You ever hear your friends or colleagues talk about bullying when they were in high school or middle school and has it ever surprised you of how bad their stories are? You always hear these stories of them being forced to have lunch alone because they got bullied. You hear how people or their friends go through incessant mental and physical abuse at the hands of their peers and wonder, why did no one step in and do anything about this?
People always assume that bullying is a thing of the past because in the past, they were the ones who got bullied. Now that they’re older, they assume that bullying in education institutes does not exist anymore because they don’t experience it firsthand. People have become more empathetic and understanding but that does not mean ignorance has disappeared. Andthe devastating truth is that bullying is alive and well and 16 year old DagmaraPryzbysz had to pay with her life because of the bullying she faced.
DagmaraPryzbysz Bullied for Being Polish
DagmaraPrzbysz, who went to Pool Academy in Redruth, Cornwall, England, was found hanged in the school’s toilet last year.
The teenager had lived in Britain with her family for nine years. Dagmara had been a target of racist taunts and bullying. She reportedly told her mother that she had overheard classmates talk about her in a derogatory way and heard them calling her a “stupid pole”. She had also told her boyfriend that she was told to go back ‘home’ and that she didn’t belong in England.
Sidelined and Exlcuded
You would assume that after spending 9 years in the same place, community, neighborhood and schools, and after trying to assimilate into the culture, the local people, especially yours peers who you have firsthand contact with would accept you as their own. But the sad truth for a lot of immigrants is that, even if you try to assimilate as much as possible, you will still be sidelined and you would be forced to live with your own community of people.
Such as the case with Dagmara who was insulted and sidelined for being Polish. In everything but ethinicity, Dagmara was everything like her peers. She was an aspiring photographer and had already secured a place at Truro College to study photography.
Friends and Family Offer Their Views
Her mother, Ewelina, had told the court that her daughter had told her that she had been having trouble with the girls at school and had mentioned to her mother this incident especially a few days before her death. She told her that the girls had ‘called Dagmara names”.
The mother further commented that she isn’t sure that the bullying an name calling was racist in nature but she can specifically say that Dagmara mentioned overhearing comments including “stupid pole”
Most of Dagmara’s friends and her boyfriend, Lewis Simpson, went to another school.
Dagmara had been taken to the ER a day before her death by her uncle after she suffered injuries from punching a wall during a PE lesson. She had told PE teacher that she was angry because the other girls were laughing at her.
On the morning of her death, she had called her uncle trying to inform him of some pills she had taken but her parents still sent her to school since they saw no signs of her being physically hurt.
Bullying is Alive and Well
The death of Dagmara was a result of ignorance and blatant racism. She felt excluded from her peers and alone because she did not have her friends and it probably took a long time to have her take her own life.
Please look out for each other and be empathetic.If you’re going through tough times and you’re about to make a drastic decision, wait and contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Parents, listen to your children, understand their concerns and validate their problems. Use all tools necessary to ensure your child is safe and secure, because without trying to be involved in their lives, you will never know why or what happened and you will be left wondering.