Type 1, I'm being bullied

Hi! This is my first post. I just want to share my story and hopefully receive some advice regarding my current situation with bullying.

I am female, and was diagnosed in 2013 at the age of 11. I’ve always been the subject of occasional bullying in my school (a snobby “elite” one where anyone who’s different is ostracized) but of the late it has gotten pretty bad…

There’s this boy who targets me. I keep a stash of emergency food like juice and crackers in case I go low and he found out so when he sees me he’d snatch my bag away, take my food and just eat it. I’ve told the teachers about this last year and he’s received a scolding but I literally cannot get him to stop. I’ve told him repeatedly to quit it but he’d say something along the lines of “if I’m low I can just eat my glucose tabs and besides I shouldn’t be eating sugar anyway”. Even if I lock up my food in my locker (not ideal, I know, what if I go low during classtime?) I somehow always manage to bump into him invariably and he would just take my food.

Also he’s been making pretty insensitive comments about my diabetes. When the school was holding a bake sale and our teacher asked for volunteers he’d loudly remark something about how I “shouldn’t do it cause I have diabetes” in front of everyone… thankfully there was this other boy who told him that he was “being mean” and that shut him up. But honestly I just wanted to cry.

Sometimes when I see him in the corridor with his friends he’d say to them at the top of his lungs things like “Diabetes sucks” and once he pointed to my pump and asked whether I’d die if he cut the cord. I just don’t know how to deal with him and his immaturity!

I would love to solve this by just avoiding him but unfortunately we have a few classes together. All suggestions are welcomed.

On a slightly more positive note, my bg levels have been behaving very well in the last 3 days or so. I think my highest reading was an 8.2 on my CGMS… on my glucometer the highest was 6.9 :smile: I was worried since I’d recently adjusted my basal up from 9 units a day to 15 but hey at least it’s all good now.

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My heart goes out to you! Can you ask your parents to speak with a school district administrator? If this were happening to my daughter, I’d go right to the top. This is, plain and simple, unacceptable behavior.

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Bullying is always a difficult problem in schools; however, bullying a person because of a disability - and diabetes qualifies in this, I believe - is also criminal. The school administration and the teachers should be dealing with this, but my experience when my kids were bullied in school was that school officials would make any excuse they could to avoid involvement. This is, of course, wrong on their part, but not unusual, and in many ways, makes the school administration a party to the bullying. I don’t know if your parents have tried to get involved, but that’s also often complicated and may not work. Still withholding your food when you’re low isn’t just simple bullying - it could cause you immediate harm!

Take a look a this: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/students-with-disabilities/ Maybe you can find something there to help. Good luck.

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I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this! I was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 9 and a few years later had a boy in my grade who sounds very similar to the one you’re dealing with. He used to laugh at me when I had to eat because I was low, would wave his hand in front of my face or stick out his foot to trip me (I also grew up legally blind), borrow something like my planner and then do things like write on it before giving it back, and would make comments to his friends within my earshot. I ended up telling my parents and teacher, and they talked to him, and that made it decrease when there were teachers around but not at other times. Fortunately, we moved from elementary to high school at that point and after that I saw him infrequently enough that I just ignored him.

I agree with @rgcainmd—I’d talk to your parents and go to the principal or other school administrator. Heck, actually grabbing food away from you during a low could, in a sense, be thought of as dangerous. It would be like grabbing an inhaler away from a kid with asthma. Good luck dealing with this!

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First, here’s a big hug! It’s tough being a teenager, let alone also have diabetes, and it’s even worse that this kid is giving you a hard time.

Have you talked to your parents about this? Does anyone at school know what this boy is doing (teachers? guidance counselor? school nurse?)? I really recommend that you talk to your parents and have a meeting with at least a guidance counselor and principal about what is going on. What he is doing can be considered criminal, and it’s something that the administrators of your school need to address as quickly as possible.

Until a solution is made, can you talk to your teachers about keeping some emergency hypo treatment in their desks or have additional low treatment in the school nurse’s office? Could you talk to your guidance counselor about changing your schedule so that you don’t have as many classes with him (if that is possible)?

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Go straight to the Principal with your parents and talk to him or her. Then if that doesn’t help, contact the Superintendent over your school district. If you were to have hypo reaction during school time after he stole your food for the day, you might should contact an attorney. Good luck to you. I am 28 years old, male, have had diabetes since i was 7. No one has ever taken away my food, but in college I was told that I couldn’t eat in class. After I got my 2 year degree, I realized it wasn’t worth fighting any more - no one understood my situation. I’ve also had some people tell me that I can’t wear a pump. I dealt with most of this by just repeating myself over and over that it’s not a cell phone but a medical device that i must wear at all times. I got a doctor to write the school a note to allow me to check my sugar , wear a pump, and eat when needed in class. This nearly got the teacher who was giving me problems fired, but she had it coming. Case in point, don’t give up. Tell authority figures and go to the Superintendent if need be. Wish you well.

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This jerk should be arrested for stealing. And someone should clobber him!

As for making fun of you, I’m sure his day will come.

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Motrojam1, you are doing the right thing to talk about the bullying. No one deserves to be bullied. When my son was being bullied we went to the school principal to discuss the problem. From this first meeting nothing really changed, but then my son started to keep notes of every time there was an incident of bullying. He would write down the date, time, and simple overview of what was happened. Armed with these notes, we had another meeting with the principle and this time also with my son’s team of teachers. Having these notes finally did the trick. The principal took action and called a meeting with the other students parents. I don’t know what happened in that meeting but the bullying has stopped. Good Luck!

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Bullying is a real problem, especially for someone like yourself that must treat a chronic and at times a life threatening disease. If it were me, I would send a “heart-attack” letter to the principal of the school with a copy to his/her boss. In it I would detail the incidents of bulllying and the efforts you have already made to deal with it, including any appeals to teachers, counselors, or any other school employee.

