2 Investigators: Help For Students Brutally Bullied At School

Send Your Tips To Dave Savini

CHICAGO (CBS) — There are about 160,000 students nationwide who miss school every day because they are afraid of being attacked or bullied by fellow students.

Christie Paulick, a former Grayslake North High School student, became one of those statistics last year after being brutally beaten by female classmates. CBS 2’s Dave Savini spoke with the Paulick family about the emotional trauma and available help for victims to heal these wounds.

Nancy Paulick says her daughter, Christie, could not return to school after being attacked in the hallway at her locker.

“She couldn’t do it anymore,” said Paulick. “She just couldn’t–enough was enough–she didn’t feel safe in that environment.”

Dozens of fellow students stood around and watched as Christie was blindsided with a punch then repeatedly kicked. She suffered a broken nose and required surgery to repair a badly damaged eye.

“It turns your stomach,” an emotional Nancy Paulick says about seeing recently released security video of the attack. “You can see the first punch and the hard part is all of her nightmares are of that first punch.”

Christie Paulick suffered nightmares and she says she was ridiculed when she returned to school; it became too much and led to her suffering severe anxiety.

“I don’t feel safe at all at that school,” said Christie Paulick. “I wasn’t able to stay home alone. I didn’t trust anyone, I stepped away from friends who have been friends with me for years.”

After the Paulick’s contacted CBS 2, and after the surveillance video was released, Christie Paulick finally was given the help she needed. Grayslake North paid for a special school-refusal therapy program at Alexian Brothers.

Jackie Rhew is the clinical supervisor of the program.

“We use what is called exposure therapy,” said Rhew. “We also role play different ways they can respond to the bullying.”

The therapy sessions take place during a minimum two-week period. The students work in mock classrooms, learn how to process their anxiety, and handle bullies and other school-related traumas.

“We re-create situations,” said Rhew. “We have them identify what their fears are; what their thoughts are related to the fears.”

Since its creation five years ago, the program has helped over 800 students from across the Midwest.

Christie Paulick is in the process of completing the program and is enrolling in a different high school. She says she wants to do well and go to college.

The students who attacked her were prosecuted as juveniles and removed from the school.

The Paulick family believes school counselors are not enough, and student victims involved in school related attacks should have their therapy covered by the schools.

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More from 2 Investigators
  • Bridget

    its a shame our Public Schools will be unsafe…My daughter has to attend a Catholic School for a safe First Grade Clas….

  • Bridget

    Its a shame our Public Schools are unsafe….My family pays tuittion for my daughter’s new school to provide her with a safe school…

  • Vicky

    I used to bring a knife to school with me every day; worked for me!

    • Roberta Waker

      Why not a gun? Then we could see you on the news and you would be in jail, which is where the bullies belong. A knife is NOT the answer; putting bullies in JAIL with a FELONY on their records would do a lot more to discourage bullies.

  • Lisa Ladonski

    This story makes me so sad. Why was there no intervention? Well ok maybe that’s a bad example because there was nothing mentioned in the story. I am in a teacher prep program and we are learning to recognize and remedy the situations of bullying. Too bad this wasn’t in place!

    • Bridget

      Lisa has a safe comment……..Its costly for parents without any poosiple or probable solution for their child’s safety at a Public School……Vicky is the perfect example of improper posts and should be reported to a moderator for removal…

  • Centurion

    I once intervened when bullies were picking on a kid while in high school By doing so, I became the new target. Bad idea for bullies. Yea, bullies can be mean, cruel and just downright nasty. BUT, a handful of brass knuckles quickly changed all that. I saw one of those bullies many years later. He still has false teeth! It’s a good feeling knowing that his actions towards me, caused permanent dental disfigurement.

  • Roberta Waker

    As long as bullies are prosecuted as juveniles and charged with a misdemeanor; they will continue their behavior. They need to be charged with a FELONY and serve JAIL time, where they will learn all about bullying. When in school or on school premises, the schools are responsible for our children and if they can’t protect them from bullies; they need to find another line of work or hire people that CAN protect our children. Suing the bully’s parents and the school might be a wake up call too.

