What would you do if your child was being bullied?
Being encouraged to take their own life through disturbing text messages?
A local mother and daughter are speaking out to put a stop to such bullying.
Peggy Cundiff and her daughter, Valerie Diaz, feel as if the steps they’ve taken to address bullying are not working.
They are advocating for change.
One week ago, Diaz began receiving disturbing and vulgar texts from phone numbers she didn’t know, the area codes from out of state.
One of the texts read: “You know what Valerie? You should just go kill yourself. No one likes you and I hope you die. All your friends don’t even like you and you *blank* up everything. Just go die already.”
Another text read: ” I hope you die. Do everyone a favor and just die already.”
The 17-year-old senior at Frontier High School discovered the texts were from an app called Text Now.
“It just definitely, definitely just brings you down,” said Valerie Diaz.”
Diaz has remained strong despite the texts.
“It wouldn’t be the right thing to end your life. Basically I know I have a lot to live for and I know have a big future ahead of me, but definitely it is hard getting the text messages at the time,” Diaz said.
“This is just devastating that someone could say those things to her,” said Peggy Cundiff, Diaz’s mother.
Cundiff said her daughter is strong.
Most would never be able to tell the toll these texts are taking on her, but Cundiff does.
“I know her, she’s my daughter so I know when she’s hurting,” Cundiff said.
Diaz has blocked the numbers, but it hasn’t stopped the texts from coming.
“I do the same thing every time, I block the number and then the next day it’s from a totally different number,” Diaz said.
Cundiff has reached out to Frontier High School and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office for help.
She said they couldn’t help.
17 contacted KCSO about the issue.
KCSO said there has to be a credible threat before they can intervene.
There is no law that allows authorities to intervene otherwise.
“They’re not going to do anything until I harm myself or if I hurt myself or if something bad happens or they threatening me and it’s like, I think it’s ridiculous that it even has to get to that level,” Diaz said.
17 also reached out to the Kern High School District which replied with this statement: “The Kern High School District and Frontier High School do not condone bullying of any kind. Student safety is our number one priority.”
KHSD also listed how instances of bullying are addressed, as well as a number of anti-bullying resources and tips available to students on any of its campuses.
That’s not enough for Diaz and Cundiff – they want change.
“I just want people to know that are getting bullied and are getting harassed, I just want people to know that they are worth it. Everyone’s worth it. Everyone has a meaning for living and for life,” Diaz said.
“There are people out there that will advocate for you,” Cundiff said.
Again, law enforcement cannot intervene because there is no law that allows them to .
The Kern High School District cannot tell 17 if they’ve intervened because of laws protecting minors.
Any action on the schools part to stop a student who may be bullying another cannot be discussed with anyone, even the student who is the victim in the incident.
For information about KHSD bullying policies and resources for students click here: www.kernhigh.org
You can also go to your child’s specific high school website.