A Charlotte woman got lots of viral traction on the internet this week for writing a letter to three girls at the Starbucks in Cotswold who sounded “mean” and “petty” as they discussed friends and fellow classmates
Michelle Icard, a mom and author of a parenting book, was sitting at a table when she overheard three teenage girls next to her making the comments.
Icard said the three were making fun of another girl who sang a song at a talent show about being lonely, and ridiculed gifts they had received from friends in the past.
As they continued to talk, Icard said it felt like “There was a bullying element, there was a positioning of power and they were putting themselves above others.”
She was enraged. “I have never had such a strong reaction,” Icard said.
She wanted to say something to the teens at the time but instead posted her thoughts about it on her Facebook page. Shortly after, someone commented that she should buy the girls coffee and write them a note.
She drove past the shop and saw the girls still sitting there, so she ordered three mini frappuccinos on her phone and told the barista to give them to the girls since they weren’t ready when she arrived.
Then she approached the girls and handed them the note and then left. Here’s what it said:
“I sat near you today in Starbucks and listened as you talked. You three are obviously pretty and hard-working. I wish your kindness matched your pretty exteriors. I heard you talk about a girl who sang a song about being lonely in the talent show – and you laughed. About a girl who couldn’t be lead singer because you got all the votes, about crappy presents other people have given you…and you sounded so mean and petty.”
“You are smart and you are pretty. It would take nothing from you to also be kind. – M.”
She later wrote about the experience in more detail in a blog post that has received more than 2,000 Facebook likes so far.
While Icard says she is stunned by the reaction she has received, this is not the first time she has gotten attention for writing about teenagers.
Icard, who is married and has two teenage children, wrote a book in 2014 titled “Middle School Makeover,” a guide for parents and educators on how to handle students’ middle school years.
Icard’s note comes at a time when there has been greater conversation in schools about how to prevent bullying.
According to a report in 2013 by the National Center for Education Statistics, 22 percent of students reported being bullied between the ages of 12 and 18. About 24 percent of females reported being bullied as compared to 19 percent for males.