Bullies Reunite For Apology
Escondido, CA — It was on the Orange Glen High School 25th class reunion Facebook page where graduate Lisa Wallace read a poem that made her heart sink.
"This poem touched me so bad I could not sleep...I cried," Wallace said.
The poem was written by Lynda Frederick, who graduated from Orange Glen High in Escondido back in 1987.
"That little girl who came to school with the clothes she wore the day before.. instead of asking why...you picked on her."
It went on to talk about the pain she felt, not knowing why no one liked her.
"That little girl had love in her heart to share with all...but no one wanted it."
Kristi Malone remembered Lynda and how brutal other kids were to her.
"Looking at her being bullied horribly and thinking, I feel so bad for her,"said Malone, "but never thinking in my head that I could stand up for her, and not once did anyone back her up."
Over the past few weeks other classmates have read the poem and many felt an overwhelming guilt.
"Just people in tears, like 'How could we have done this to her'," said Malone.
Little did anyone know, Lynda's home life was just as rough as her school life.
After graduating a semester early she moved to Seneca Falls, New York to get away from everyone.
"Because there was just too much at home, too much at school I had to get out," Lynda says now.
Ever since Lynda posted that poem her classmates have been contacting her by phone and through Facebook, all of them apologizing for how she was treated.
Lynda now has three children, including a 14-year-old daughter who is currently dealing with her own bullies at school.
"I tell her to look at the people and say listen," Lynda said. "If you don't like what I'm wearing, if you don't like the way I look, don't look!"
Whether her daughter's classmates ever do the right thing, Lynda's schoolmates are making amends.
They collected more than $800 to fly her back to Escondido for the July class reunion.
She has accepted and plans to stay for a week.
"She really is my hero because she succeeded through all of this," Wallace said. "I look up to her."
Classmates including Michelle Ainsworth and Sabrina Doyle have also helped set up a scholarship fund in Lynda's name.
It'll be given to one student every year at Orange Glen High School.