For one Georgia teen harassment at school was so bad that by age ten she asked her mother for an operation to have her ears pinned back. In an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Nadia Ilse, 14, said the taunting, “hurt so much,” and had turned her into a withdrawn person.
According to the Huffington Post, Nadia received the operation she asked her mother for. Her mother had contacted the Little Baby Face Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free corrective surgery to children with facial deformities.
Not only did they pin her ears back, but they also provided Nadia with a chin augmentation and corrective nose surgery. The Foundation also covered the $40,000 estimated cost of the surgeries, as well as bringing Nadia and her mother to New York City.
“I look beautiful, this is exactly what I wanted, I love it,” Nadia said after the operations. Even though Nadia knows she should have been accepted the way she was, she has no regrets about the procedures because she knew the bullying wouldn’t stop without them.
As part of her treatment Nadia must undergo counseling to deal with the years of psychological stress the bullying at school has caused her. Little Baby Face board member Don Moriarity stated that Nadia’s new perspective about herself reflects the group’s mission. He stated, “We like to say that Baby Face transforms the lives of these children and gives them newfound confidence.”
Recently, there has been a lot of focus on bullying in schools. According to the Huffington Post, between 1999 and 2010 more than 120 bills were passed on the state level to introduce or amend legislations regarding bullying and harassment in schools.
By December 2011, when the U.S. Department of Education released a study into bullying, 46 states had anti-bullying laws enacted, 36 states had laws focused on cyber-bullying, and 13 states had enacted laws that gave schools authority to address harassment when it occurred off of school property.