Hi, my name is Emma Edwards. I'm 16 years old and live in Des Moines, Iowa. For the past 4 years I've been bullied. It all started in 6th grade. I was called names, kicked in the back, shoved into lockers, and that resulted into getting beaten up by a classmate at the end of the year. My mom even worked at my middle school and kids would go up to her and say things about me to her. 7th grade rolled around and I was still bullied so much that by 8th grade my mom and I decided to switch to the secondary school in my town. 8th grade was good, in a better environment. 18 kids in my grade and things were slowly going well for me. Then, I got the news that the secondary school was getting shut down for my 9th grade year and I would have to go back to the regular high school. I was terrified and did not want to do it. But I was forced to. When I entered Abraham Lincoln High School in Des Moines, all the kids that I used to get bullied by recognized me, and I was an easy target for the new bullies because of the old bullies. I would get bullied EVERY DAY. Called a slut, cunt, whore, worthless, etc. Every name in the book. I was advised to talk to the counselor about it, she talked to me about it but did nothing. She didn't even document it like she was supposed to. I've seen a therapist on the side for 4 years, I've been diagnosed with chronic depression and severe anxiety problems. I finally went to the principal about it. He told me to ignore it at first but I told him I have and that I can't take it anymore. So he told me to not say anything back to the bullies but to document who said what when and to turn it in to him at semester. So I did what was told. My mom has told me my whole life that if anyone hits me to never hit back because we can file charges if it's an assault but we can't if I hit back and it's a fight. In November of 2012, a girl that bullied me beat the life out of me. She punched a teacher out of the way to get to me and then took me by my hair and slammed my face into the concrete tile floor 30 times and gave me a concussion. She got transferred to a different school for hitting the teacher. After coming back from the fight I got told that "the girl should've beat me to death, to go kill myself, no one wants me here, called me a pussy for not hitting back." Towards the end of the year, my gym teacher was picking on a kid who had a growth problem, the boy had talked to me about how he was struggling with it so I stood up for him against the teacher. He then proceeded to call me fat and chubby in front of the whole class, which then my classmates starting laughing. I walked out and told the principal but nothing was done. In fact, I have gym with that teacher yet again this year for my sophomore year. I've struggled with cutting for the past 2 years and proceeded to cut "fat ugly whore" into my stomach. I also cut on my arms and got suspended for it.My mom then decided enough was enough that she is transferring me to a different school in a town 10 minutes from ours where I have friends. We went to the principal at the end of the year to get my bullying documentation and they reported "they lost it." Bullshit. The next day I went into his office when he wasn't there and I found it on his desk. We open enrolled to the Des Moines Public District and they declined. I had been accepted to the school I wanted to go to but my school district wouldn't let me out because of their certain "diversity plan" which favored and helped out minorities. We then appealed and got to speak with 13 other families wanting out. In this case, either all of the families got to go or they all didn't. So they voted and we didn't get let out no matter the circumstances. So we appealed to their decision and my mom hired a 600 dollar lawyer. Yet they declined again. My mom finally gave up but I wasn't going to. I then wrote a letter to our State Board of Education, the school board and the Governor Terry Branstad. At that point I was on the verge of my 4th suicide attempt. They contacted my principal and he talked to me about it and even sent in a letter of recommendation for me. But no, of course not. The school board told me that since I'm white, middle class and not a minority that I won't be let out. So while my parents were working I had written up a speech and went to the school board meeting, got up by myself and spoke out to them in front of them. The state's bullying interventionist, Penny Bisignano, had heard about it and contacted my mom and I. She was appalled by what has happened to me and commended me for sticking up for myself. She then advised me to file a complaint to the Federal Liberal Civil Rights association. That's what we're working on right now. I just don't know how far I have to go to make them listen to me and let me go to a school where I feel safe at. I've tried killing myself 3 times all because of bullying and my school has done nothing about it. After hearing that I'm rebelling, my vice principal set up a "safety plan" for me to see the counselor every day even though I already do. My mom refused to sign it because that's what I'm already doing. During school this year I passed out and had to be escorted out in a wheelchair because I had an anxiety attack from stress. I just don't know what to do to make the Des Moines Public School District to listen to me and let me go to a safe school environment. They are being racist to me and I can't take it anymore. If anyone could help me or my case CONTACT ME AT:
Thank you so much.
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