High school life for Lynda Frederick was the worst you could imagine. From dodging flying objects to garnering a nickname as the "scum of the school," Lynda left southern California after graduation and never looked back—until a few years ago, when on a whim she decided to reconnect with some old classmates online.
That decision changed the course of her life—leading her to forgive those who had hurt her 25 years earlier. It even landed her in the midst of a media storm about her experience.
On November 18, GMC's pilot show, I Forgive You, will air Lynda's journey to forgiveness. Here's a TCW glimpse behind the scenes of her story—including tips for parents and teachers who want to end bullying both inside and outside the classroom.
What kind of bullying did you endure in your high school years?
LYNDA: The bullying was an everyday, look-over-my-shoulder kind of thing. It was everything: what I wore, how I looked. It didn't matter what I did, I always got picked on. I got called the "scum of the school," and had things thrown at me. People tripped me. I didn't feel like I had any escape; I just kept dragging every day to get through school. I wasn't an honor roll student; I barely passed. When I graduated, I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
How did you cope?
My family wasn't supportive, and my religious upbringing was focused on all the things I wasn't allowed to do—go to dances, celebrate holidays, things like that.
I had one person I could go to for support: my psychology teacher, Mr. Bree. He was a big inspiration to me because his classroom was always open. Many times I would go into his room crying, and he would take the time to listen even if he had been busy doing something else.1