Jetta Fosberg’s Brave Fight Against Bullying

 

jetta
Image via Stand With Jetta.

Jetta Fosberg has a seriously cute pixie cut.

The reason for said haircut is even better than the ‘do itself. Jetta donated 14 inches of her hair to an organization called Wigs for Kids, a nonprofit that makes wigs for children with cancer. Such a selfless act is certainly commendable, but apparently not everyone agrees. Upon the debut of her haircut, Jetta became the target of bullying by her classmates. They couldn’t see the positivity in her drastic transformation; all they could say was that she looked “like a boy.” Eleven-year-olds can be cruel, absolutely, but it is awful that such a great girl is caught up in it.

Jetta knows firsthand what horrible effects cancer can have on a person. She has lost one of her grandparents to lung cancer, and another one of her grandparents is currently battling colon cancer. As a result, she did the only thing she felt she could do — and that was to donate her hair. At her age, hair is almost like a crowning glory, a sign of inherent femininity — even if that is not a girl’s intention. Long hair is just the norm, and if you go against the norm as Jetta did, you are often ostracized.

But here’s the thing no one expected: the extreme push back from her peers. They went beyond typical teasing, calling her “Justin Bieber” and “Miley Cyrus,” and they were relentless, especially her male classmates.

“Usually my friends are really supportive, but they were saying I was ugly, that no one likes me anymore,” Jetta admitted.

The taunting got so bad that even a girl as spirited and wonderful as Jetta was pushed to her breaking point. Her mother, Heidi Fosberg, went through the appropriate channels to file a complaint, and while the school administration claimed to be following up on the complaint, none of the students were reprimanded for their behavior.

Even the school’s principal was unsympathetic. He tried to tell her all of the tired lines that are commonly fed to children being taunted instead of really checking to make sure that his students were acting responsibly.

“He said he didn’t know of anyone who has ever died from words being said,” Heidi Fosberg told the media about the principal.

When the school decided not to follow through with the complaint, Jetta missed several weeks of school. To me, that is deplorable behavior on the part of the administration. How could they tell a young girl who just did something so incredibly brave that her abusers will face no repercussions for their behavior? And more importantly, what kind of example does that set for the children? Jetta has admitted that her classmates didn’t take the alleged scolding seriously because no one enforced the discipline.

While Jetta took the lack of support from her school and peers in stride, her mom took to the Internet to show Jetta that people care about what she did. The page Stand With Jetta has over 100k fans. It is a page where only positive and encouraging comments are allowed, and Jetta and her mom continue to post updates about Jetta’s charity work.

Her hair is slowly growing back, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. I think we can all learn from this sweet girl and help whenever and wherever we can, no matter who tries to stand in our way.

While she may have swapped her dream of winning a Tony for winning a Pulitzer, Sa’iyda Shabazz has always been a creative person. She abandoned her dreams of becoming a Broadway star when she began writing her first novel fresh out of college. She has yet to find an agent who realizes how awesome she is but in the meanwhile she has written another full length novel and never stops exploring the ideas swimming in her head. She is also an avid pop culture junkie and a random fact machine who should be on Jeopardy. Follow her social media and check out her cooking blog!

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