COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - President Barack Obama and the First Lady addressed an issue that parents say is getting worse. Thursday, they held a White House summit on bullying, gathering students, teachers, and experts to tackle the issue. We spoke with one Palmetto Ridge High School who knows bullying all too well.
"I used to come home and cry and nobody could do anything for me," she said.
The young woman is a junior now, but says she's put up with bullying since 6th grade, from cruel words about her teeth to violent threats. She doesn't want to be identified, fearing retaliation from other students.
"I was on crutches from spraining my ankle and a couple girls would trip me, and threaten to fight me and stuff and I had no clue why."
She isn't the only target. Those who, in the bullies' eyes are "too short," "too fat," or "too stupid" are ridiculed daily. The abuse became so bad, at one point, she was skipping school 3 times a week.
"I hated life, I hated everything," she said. "I always got picked on, always got hurt, and just wanted to hurt myself for it. I thought there was something wrong with me."
While she knows bullying must be stopped, she's not sure even the President, who's admitted to being bullied himself, has enough power to do it.
"I wish I could talk to him myself, you know, get the story out," she said. "The only way it's going be solved is if the kids themselves get over themselves and start working on their lives and stop bullying others. What are they getting out of it? They are going to jail. They're forcing other people to commit suicide."
She tells us she has definitely grown thicker skin, and now stands up for others when she sees them being bullied. Her hope is that teen bullies will someday realize what they did, and teach their children to be better.