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25 years after bullying, Facebook poem prompts Class of 1987 to make amends

Ahead of their 25-year high school reunion, former classmates come together to make amends with a woman who was taunted for being poor. KNSD-TV's Tony Shin reports.

A woman says a  Facebook poem she posted about bullying has brought pleas for forgiveness from former classmates who tormented her at a California high school 25 years ago.

Now, some of those classmates want to make amends and have asked Lynda Frederick, 42, of Rochester, N.Y., to attend her 25th high school reunion in Escondido, Calif., on July 27, compliments of the Orange Glen High School Class of 1987.

 “I am nervous,” Frederick told msnbc.com on Friday. “I am looking forward to seeing them, even knowing that what has happened has happened. I have forgiven those who have hurt me in the past.”


See NBCSanDiego.com's report on Frederick and the Class of 1987

Frederick said she received phone calls, emails and Facebook messages from former classmates after she posted a poem on the Orange Glen High School Class of 1987 Facebook page.

In her poem, she wrote:

that little girl who came to school with the clothes she wore the day before
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had to walk to school while others rode the bus
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had bruises and was dirty
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who was always crying
instead of asking why.. you picked on her

“They’re all apologizing now for how I was treated,” Frederick said. “I had one man call me up and we talked for an hour on the phone. He cried and cried. I kept saying, ‘You can’t fix yesterday, so let’s fix today.’”

Frederick said she posted the poem on the Facebook page as a way to send a message to her peers about how bullying affects victims.

“It never leaves you,” Frederick said. “I wanted people to know that for the one who is doing the bullying, it could just be a phase, but for the person who is being bullied, it stays with you all your life.”

Lynda Frederick, second from right, says she was bullied 25 years ago in high school. She's pictured with her sons and daughter.

'I cried'
Lisa Wallace was among the Facebook users to read it.

"This poem touched me so bad I could not sleep. I cried," Wallace told NBCSanDiego.com.

Kristi Malone remembered Frederick and how brutal kids had been to the bespectacled brunette.

"Looking at her being bullied horribly and thinking, ‘I feel so bad for her,’" Malone told NBCSanDiego.com. "But never thinking in my head that I could stand up for her, and not once did anyone back her up."

Other classmates have read the poem and many have said they feel overwhelmed by guilt.

"Just people in tears, like 'How could we have done this to her,' Malone said. They "were just crying, saying 'Why did I do that?'"

After graduation, Frederick said, she packed up her belongings and headed to New York state to begin anew.

"I needed to get out, to get away,” Frederick told msnbc.com.

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Today, Frederick has three children, 22-year-old Eric, 20-year-old Bryson and 14-year-old Amanda, who is currently dealing with bullying issues at school, she said.

"She’s overweight and doesn’t wear the trendiest clothes and it’s been very difficult,” Frederick said. “I tell her to look at the people and say, ‘If you don't like what I'm wearing, if you don't like the way I look, then don't look.’"  

She said she hopes her daughter’s classmates will change their behavior.

Organizers for the Orange Glen High School Class of 1987 reunion have collected more than $800 to Frederick an airline ticket to California for the event.

She has accepted and plans to stay for a week. She said she is looking forward to seeing everyone, no matter what happened in the past.

"She really is my hero because she succeeded through all of this," Wallace said.  "I look up to her."

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