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Cheeseburger Incitement

One of my mother’s friends’ daughters (“Maggie”) went to sleep-away camp this summer – she is 11, maybe 12.  While she was there, a terrible incident occurred wherein she said something to offend some of the other campers in her cabin.  A handful of these girls waited until lights out, then attacked Maggie.  Some of them held her down; they bound her wrists with duct tape, taped her mouth with duct tape, and held her nose shut.  The excuse the counselors gave for not intervening was that they “weren’t sure if the girls were laughing or screaming”.  Are you serious?  As a counselor, isn’t it your duty to CHECK AND MAKE SURE?  What are you getting paid for?!

What did Maggie say that was so offensive to get her terrorized by a group of tween girls?  “I like cheeseburgers better,” in response to a discussion at dinner.  The camp is a Jewish camp.  Cheeseburgers aren’t Kosher.

I’ll pause to let this all sink in.

A non-Orthodox Jewish girl casually expressed a penchant for a non-Kosher food in the presence of Kosher-keeping peers, and their response was to practically attempt to kill her.

It infuriates me and saddens me deeply that this sort of religious brutality is still being taught by parents.  Is this the 1500’s?  Nazi Germany?  How is this considered a viable option in today’s world, by children?

In case you were wondering exactly what kind of parents these girls have: Maggie has been locked in her room since she got home, cries constantly, refuses to eat, and has lost ten pounds.  However, since she got home, Maggie’s mother has been inundated by phone calls from the director of the camp, on her personal cell phone, even after dinner, complaining that the parents of the other girls have been calling HIM, complaining that their daughters’ expulsion from camp has ruined THEIR lives.  Her response had essentially been, “Are you kidding?  They tried to kill my daughter; they’re lucky I’m not pressing charges.”  Eventually, she had to subtly threaten to sue the camp for negligence to get the harassment to stop.

Recap: Completely benign, casual comment from girl gets her attacked and smothered by her peers in some sort of misguided religious fury, is completely traumatized, and the parents of the offenders, instead of locking their daughters in their rooms until they turn forty and being grateful they’re not landing in kiddie prison, are complaining about the unfairness of their expulsion from camp.

I don’t think it gets much worse than this, folks.  Please raise your children better. 0809-08

To all who thought this post was an April’s Fools Day punk, it was not. The numbers at the end of the story indicate the date it was email submitted which means this one was sent August 9, 2008. If the original writer witnessed these events during the summer, a submission date in August seems plausible. I schedule the stories to be published a week in advance and I didn’t pay much attention to the date of April 1st and what story should be published on that date. I edit for typos and formatting but rarely ever edit for content and the story was published exactly how it was submitted. The blog allows for a greater degree of freedom for readers to then comment on the submitted stories.

The main point, for me, in this story is that the parents of the bullying girls failed completely in teaching courtesy and respect to their children. When the basics of civilized behavior is overlooked, like a building with a poor foundation, the net result is an attitude of entitlement to act in any manner one chooses with no regard for how it will impact others or society. The parents of the bully girls are doing them no favors by protecting the poor dears from the consequences of their actions or reinforcing their faux victimhood.

{ 55 comments… add one }
  • lkb October 19, 2010, 4:58 am

    I’m late on this one but I just wanted to note that yes, bullying and harassment like this happen all the time and charges are rarely filed, even by the parents.
    I know: It happened to me. I really don’t know why my parents never filed or threatened to file charges against the teen who purposely tried to ignite my hair on fire in class (a history class, not chemistry. No doubt it was intentional). I’ll never know why the teacher didn’t even send the guy to the principal’s office. Perhaps their inaction was a way to protect me from even worse. I’ll never know.
    But events did play out that way for me and it probably did in this incident as well.
    God have mercy on them all.

  • Skoffin October 19, 2010, 9:24 am

    I’m getting a little tired of all these ‘I call shenanigans’ posts over such silly things. A young girl was attacked due to religious beliefs, I can’t fathom how anyone can see mentioning it as anti-Semitic or that it’s irrelevant to the story. How was the OP supposed to convey why the girl was attacked then? Was she supposed to say ‘Young girl said something that other girls thought was offensive, but it wasn’t actually offensive’ and leave it at that? If she did then we’d have gotten a lot of the ‘more to the story’ comments and people would wonder if the OP were down playing what the girl said.
    As for the Nazi comment, what of it? No, it was not on the same scale, but that was not what the OP was suggesting. A young Jewish girl was attacked for being different, just like many Jewish people were attacked for their beliefs.

    Please people, stop getting ranting and raving about what you would have done and how much different things would be. We like to say that we’d have sorted it out, I myself have been guilty of this, but we really don’t know until we are in a situation like it. I don’t think it fair to label someone as a bad parent or that it must be fake based on their actions on the matter, when we don’t know if anything was done or what could even be done. I was set on fire in high school, nothing was done about it. I was made all sorts of promises as to what would be done with the other kid, but he was back at school within days. Meanwhile I was being endlessly bullied by everyone else and was mean for getting such a nice guy in trouble.
    I couldn’t even get the guy kicked out of school, you bet I’d be annoyed if I was accused of being fake for him not getting harsher penalties.

  • Tori December 17, 2010, 12:42 pm

    Back in 7th grade this girl and guy who didnt like me started a rumor that I had a kill list. I was suspended for a week even though there was no proof other than 2 people who say they have seen it. Police checked my backpack and house. No kill list. However why trust a straight A student who does constant volenteer work over a guy who tagged the school and a girl who smoked pot in the bathroom. Anyways their intent was to get me expelled so they were upset that I was back. So naturally they have to beat me up. Two black eyes and a broken rib are not enough to get them in trouble however because there was no ‘evidence’ they did it.

  • Chloe January 24, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Late on this, but wow Tori – I’m sorry to hear that.

    Schools are awful now a days, with their “zero-tolerance” policies. Now a days, if a child gets beat up, brutally by another child – the child who was beaten gets suspended as well as the one who gave the beating. I don’t understand the whole “If someone bullies you, walk away” deal that they preach to the kids. How can you walk away when someone is beating you ?

    I hope those two that did that to you got what was coming to them..

  • Jenna S. March 3, 2015, 7:04 am

    I know that I am way late to this, but I had to comment. Yes, stuff like this does happen. It happened to me (similar terrors).
    I has beaten with glass bottles, pinned down and slapped when I cried, pushed down the stairs, etc. I wish this story was made up. I wish things like this didn’t happen. I wish my story was unique.
    Stuff like this DOES happen…..

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