I would make clear that this bullying exacerbates an already difficult and possibly life-threatening situation. Let them know that you are dead serious about depending on them to take active steps to deal with this circumstance. Also tell them that if they do not take effective action to monitor and manage this then you will be forced to elevate your predicament to the next higher level in the school hierarchy.

Be polite yet persistent. By sending it two people, you will insure that they both see that this issue is legitimate, ongoing, and they now know beyond any doubt that they are aware of it. There is no plausible deniability.

You could threaten legal action in this letter but I would hold that threat back until and if they do not respond appropriately. Putting things down in a letter puts all the facts, from your point of view, in the record. This case will no longer be a “she said, he said” affair. The written word has power.

I am so sorry that you have to deal with bullying on top of the already difficult diabetes. This is truly adding insult to injury. Do not be ashamed for making any waves, you are the victim here. The waves that are being made/felt are the result of an overall poor response by the authorities at your school. It’s not your job to set up a safe environment for learning. It’s the school administration’s job.

Good luck. Hold your head high. Persist. Living well is the best revenge!

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It is not enough to say they fo not unferstand. Kids are cruel. There was a T1D girl when I was growing up and they labeled her the Cracker Lady. Here we go again. The thin veneer of human decency has holes in it.

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Hi, I would bring in another person. First I would speak with my parent, so they are aware, even if you don’t want them to act. They can help or advise you how you interact with the school authorities. This has become intrenched behaviour by him and he isn’t respecting your wishes. He needs the school to sit him down and sort it out.

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Piling on to the comments from Thas and Terry . . .

  • Bullying is evil.
  • Stealing is stealing, and it’s a crime, plus—
  • Depending on exactly how it is done, it may also constitute a form of assault, which is also a crime.
  • Interfering with your ability to manage a potentially life-threatening condition is simply evil.

Your parents need to make absolutely clear to the administration that if something isn’t done about this and quickly, you absolutely will seek relief from higher authority, with publicity.

I would be intentionally vague about who “higher authority” is. Letting their imaginations work overtime will have more impact than a specific statement would.

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If it were happening to me, I think my most likely reaction would be to just wish/hope it would go away. I’d be afraid of doing anything which would confront the bully because I would fear that would result in retaliation.

Since, it’s you and not me, you’ll have to decide for yourself. My outside perspective is that both routes are scary. If no one confronts the bully, then at the very least he’ll just keep doing what he is already doing. But unfortunately he is likely to quickly get bored with what he’s currently doing and he’ll start escalating to more and more hurtful stuff.

So even though it may feel risky to talk about it, to report and confront him, it is probably the lesser of the evils facing you. Bullies do what they do because they can. I think the only way to end the bullying is to report him as others have already suggested. The consequences of acting against him may be bad, but not as bad as what he is likely to move on to doing if you don’t act.

I like the suggestion of creating some notes of what has happened to take with you when you report it. It will probably be a situation where you’ll be nervous and might forget some things you wanted to say. Write them down beforehand so you’ll be prepared to describe just how bad the problem is. Dates & times tend to always be good things to have in these situations, no? Details increase your credence and make it harder for whomever to not deal with the situation.

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i will talk to yours parents about this, so they are aware, & the school need to talk to him about,.

hope everything get work out. i was bullied, so i know how it is.

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motrojam1 and Jen: There is a special place in hell reserved for boys like that, a place where they can hang out with Hitler and get the “pineapple treatment” every day!

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I know this is not PC but back in the 70’s and 80’s we had a “Different” way of dealing with kids like this… If I could not deal with the bully myself I had friends that would…lol.

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Part of me would love to say that you should bake some special brownies or something and lace it with laxatives. Wait for him to steal your stash - then tell everyone what you have done (but not him)… so that everyone is also waiting for him to quite literally poop his pants.
Although i fear that may escalate the problem - no matter how good revenge may feel.
It is crappy that you have to deal with this… do you have friends who can help you out? Maybe carry some juice for you as well? If there is a group of people is carrying food for you, then at some point he is going to be the minority…
Have his parents been informed? (and those of his friends - they are aiding and abetting a criminal act). You could get a lawyer to write them a letter demanding that he cease and desist - and if not you will pursue legal action for pain and suffering, not to mention theft… Or file a complaint with the police - having a life long record proving he was an a**hole at school may be something he doesn’t want.
It is a shame that the school is not helping you with this - they should all be ashamed.

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Lots of good advice here. Let me add a bit more: when he makes comments like “Diabetes sucks”, simply reply “Yes it does” then add your own comments about why it’s not a fun thing to have; sort of like he started a conversation and you are just continuing it. When he asks a dumb question like cutting the cord, answer with some facts like “Yes, If I did not get it fixed quickly.” My point - engage him as if he was making sincere comments. You are more mature than he is. See if you can help him get to your level.

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Most often, school bullies are immature kids who express their own insecurities by intimidating those who they perceive would be “easy” targets. I would agree with @John_P’s advice - show that you do not care a bit about his dumb verbal remarks and turn those around back to him. Your friends can help in such situations. Stealing your food, however, is a more serious issue. I would encourage you to bring this up with your parents who may then discuss this with school officials and, perhaps, with the boy’s parents directly. If my kid were in a similar situation, I would not hesitate to call the parents and (very politely) let them know what their son has been doing, and request that they make sure he stops bullying you or anyone else - this is ultimately their responsibility. They should understand that consequences of no action could be serious, including legal and police actions if necessary (as already commented by others). By the way, welcome to TuD, and thanks for sharing good news about your successful bg control - keep up the good work!

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i was having a bad day, but, Hitler, as a maid to funny,.

thank you, for making me, laugh.