Just last week I wrote about a 10-year-old girl who committed suicide after intense bullying.†
Now this week I came across another disturbing bullying case that came across Judge Allred’s (think Judge Judy) docket.
The case involved three popular girls (Heather Kyle, Piper Simpson, and Jennifer Kramer), a water balloon full of urine, and a fourth girl, Megan Moore, who wanted to befriend the other three.
Turns out that in order to hang out with the girls and become part of the group Moore had to go through an initiation process which involved being assaulted with a urine filled balloon and then endure the humiliation of the moment again and again with pictures posted on Facebook.
During the televised court case one of the defendants had the following to say about the incident:†
“This was an initiation. Megan’s hung out with us a few times. We told her all about the club. She knows exactly what it’s all about. She’s just upset that she’s too weak to join the group so she just started spreading these lies about how we bullied her. She knew exactly what she was getting involved in. We just wanted to invite her into the group. We didn’t think it was fair that she was hanging out with us and we were all supporting each other. We all went through the initiation together. We didn’t think it was fair that she didnít get to go through with it.”
News flash: Assaulting another girl with a urine filled balloon so she can be your friend is bullying. Putting the pictures on Facebook to humiliate her is cyber bullying.†
The girls don’t deny that they assaulted Moore with the urine filled balloon, but they don’t think they did anything wrong or bullied her in anyway. She “knew exactly what she was getting involved in” and she was just “too weak” to take it so it’s not their fault. Victim-blaming at its best, or should I say worst?
A few moments after her long speech, the very same girl back tracks and says, “I just want to say that I feel really bad for the plaintiff and I regret what we did.” Hoping for mercy from the judge, I assume.
The judge, however, didnít bite and ruled in the name of the plaintiff. The girls owe Moore $100 for the ruined clothes and purse and $1,000 in punitive damages.
“Punitive damages mean, damages which are there to punish a particular party, to punish them for an act that was intentional, an act that would be shocking to the community, to send a message that this is not the kind of action that should ever be repeated,” said Allred in closing.
I just hope these girls learned their lesson and don’t retaliate against Moore further at school.
What do you think? Did the girls learn their lesson? Is Moore in for further bullying for standing up to her bullies?†
Related from Care2:
Photo credit: Photo by dominiqs†using a Creative Commons license.