A seventh-grader at Owatonna Junior High School reportedly received a vicious letter from another student. The letter was left inside the student's desk. A friend's mother shared the letter online and it's gaining a lot of attention. Many are mortified that someone, even a young kid, would write something like this. The letter might be triggering and is not appropriate for children. Please read with caution.

 

The letter says some pretty awful things and suggests the recipient should "kill yourself." It also states very explicit sexually-degrading references to the recipient, as well.

It goes without saying that this is something we as a community need to address and figure out ways to ensure kids don't take things to this level and not harm each other. Words are very dangerous and they do more harm than imaginable.

The parent that posted the letter touched on a very important point: "WE are what can make a difference in how kids treat each other." I agree. I have a call into the Owatonna Schools Administrative office to see if they were aware of the letter and if they were looking into it. I will update this story once I find out more.

But, for now, talk to your kids about how each of them can make a difference in each other's lives by being kind and remind them to not bully each other. People who are hurting often try to hurt other people. Obviously, the student that wrote this is hurting. I hope something positive can come of this and the student that did this has an opportunity for growth and guidance on how harmful words can be. I hope they rectify this. And I hope the student that received this letter knows just how much they matter and are loved, that they are not defined by what was on this letter.

Can we use this as an opportunity to cultivate change? I believe we can. What if we do a school campaign across the country where we encourage students to write each other kindness letters? Tell each other how amazing each person is and what their qualities are? Now THAT would make a difference.