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Mom goes viral to help crying daughter
01:41 - Source: HLN

Editor’s Note: Kelly Wallace is CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. She’s a mom of two girls and lives in Manhattan. Read her other columns and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter.

Story highlights

A Minnesota mom posted a video of her daughter crying after she'd allegedly been bullied

The mom says she posted the video because the school did nothing about the bullying

Parents might not realize all the avenues they have to deal with bullying, experts say

The No. 1 goal, according to the experts, is making a child feel safe

CNN  — 

Sarah Cymbaluk of Fosston, Minnesota, is a frustrated mom who took matters into her own hands. After claiming that her daughter was repeatedly bullied on the school bus and the school did nothing about it, she posted a video on Facebook.

In the video, Cymbaluk asked her crying daughter, “Tell me how it makes you feel.”

Her daughter, who turned 9 on Tuesday, responded, “It makes me feel sad and scared, and I don’t like it.”

“She’s been called into the principal’s (office) and made to feel like it’s her fault,” Cymbaluk told CNN affiliate KXJB, claiming the bullying has gone on since December. “She’s been told to ignore it. She’s been told to disregard it. Basically she’s been told to stuff her emotions and get on with life.”

Fosston Schools Superintendent Mark Nohner, who said he thinks the situation could have been resolved without going to Facebook, said he learned about this issue only recently but conceded “somewhere along the line” the case “fell through the cracks.”

Are we too quick to cry ‘bully’ these days?

“And so we need to review our procedures and policies and maybe do a better job of articulating to the parents what we’re doing,” said Nohner.

While Cymbaluk has come under some fire for posting the video of her tearful daughter, this case demonstrates how angry and helpless parents can feel when they believe their child is being bullied and that nothing is being done to stop it.

‘You want to do something to help your child’

Becki Cohn-Vargas, a parent of three grown children, is a former principal, superintendent and teacher with more than two decades of experience in education. She is now director of Not in Our School, a program that works to create networks of schools that are free of bullying and offers a guide to parents on how to deal with bullying behavior.

“Without knowing all the details of the case, what I can say is that I can understand a parent’s frustration because I, as a parent, have moved my child from a school … so I know that you feel desperate,” said Cohn-Vargas, who transferred her own daughter to another high school years ago because of a bullying incident. “You want to do something to help your child.”