Go Fund Me gone wrong

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Typically when you think of cyberbullying, kids and teenagers come to mind.


But in this case, hundreds of adults are negatively commenting on one Mandan girl's Facebook page.

“Quit being an entitled youth. The world doesn't owe you a **** thing”, is just one example of the comments Tara Sema and her daughter Melissa are seeing on their GoFundMe page.

Melissa, who's 14, is trying to raise money to go on an educational trip to France with her school's French club, but she says she does not have time to earn all the money until next summer.

“I've been wanting to go to Paris since I was really little,” said Melissa, French student at Mandan High School.

Tara, a single mother on Workforce Safety Insurance, says paying for the trip is a struggle.

“Some people think 'Oh well it's just a trip.' But it's not though. There's a lot of value in it. So if you have somebody who has an opportunity like this, if you can help them, help the students,” said Jill Charlebois, MHS French teacher.

Charlebois says the trip is not sponsored by Mandan High School, but the tour is chaperoned by Charlebois and a travel agency.

Tara shared the GoFundMe link on several local Facebook groups.

One comment stated, “If you want something you need to work for it, but apparently mommy didn't teach you that lesson”

“So far people have been really negative. Some, as in very few, have been positive and offering to help out if I go over to their house and work for a couple hours,” said Melissa.

All of the opportunities presented by commenters, Melissa has taken. But there are hundreds of comments.

“You are the problem with this country,” was also in a comment.

“To tell her that she's the problem with it, it makes me cry. When I read it I just started crying to the point where I couldn't see,” said Tara.

Other students have used GoFundMe to raise money, but Tara says the backlash on her site is surprising.

Facebook has already removed posts due to the comments violating bullying and harassment policies.

While the minimum age to work in North Dakota is 14, the State Department of Labor and Human rights says they received less than 1,000 applications to work last year.

Despite the pushback the Semas' say they will continue to use GoFundMe as one way to fundraise.

Tara has used GoFundMe in the past for medical bills and car repairs but she has since taken those down.