Norman Woman Comes Forward To Encourage Victims Of Bullying
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Monday's student protest at Norman High School prompted a former Norman High student to come forward.
She said she was the victim of bullying. Tuesday she broke her silence after the alleged rapes and bullying of three more students.
Courtney Montgomery, 20, said she knows firsthand what the three alleged rape victims are going though.
Courtney graduated from Norman High in 2012 and said that year she encountered bullies that drove her into depression.
“It was very uncomfortable going to school, and I felt that no one was really there to help me,” said Courtney Montgomery.
Courtney is now a junior psychology major at OU. But just a few years ago, she was struggling emotionally. She said she was on the verge of taking her own life.
She went to therapy because of excessive bullying at Norman High.
“I shouldn't feel like all of that was my fault, and I feel like our culture really engrains in the minds, especially girls, like oh, it's up to them to decide whether or not they get bullied,” said Montgomery.
Courtney said a situation off campus with her then boyfriend prompted bullying at school. She said she went to school officials, but doesn't feel enough was done.
“The issues of bullying, sexual assault, are challenges that schools and school districts face every day, and there has to be a multitude of ways that you deal with it,” said Norman Schools Superintendent, Dr. Joe Siano.
Dr. Siano said he is open to making improvements to the way the district handles these situations.
“Whether it's bulling or any other kind of student behavior, there has to also be a way of reaching that student and trying to turn that cycle around,” said Siano.
Courtney said it wasn't until now that she was brave enough to speak out.
“If you have the courage to stand up and step out, you might be able to encourage someone else to do the same and make an impact,” said Montgomery.
Courtney said her experience with bullying is why she decided to study psychology at OU.
She said she plans to become a clinical psychologist and work with children.