`Bullies: Fighting Back` - Parents of a Bullied Child | VideoJody Kerzman | 2/9/2011
They`ve been working with the school and the police youth bureau to stop the bullying. But they`re also working with their daughter and with other kids and parents to make sure they know what to do if they ever find themselves in the same situation.
You can hear the pride in Candace Benedict`s voice when she talks about her daughter. "She is a giddy kid, kind of the class clown," added Candace.
So when she noticed a change in her daughter`s behavior, she became concerned.
Candace said, "I noticed my daughter wasn`t acting right."
Candace confronted her, but her daughter was reluctant to tell her what was happening.
After hours of talking, and thousands of tears, Candace finally knew the truth: Her daughter was being bullied.
"They would walk up behind her and knuckle punch her in the back," she said. "She had bruises on her back."
Candace and her husband Loren went to the school and eventually to the Police Youth Bureau.
The bullying has slowed down, but it hasn`t completely stopped. For Loren, watching his daughter be bullied is especially hard. He was also bullied as a child.
"I got pushed around and pushed down the stairs, chased around. At one point two boys chased me around the Capitol and almost put me in the hospital," explained Loren Benedict.
Loren went into the military with the idea that, one day, he would get revenge. He eventually realized the people who bullied him weren`t worth it. He moved on and has come to terms with what happened to him.
"Having children, being married, going to combat, saving people and doing good things and finding there is a lot more to life than revenge," said Loren.
Now, as Loren and Candace help their daughter stay strong against bullies, they`re helping other kids and parents do the same. Candace has started a Facebook page, "Stop Bullying in Schools.
Candace said: "It`s a place for people to go. We post links there."
And it`s a place where these parents hope kids, like their daughter, can find comfort and realize they are not alone.
In the meantime, the Benedicts have seen a change for the better in their daughter. "Her grades have gotten better. I`m very proud of her," said Candace.
Proud, because Candace knows her daughter is a survivor, and she has proven that no bully will stop her from living her life."
Candace and Loren say they`ve learned just how important it is to monitor their children`s texts and online activity. They now keep very close tabs on what both of their children are doing online and limit the time they spend online. Still, they worry about their daughter who is only a fifth-grader.
Bullying usually doesn`t peak until seventh or eighth grade, and bullying between girls can be especially harmful. We`ll hear more about that tomorrow night.