl or group verbally abuses her she needs to lash back. That was the dynamic in our high school, somebody would diss you but if you can diss back they leave you alone. I stood up for both my best friends a time or two, especially when this girl just wouldn't leave one of my best friends alone, she got the picture that I wasn't messing around and left my bf alone (this was before she came out of her shell herself lol). If the girl really doesn't like her then she needs to stand her ground. She shouldn't even have the opportunity to grab her gym bag. I have different opinions about physically fighting so I'll try not to say much except that they should know how to physically fight b/c high school girl groups can get catty. If the group knows these girls (your daughters) won't be toyed with then they will leave them alone, if they don't there is something more serious (the type of bullying that ends up on the news) that you need to be involved in.

4 moms found this helpful

This brings back so many bad memories of middle school! I was the target and the showers after P.E. were a nightmare for me. The popular cheerleader and her little group of wanna be's following her around like puppies relaying messages from her. Aah!! Some things never change.
What helped me was becoming friends with a very tall, very tough girl who stepped in for me. My bodyguard!! :) (I need to look her up on facebook!!) Being kind doesn't work. If they throw the other girls stuff aside it could make things work. They need to talk to the coach, explain what is going on and ask if it would be possible to have assigned showers. I think you are very wise to let them handle this. Of course, report any threats or physical stuff.

3 moms found this helpful

I would tell them to tell the girls to move out of the way and to leave them alone.
If the girls continued to verbally attack them tell your twins to tell them to shut up.
If that doesn't work tell them to continue to shower, turn their backs on the bullies and ignore them.

I am willing to bet the bullies will back down, but if they don't, the next thing they will do is try to touch one or both of the twins or their belongings.

That would actually be a good thing.
In most schools, unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about words. But, if the bullies were to touch your girls or their stuff, the twins could then take it to the principal or even the police, depending on what they did.
Plus if the bullies hit my kid, I will tell my kid to hit back, hard and mean.
But that is just me :)

And I agree, you need to intervene if it is more than regular "harmless" name calling. Kids are killing them selves over the level of bullying that happens anymore.
Bullies have killed the kids they have bullied.
It's not to be taken lightly, kids now-a-days take bullying to a whole new level.

3 moms found this helpful

So I read a few of the posts, and I have to agree that your daughters need to stand up for themselves. they are lucky that they come as a "Pair" so they at least have each other for back-up/support. I think your daughters should just move the other girl's stuff out of the way and get into the shower. I don't think any communication is necessary. You did indicate that the bullying was only verbal, so I instruct my daughters to ignor the verbal stuff. Some times it's only fun to verbally bully someone when you get a reaction/see fear. If there is no reaction and no fear, the fun will go away. If, in fact, she does actually touch your daughter, then I would take it to the PE teacher. If it happens again, then the principal and if it happens after that, then the police. by the way, my grandson was bullied when he was in the 6th grade - to the point that he was geniunely afraid. The school didn't really give it much thought even though my daughter and I kept calling them. So, we finally went into the principal's office and told him that we were headed to the police department when we left, which we did. After our meeting with the police, I followed-up with a letter to the principal which I cc'd to the superintendent of the school district and in that letter I told them that a lawsuit would be filed within 24 hours of the next incident. I am fortunate that I work for attorneys so I was able to put the letter on attorney letterhead. I also pointed out to them that my firm had just won a settlement in federal court in excess of 1 million dollars and we would turn all of our resources on them next if they didn't do something. Needless to say, the next day the bullies were called to the office just before school ended and were made to sit in the principals office while the other students went home. Then they were allowed to leave. We haven't had any problems since. The only thing the school district's understand is money so don't be shy about talking to a lawyer and at least getting one to write a letter for you if you don't get any satisfaction. They will pay attention to that!

2 moms found this helpful

At this age, your girls need parents to intervene. Why don't you call the parents? I would call the parents and if you don't get resolve, tell the parents that you need to meet with the principal and them together and come up with a solution. Your girls are too young to put up with this bullying.

2 moms found this helpful

I hate bullying! As I have stated in many other posts I have dealt with it for years with my son.

I would tell your daughters to use the nice approach first. Move their stuff out of the way and get in. If they start in on them after that, the next day leave the girls stuff where it is at and get in. If thier stuff gets wet oh well. Have your girls tell them then she should have moved it herself. It will be hard at first as they have always been nice or backed down. But the more they do it ( they have each other for support) the more they will become comfortable doing it and the other girls will hopefully back down. If things exculate then have them go to the teacher. Good luck to your girls!

1 mom found this helpful

The coach needs to be aware either by your kids or yourself. Coach needs to lay down the rules of the shower, 1st come 1st serve no savies. If it continues have everyone in line behind the bag work together to all tell the bullies "no savies" I love the "what are you 12, this isnt middle school" comment. When the bullies see they are the minority they will stop.

1 mom found this helpful

Sign them up for taekwondo.
When they know some self defense and can flatten these girls on the floor if need be - it'll stop.

