Teacher: Hi. Welcome to Parent-Teacher Conference.
Teacher: So, what is your child's name?
Parent: It's Megan Jones.
Teacher: Megan. Uh, let's see. Oh yeah, Megan. Um, she missed the last couple of days. Has she been sick?
Parent: No, she's been having some problems with the other kids in your class, and . . .
Teacher: Well, you know, junior high school is a difficult time, but she just needs to speak up a little more in class. I think . . .
Parent: No, it's . . . it's more than that. Some of the kids in your class have really been bullying her a lot.
Teacher: What do you mean?
Parent: Well, um, they've been teasing her a lot about her appearance, and then, the other day, you didn't help things [ What? ] Yeah, she said you made a comment about her clothes.
Teacher: What do you mean? I mean . . .
Parent: She said you commented on her shirt and jeans, like they were from the 1970s or something like that.
Teacher: Well I was just kind of joking a little bit with her.
Parent: Well, yeah, that's what you think, but other kids follow your example. In fact, one of the kids took a picture of her with their phone and posted it and had some real nasty comments on Facebook. It was terrible.
Teacher: Well, you know, kids can be kids.
Parent: No, don't you get it? This is bullying; it's cyberbullying, and adults like you are part of the problem. Forget it. I'm planning on discussing this with the principal tomorrow.
Teacher: Oh, wait, wait, wait. Um, uh, oh. I'm sorry if I hurt her feelings [ Yeah. You did! ], but . . .
Parent: I get sick and tired of people thinking that a little teasing is okay. Too many kids are killing themselves because they feel that there's just no way to escape this.
Teacher: Okay. Well, I guess I need to be a little bit more careful, but . . .
Parent: Yeah, you do. I really hope I can get Megan to come to school tomorrow. She's been really, really anxious and depressed [ Wow. ] for some time, and your comments and those that the other kids made haven't helped.
Teacher: Wow. Uh, I'm really sorry. Could you see if you can bring her to school tomorrow? Uh, I'd like to apologize and see what I can do to, maybe, improve the situation.
Parent: Thanks. I'd appreciate it. That would help.