    • iris

      The girls who had done this to Christie do have felony on their record and i believe they are still in jail. I am one of Christies super close friends and have been by her side through this entire nightmare.. She is doing really well now

  • kels~

    poor girl, no one deserves that.

  • Catheryn

    Schools need to learn how to tak responsibility for their actions. Often times, bullying gets this bad because faculty and staff turn a blind eye on what’s going on. I was bullied nearly every day in high school. I was threatened numerous times. I’ve had repulsive rumors spread about me (even by someone who actually works at the school.) I was bullied both physically and emotionally. It came to a point where I wanted to drop out of school even though I was an honors student. I went to the principal many times, seeking help, but received none. I had to travel hours away an meet with bigger city politicians to get help. After three years of suffering, the bullying finally stopped. It should’t have taken a week. Schools need to step up already. What if it were your kid wanting to drop out or commit suicide?

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/04/27/dr-phil-children-must-be-taught-in-new-ways-to-curb-bullying/ Dr. Phil: Children Must Be Taught In New Ways To Curb Bullying « CBS Chicago

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  • Bridget

    Yes….@Catheryn schools are not fostering the proper enviornment to avoid Bullying…..My family is still physically, emotionally, and financially in harms way because of my daughter’s kindergarten experience in a public school…..We commute every day out of state for her safe first grade class….

  • Catheryn

    @ Bridget, that’s ridiculous! It’s sad how schools have become and how nonchalant they are when it comes to things like this. I really hope your daughter feels better at her new school. Bullying often ruins kids lives, but I hope it only makes your little girl a stronger person with wonderful character. My family’s house has been egged multiple times because we didn’t stay quiet about the bullying. We even took it to the press. Someday your daughter will be able to help others get through tough times like you are doing for her.

  • jessica lucina

    My own daughter has been bulllied. The problem is that when the bullies are reported, they get a mild slap on the wrist. They then get their friends involved and spend the rest of the school year (and often longer) making life HELL for the kid who “tattled”. She has faced it at Wauconda highschool…… cheerleaders bullied her and rather than being disciplined, the coach made them captains. And the girls who were bullied by them……. still having problems. Schools have ZERO control over this issue. The PARENTS need to start being legally punished…… maybe then they will stop being their kids friends ands start punishing them for their actions.

    • Vicky

      @jessica lucina That doesn’t always work. The girl who was bullying my daughter was the daughter of a state trooper. So things went wrong,waaaay wrong for my daughter. We had to fight back hard. Sad thing is that even her father began to take part in the bullying. He had cut me off while driving,had been tailgating me. Luckily I had taken down the plate # and make-model of his vehicle. I had to file a complaint against him.I was NOT going to be pushed around and I was NOT going to stop fighting for my daughter.We as Parents of the bullied need to help carry our children through this storm. We need to be their strength through all of this. We need to keep them going.

      • Jessica Lucina

        We did file complaints,,,,,,, with the school…….. with the police….. nothing changed. My daughter was even cursed out on school property by one of the bullies mothers….. the school said they couldn’t do anything…… the police said they would ‘file a report”……. nothing ever gets done. It stinks,,, we hate it,,, but we are both tired of being bullied. So now,,,,, we count down the days till she graduates (less than 30 now) and we can flip them off on the way out the door and never look back.

  • Catheryn

    Schools have zero control? Since when? Students have a right to feel safe at school. During those 7+ hours of school, faculty and staff are responsible for the students and what goes on. They have the power to go as far as expelling the bullies; they just don’t want to.

  • Vicky

    @Christie Paulick,if you are reading this… please stay strong. Keep your head up higher than ever. You are better than these people who did this to you. Always keep your cell phone with you at all times & when ever needed,call or text your parents. YOU HAVE THAT RIGHT. My daughter Catheryn was told by the school that she couldn’t do that,but even a Senator told us that she has EVERY RIGHT TO CALL ME IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY,such as her bullies coming after her. Just please stay strong.Catheryn contacting me asap really did help,because every time that she called me for something like this…I was right at the school complaining about the situation.((((((HUGS)))))) Stay strong & don’t lose track of who you are & always strive to be a better person than those girls who hurt you. You can Do It!

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