EDUCATION

Eliot-Hine Middle School 7th grader bullied, mom appeals for an end

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Across the country, students and parents are continuing to deal with an ongoing bullying epidemic.

In Washington, the bullying for one area 7th grader at Eliot-Hine Middle School in Northeast continued to escalate, leaving her mother without any idea of what to do about it.

"They took her glasses from her," D.C. resident Monique Spencer said. "I had to get her new glasses."

Spencer says the bullying, which she says is done by a group of six to eight girls at the middle school, has made her and her daughter's life miserable. The girl has found three threatening letters in her locker, has been followed home from school more than a half-dozen times and sometimes has been forced to fight.

Last week, Spencer's daughter made the honor roll. That only led to more bullying.

"As a parent, to have her come home and tell me everything they do...it hurts me," Spencer says.

At least one Washingtonian is out to stop it, though. Kevin Nickelberry, the head men's basketball coach at Howard, has launched a campaign against bullying, which he says is widespread in the D.C. area, especially in middle schools.

"I get more parents, specifically single mothers, sending me emails about, 'I don't know what to do,'" Nickelbery says.

Nickelberry, who says he was bullied as a kid, has launched anti-bullying campaigns at dozens of schools. The programs have students pledge to report bullying, but he says that specifically at Eliot-Hine, administrators seem unable to put a stop to it.

In the meantime, Spencer just wants it to end.

"I want my daughter to come up happy because she had a good day at school," she said.

For more on Nickelberry's program, you can visit www.coachnickelberry.com.

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