Some kids on Mindy’s school bus were bullying her. By the time the 5-year-old got home, she was traumatized. And it really upset her mom, Samantha. But the kids weren’t the only problem. Mindy’s bus driver blamed the problem on Mindy herself, and threatened to call the police on her if she didn’t calm down about it. Says Samantha: “My 5-year-old had her first bullying experience on the school bus. She was called stupid and ugly over and over. Instead of an adult handling the situation, he threatened her with the police.” Yes, the bus driver turned the victim into the problem. Certainly not the best way to deal with the situation, especially from an adult. Mindy had extreme anxiety over the possibility of the police coming after her.
Says Samantha: “My daughter was then horrified and traumatized. As we drove home, we passed an officer, and she covered her head while crying scared to death. I put out a post for prayers and it didn’t go unanswered.” When local police spotted Samantha’s post about the incident, they wanted to do something to help. So officers Blake Burress and Jonathan Luttrell of the Booneville (Missouri) Police Department knocked on Samantha’s door.
They were not there to make Mindy’s life miserable. They brought her some presents and they wanted to make sure she felt comfortable around them and other police officers. They also wanted her to know that they were always there to protect her and not to cause her any harm. The little girl was also given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of their patrol car.
By the time they left, Mindy considered them her best friends. The next day, just outside her school, deputies Taylor Walker and Tyler Reese from the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Department showed up to visit with Mindy.
They spoke with her for a little while, assuring her that they were there as friends, and not as people she should be afraid of. They also gave her a stuffed animal to remember them by and walked her back to her class. Says Samantha: “So often law enforcement is thrown under the bus, given horrible names, and used as a scare tactic in the wrong situations. In reality these are the people willing to put their lives on the line to protect us, and care more than we can imagine. These officers made a point to take time out and helped my sweet girl feel safe, cared for, and protected after hearing they were used as a scare tactic against her.” Bullying should not exist, but we’re sure glad police officers do.