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Learning Beyond Bullying with Online Education

July 2nd, 2021
Student sitting alone outside

At sixteen years old, Madison Vangen, now a graduate of Grad Solutions, started getting bullied for the first time in her life. A picture began circulating around her school, causing classmates to mercilessly ridicule her. She became insecure, concerned about how she looked and what her classmates thought about her, throwing her into a depression. She felt as if the whole world was suddenly out to get her.

Student looking at a profile on their laptop

She begged her father to take her out of her school because the bullying was becoming too much to handle. Unfortunately, the next school she attended felt much the same. Her teachers and students might have changed, but her anxieties, and the ruthlessness of her peers, remained the same. Bullying ultimately caused Madison to withdraw from school, as it does for many K-12 students.

An Alternative to Traditional School

As you likely already know, bullying is a major issue facing many students today. In fact, according to the CDC, among bullied students, 15.5% missed one or more days of school because of safety concerns during the previous 30 days. Luckily, Madison discovered a learning environment more suited to her personality and needs. A friend introduced her to Grad Solutions where she was greeted by friendly staff, supportive teachers, and an atmosphere of comfort. Finally, Madison was able to be herself and focus on her education.

Student smiling

Paired with a personal mentor, Madison was given all the guidance she needed to get across the finish line. She was encouraged and supported by both the Grad Solutions staff and her family alike. They never stopped believing in her, rejecting her “I can’t” and replacing it with “Yes you can.” Over time, she started hearing their words in her head, too, saying: “You are smarter than you realize.”

Online Learning Makes All the Difference for Some Students

In July 2021, Madison will walk across the stage at the annual graduation ceremony, receiving her well-deserved high school diploma. She is so grateful to have accomplished this feat, which not too long ago seemed totally out of reach.

Graduate portrait photo on her graduation day

Online learning allowed her to be free from peer-driven harassment and bullying. It also allowed her to spend more time around her family, who made sure that she always had all the necessary tools for her schooling.

Have You Been Bullied?

For all of those who have suffered the pains of bullying, Madison has some advice:

“Do not ever think that you are not good enough at something, because deep down you truly are. Those who bully are often the ones who are hurting the most and are merely trying to feel better about their own circumstances. Don’t be afraid to speak up and get the help you deserve. You do not have to be alone in this.”

Madison, Class of 2021

If you are being bullied, visit StopBullying.gov for resources and phone numbers to call. If you dropped out of school due to bullying in the past, please know that you are not alone. School should be a place where you can learn and grow while feeling safe. You have the right to finish your schooling free from harassment. It really is possible. You can do it and Grad Solutions is here to support your success and walk beside you all the way to the finish line!

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