By LUCY ORMONDE
13-year-old Gabrielle Jackson is being bullied at school. The reason? Her body makes her stand out.
Gabrielle is only in the 6th grade but her breasts are extremely large.
Gabrielle Jackson’s mother, Tammie called the school district office to make a complaint. She told them that her daughter was being sexually harrassed in the school yard on an ongoing basis and asked them to step in and do something to help.
The school was sympathetic to the plight of Tammie Jackson’s daughter and made two suggestions: they could arrange for Gabrielle to transfer to another school or perhaps Tammie might consider getting her daughter a breast reduction. To stop the bullying.
The Huffington Post reports:
Tammie Jackson tells KTVI that her 13-year-old daughter Gabrielle has been harassed by peers since last semester, particularly for her large breasts. When she called the Riverview Gardens School District to complain about the problem, the woman on the other end said the girl could be transferred to another school from Central Middle School, or go under the knife.
“It makes me feel like now you are telling me it’s my fault, it’s God’s fault the way he made her.” Jackson told KTVI. “[The school should] talk with the kids, let them know, you know, people’s bodies are changing, everybody’s body is different but God made us all great.”
Riverview Gardens Superintendent Clive Coleman tells the station that officials are investigating the incident, though he suspects it was “a product of miscommunication, interpretation of information.” Meanwhile, students are being counseled on ways to resolve the bullying problem.
Late last year, Mamamia ran a post about a 14-year-old girl who did have surgery to overcome bullying.
For years Nadia Ilse had been called “Dumbo Ears” by the kids at school because of the way her ears stuck out from her head. So earlier this year she underwent $40,000 worth of plastic surgery to make the bullying stop. She had an otoplasty – an operation to pin her ears back – and she also had a rhinoplasty (to reduce the size of her nose) and a mentoplasty (which altered the shape of her chin).
The surgery was paid for by the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that “transforms the lives of children born with facial deformities through corrective surgery”. They flew Nadia and her mother from their hometown of Georgia to New York City where she had the operation.
The week after Nadia went back to school and faced her bullies for the first time since the operation, she said: “A lot of people said that I looked different and that I was really beautiful, I’m excited about that… I believe in forgiveness, but I will never forget the times that they did that, the times they made fun of me, and the times they hurt me. You have to make them earn it.”
Critics suggested Nadia’s surgery sent the wrong message to bullies and victims because it validates everything the kids were being bullied about to begin with. It’s telling the victims they aren’t good enough. It’s making the bullies right. And there are no guarantees it would actually make the bullying stop.
After the surgery, Nadia became something of a poster girl for the charity. But her surgeries have also brought about the question of whether plastic surgery is the best method to reduced the instance of bulling in schools – and more generally in society.
And to what extent should it even be allowed for young people, whose bodies haven’t finished developing fully yet?