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry that this is happening with your girls, I know it is heartbreaking to deal with that. I have been bullied by a few girls throughout school years. First and unfortunately, being nice doesn't help(I wish it did) because tend to pick on the ones that are like that in the first place. They are easier targets. Secondly, if they take a chance being catty or snapping back at these girls then there is a good chance these girls won't back down and will make this situation worse. They very well could become physical and then you have a deeper problem then it started as. I tried this tactic and the girl started stocking me home and I almost got beaten by her and several of her friends. Thirdly, TaeKwonDo is a great martial art but a good real school will teach you discipline and controlling yourself, you don't fight if you don't have to, that even means trying to walking away first and only using it to defend yourself from physical attack not bullying. I was in TaeKwonDo for 6 years and my brother was in it for 20 years and become a instrustor then master then he started teaching a known college here in Texas. There was times we both came across people that mouthed off but you have to stand your ground not to fight because of someone elses insecurity. This martial art can do seriously damage or worse and shouldn't be used to settle things like that & only serious situations. They teach you ways to keep someone from trying to attack you without hurting them badly.

Bullying is very serious to a child or adults mental status and schools are now teaching to not make situations worse by not saying anything to the bully that can trigger their anger. Kids can only take getting bullied so far. If they have already tried to attempt talking to the person(s) that are bullying and it has not helped then I would strongly suggest asking your girls to go to the school themselves(others too that have been bullied by the same girls if possible) and have the school handle it. They might want to maybe talk with the school councilor that will help them handle their emotional and mental pain due from this. They will remember for the rest of their lives the years they were bullied from these girls so the best time to talk to someone about it would be now. They could even talk with the councilor before going to the school because they can direct them what to do or they can report it for your girls. I have actually recommended this to my 8th grader because she was getting bullied as well and it stopped the bullying and helped my daughters self esteem improve. I hope everything gets better for your girls soon with no matter what you choose to nip this in the bud with and keep loving them just like you have been, your a great mother and your daughters are very lucky to have you!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so sorry they are going thru this.. But they need to speak up for themselves and tell their coach or the pricipals.. It's not going to stop, and schools now take bullying very seriously.. I know its hard for them to get them in trouble and then be considered Tataltales (sp?) but they have to. I promise you if administration heard about this somehting will be done immediately and they can continue to enjoy their high school years with no bulling.. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't really have a different suggestion. I'm just wondering how they all have gym together every year? Do they go to a really small school? If they can't get these girls to back down and have addressed it with the teacher, I'd request a schedule change.

1 mom found this helpful

If they can't resolve it on their own, they should consider taking any friends who are also being harassed by these girls with them and speak to the gym teacher. If it cannot be resolved between them and the teacher, then get involved. If more than the two of them stand up to these girls, then they may find that the bullies (who are often insecure themselves) back off after a while.

1 mom found this helpful

Contact the school authorities and politely demand there be an adult supervisor in the girls locker room. This brings back bad memories for me. When I was in 7th grade, the school thought they would assign a couple of high school girls to stand in the junior high girl's locker room as chaperones. And one of them was a huge bully about watching us take showers, telling myself and others in a nasty threatening when she felt like it that we must get back in there and take longer showers if we didn't stand in there so long it made us almost late, ugh! So snotty. Anyway, it sounds like what your girls are dealing is way worse. I think it is unacceptable to not have an adult female in the locker room.

1 mom found this helpful

I dealt with this over 30 years ago...nothing seems to have changed! I know the girls are freshman, but they must stand up for themselves. Get in the other girls face whatever. They must cause a scene. Most bullies will back down when confronted. If the other girl walks away, pull the bag out and get in. Make sure they are prepared for a scene.....

I plan to read the Rachel Simmons books - Odd Girl Out, Curse of the Nice Girl, etc. She was in Dallas last year and spoke about girl bullying.

I was bullied a few decades ago, when I was a freshman, by two girls who shared a locker. They'd wait for me and slam my locker door shut. As others have stated, being "nice" is not going to resolve the matter. I was quiet and kept to myself and tried to be friendly hoping they'd move on, but they didn't. I finally lost it and they initially said stuff like "oooh, look, she's getting mad now" but then they backed off when they saw I wasn't backing off. One was bigger than me and one was smaller. I was worried I might get beaten up, but they were all talk.

I agree with you about trying to help them advocate for themselves before getting involved with the school. They're old enough and it will be good preparation for adulthood. Try reading the books or take a look at Rachel's site - http://www.rachelsimmons.com/ - for some ideas.

Girls are so mean! I'd seriously suggest going to the school about it. At least have your daughters notify someone at school. No matter what your daughters do, those girls will continue to bully her. And the way girls are these days, I wouldn't be surprised if those girls tried to fight your daughters for standing their ground. They need to be reprimanded by a school official. We've all heard the stories about kids that get bullied... Don't wait till it's too late!
Also, I read some responses saying to get in their faces or teach them karate... That is a BAD idea! I wish people lived by my motto: Violence solves NOTHING. Just look at all these wars... Violence is never the answer. I've gone my entire life without ever getting into a fight. I was taught to be the bigger person and walk away. I hope this is the advice you give your girls!

i'd just turn on the shower... then maybe they would move their stuff...

well when i was in middle school we all just showered at the same time (we had around 5 or 6 shower heads in the group shower and that was it) so we all just showered and that was that but we mainly just got wet with the water and re deoterized and that was that

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