Cyberbullies: Never Too Late To Fight Back


Courtesy of Google

Pauline Ngo, Photojournalist

When Francie Diep was thirteen years old, she had an argument with her best friend, Amanda (not her real name). As a result, her friend tampered with her email over a span of three years; since she knew Francie’s security question, Francie didn’t even bother to change her password. The worst part of messing with Francie’s email was the calendar reminders that notified her to kill herself. These horrendous “reminders were always set for midnight, in the dead of winter.” Amanda would be very descriptive and specific about the reminders that Francie could actually imagine the situation of committing suicide in her head. Why didn’t Francie just create a new account and forbid this to continue any longer? Her answer was that she didn’t want to “let [her] “ex-bestie know she’d won.”


Years later, she found Amanda on Facebook. Amanda is “a fat, happy mom in the suburbs” and has two kids of her own now. Francie Facebook Messengered her, asking if she recalls harassing her. However, Amanda conceded that she doesn’t remember many details, but “she recalled signing into [her] email, likely multiple times.” However, she never admitted to leaving the calendar reminders though. Since Amanda has two kids, Francie straightforwardly asked, “How do you think you would advise your kids if something like this happened to them when they were teens?” Amanda said sorry numerous times to Francie; she told her that “[she] didn’t realize [she] had hurt [her] so deep.”


The lesson from this story is that you are not alone. If you are bullied in any way, don’t be afraid to tell someone.There are many people around you who will be very supportive and understanding.  It is always better to tell someone than go through this tough situation alone. You may think you are strong enough to fight through being bullied like Francie was, but not anyone can handle it. YLHS is a safe place, where you can tell any teacher, staff, or peer about what you are going through. Isabelle Chau (12) strongly believes that “as a student body, if someone is being bullied, stand up for that person. Don’t be a bystander and let it go unnoticed; telling an adult is the best thing one can do.”