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SICILY received 868 LETTERS of peer support on 11/25/2017!
IN-SCHOOL "FRIEND MAIL" PRESENTATION BY THE PRINCIPAL:
Sicily's 5th grade Principal, Mrs. Marks, surprised her with the Friend Mail delivery IN SCHOOL during their monthly "Good Citizens" breakfast. Her mom arranged that surprise! Watch the video of the presentation!
PICTURES OF SICILY'S FRIEND MAIL LETTERS - AND WRITERS:
~ SICILY'S STORY ~
Mighty Upstander (10) Battled School Bus Bullies Alone!
When school started in September, bus rides “after school got me a break and to hang out with my friends. But it changed now,” the 10-year-old said to a Tampa Bay ABC ActionNews reporter. That’s because of constant bullying on the bus by three 4th & 5th grade boys. A straight-A student living in Florida, Sicily is a Teacher's Helper and a Mentor for children in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. She's also on the Safety Patrol! Here is a story her mom told us about Sicily's kind - and "sassy" - nature...
As a 4th Grader, Sicily overheard adults talking about a 1st Grade girl who was being bullied for her beautiful African-American hair and because she "looked different." The 1st Grader had told her mom that she "just wants to kill herself." When Sicily heard that, she jumped into action! She asked for the little girl's information and rallied her 4th Grade friends. Sicily and her friends started walking this little girl to and from class so the bullies could not bother her. They ate lunch with her in the cafeteria, a thrill for the 1st Grader to be seated with the "cool" 4th Grade girls. After many weeks of this, the little girl's mother reported that her suicidal comments stopped and the bullies left her alone because she was in the company of "big kids." WAY TO GO, SICILY!
And in 5th Grade, Sicily chose to stand up for bullied children once again!
For WEEKS, the 3 boys on the bus bullied the younger kids, calling the 1st & 2nd Graders names like "fat," "idiot" and "stupid." When the children would cry, they called them "crybabies." The bullies threw things at the children.
These 1st & 2nd Graders naturally turned to Sicily for help and asked to sit next to her for safety. She demanded her peers "leave them alone." She repeatedly told the Bus Driver who shrugged it away, saying, "what do you want me to do about it." Her school had a Zero Tolerance Policy against bullying but that depended on adults reporting the behavior. The Bus Driver would not report the bullying, so Sicily was on her own with only her family supporting her.
Soon enough, the bullies turned on Sicily. They yelled in her face. Sicily stood her ground saying "do not yell in my face," but they continued. They made physical threats, obscene gestures and called her names that we can not repeat here because they were so awful and hurtful.
Sicily begged the Bus Driver for help, but he wouldn't do anything. One day, he even forced her to sit next to her bullies, and the next day he made her sit in the back of the bus all alone, shaming her. He never reported the boys.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU "GO FIND HELP" FROM AN ADULT, BUT YOU DON'T GET ANY?
GO FIND A MORE TRUSTWORTHY ADULT!
Sicily and her mother went to local ABC NEWS and to the administration of the school. The administration was at a loss because they had no reports of bullying from the bus driver, so the boys could not be disciplined. However, after a conference with his supervisor, the Bus Driver was removed from the route, and a new Driver PLUS a Bus Assistant were put in place, bringing with them new rules and order. The new Driver and Assistant are strict and stop the bullies, THANKS TO SICILY not looking the other way.
Throughout the whole ordeal, Sicily never stopped riding the bus. She showed up to stand up for the 1st & 2nd Graders. “Even if I don’t know them, I still want to stand up for them cause I feel like they can’t stand up for themselves,” Sicily said.