MARIA KRZEMINSKI, a Long Beach High School sophomore, said she's been bullied by the same group of girls since eighth grade. Her parents, George and Shelley, said a school psychologist had asked teachers to keep an eye on Maria, but the bullying has continued.
For about two years I've been getting bullied. One girl tried to push me down the stairs, another girl threw paper balls at me in class. In the bathroom, she was making animal noises as another girl was laughing. I've known them since middle school and probably eight girls are involved.
Some are popular, some are not particularly . . . there are a few followers who are just there and keep their mouths shut. I feel nervous and scared.
If I do run into them, they start a whole thing. They say stuff and they laugh. I just go a different way.
I'm in special ed, and in the beginning of the year I switched into a regular class. I found the main bully was in my class and started throwing paper balls at me, making animal noises of cows and cats. The next day she was doing it again and the teacher said, "Do you want to go to the dean?" I told the deans what happened and they said, "We'll speak to her." They've talked to her, but she doesn't care. . . . I asked my mom the other day to let me be homeschooled, but she doesn't have time for that.
I feel like my life has been taken over. I don't really eat, I have been really down and upset and crying - all because of bullying. So if you see anyone getting bullied, try helping and make it stop.
[Jake Alexander and I] are starting a bullying club. We ordered the rubber band bracelets. Honestly we're just starting, and I'm not sure how it's going to go. We have to get someone 18 and older to help us so we can rent out a room, to hold a forum in the public library.
LONG BEACH SAYS: While noting he cannot comment on specific allegations, Principal Gaurav Passi said school policy includes mediating conflicts and progressively adding more severe consequences for bullying, from verbal warnings to detention, suspension, parental conferences and counseling. "We just keep upping the ante, upping the pressure," he said. "The goal is to have the student change their behavior."