Dear bully who left a note in my daughter’s desk today


Dear bully who left a note in Zoey’s desk today that said “You are stupid,” and then another one later in the day that said “You are dumb,”

I know the teacher sat down the entire class to tell you all how wrong this was and to see if anyone would fess up. Of course you didn’t. And actually, I’m kind of glad you didn’t confess. Wanna know why? Because Zoey sees the best in people. She probably thinks you’re a friend and she probably sees the best in you right now and I don’t want her to know that you are actually a mean kid. A bully.

But you know what you did. So here’s what I want you to do. Go look in a mirror, and I’m going to tell you what I want you to say into that mirror. I want you to look at yourself and say I love you. That’s right. Look at your reflection and tell yourself you love yourself. Yeah, I know it’s going to feel a little dorky, but do it anyway. Clearly you need to be killed with kindness. The way Zoey would kill you with kindness if she knew it was you who left those notes. She wouldn’t get mad. She would feel bad that you feel the need to hurt someone because you are obviously hurting on the inside.

She is convinced that everyone has good in them and that the good will triumph and emerge. I hope she’s right. I don’t want you to feel bad about what you did. I want you to feel better about who you are. So you don’t leave notes like that anymore. And Zoey would agree.


Zoey’s mom

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There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Jennifer Travis at 9:58 pm

    ❤️ I’m sorry this happened to Zoey today. Its so hard as a parent to see others hurt our children, but you are doing an amazing job. Fight hate with love and you’ll always win.

  2. Ann at 10:17 pm

    I’m sorry that someone did that to Zoey. Your response to whoever it was is perfect and hopeful that the parent of said child sees it and gets that child to do it, assuming they confessed. But no matter, Zoey is a strong girl and will always prevail to be the better kid in those situations.

  3. Danielle at 12:51 am

    This made me cry. I’m sad that this happened to Zoey, but am so glad you wrote this. You are so right that the person who wrote this is hurting. I’m also sad that this just recently happened to my daughter, who is just finishing up kindergarten. She, however, was told she is dumb by her “BFF”. When she came home and told me, I could tell that she was upset. I wish I would have handled the situation like you. I’m learning new things about being a mom everyday. THANK YOU!

  4. Tiffany Hurwitz at 8:40 am

    I thought your actual response was wonderfully positive and appropriate. However, while what happened to your daughter is terrible and hurtful, I don’t think it qualifies the child as a “bully”. In my opinion, that term is used far too loosely and far too frequently to describe bad behavior by children that does not rise to the level of the definition of bullying or qualify the child as a bully. defines bullying as follows: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. I understood this to be two mean notes in one day.

    II think you are wonderfully funny and realistic and don’t think as a mom with a blog you have an obligation to be a perfect parent. I just think calling this child a bully was not appropriate. That child is someone’s child as well. That child is also 7 years old. I suspect those parents are horrified by their child’s choice of bad behavior and hopefully, help that child to see their bad choice, apologize for his or her behavior and that child will learn a valuable lesson.

    • Samantha at 7:19 pm

      Although I understand the feelings behind calling a child a bully, I don’t agree that this isn’t considered bullying. Aggressive is not simply limited to being physical. Calling people names with the intent to cause harm, bad feelings in this situation, IS aggressive. It is not normal by any standard, and having someone call you names is always unwanted. No one wants to be called stupid or dumb. So even going by your provided definition this incident qualifies as bullying.

      • Hannah at 9:22 am

        I would have to disagree a little. This behavior is actually normal. Children name call and can be mean. That is why they have parents. To teach and guide and model a better behavior. Read Lord of the Flies. Children can be hurtful as they work hard to make their own identities and understand the world around them. I do not think sending notes with hurtful words is appropriate as the teacher I am sure strongly pointed out. However, I know this may sound odd, but she may have someone who has a crush on her. It’s the proverbial dipping pig tails in the ink well story. Zoey has an amazing heart and like she said would forgive and love back. Thankfully, she has parents who help her and guide her like parents are supposed to. But a bully requires more than one days incident which hopefully this is. So it is wonderful she can overlook a day and move forward with no hurts (hopefully). Any parent would hate to have their child labeled a bully for one name calling incident, so please, be careful for putting a label on something that may be completely out of character for one day or moment. Because I can guarantee you every child at some point calls a friend, sibling or a random child an unkind name. And you as a parent quickly correct and guide, so they don’t become a bully.

  5. DeeDee at 8:14 pm

    A slightly different perspective – maybe this is another kid who is sees your daughter as her/his BFF and cannot articulate how s/he feels since your daughter has developed other interests?

    The other interests can be – a “new” friend on the scene, a new hobby ( no longer wants to participate in the games the two played ) .. from what I read, these are really young kids and neither of them probably have the ability to express / articulate in a good enough manner and/or neither of them have the ability to understand “why not” i.e. why doesn’t doesn’t want to play with me anymore?

    I hope the school is able to figure out who wrote the note and I hope the teachers are able to mediate the situation. Its a learning experience for both the kids.

    Quite a few comments jumped to the conclusion about how the other kid may not have loving parents, how the other kid may not have boundaries set (etc).

    A similar situation occurred with my child a while ago and it turned out that it was a new friend, whom she played with for the entire day and unknowingly ignored her BFF (Note — “ONE” whole day:) ) .. the BFF could write a few things and wrote a “I het (hate) you” note .. the teachers got the three kids together, sat them down, explained that the new kid was on the scene and she was there to stay .. within a week or so, the three kids became BFFs and the friendship lasted for years to come !

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