Dear Lisbeth Salander: Help! I’m Bullied at School

This week's guest columnist is Lisbeth Salander, who's a hacker but not a hack, Wasp but not a WASP, and an all-around tough-as-nails badass.

Dear Ms. Salander,

I am dreading the end of summer. I am in high school, and I seem to be the target of a group of girls I call the Mean Teens. They’re pretty, popular, come from wealthy families, and they pick on me every chance they get. They call me names, trip me in the halls, and steal things from my locker. I’m terrified to go to the girls’ room because they said they would rearrange my face if they caught me alone in there.

Last year, the leader Crystal locked me inside my gym locker after 3:00 pm. I had to wait until the night staff came on at 5:30, and then I screamed until a night custodian came to help me.

I feel like running away from home so I don’t have to face those girls again. My mom has called the school, but they either don’t care or they can’t do anything legally because it is my word against the Mean Teens. Can you help me?

—Bullied in Bernardsville

Dear B in B,

Those bitches! You let this go on the entire year? Man, you need to get some backbone and grow a pair. 

Okay, listen. I have dealt with bullies and learned that the school administrators are next to hopeless when it comes to dealing with this crap. They are scared shitless because the mommies and the daddies of the Mean Teens are rich and have a lawyer on speed dial. The administrators are terrified that a lawsuit might make them look bad and have the public think their school isn’t a perfect, safe place for the darling little bitches. It is up to you to put these girls in their place and stop the bullying. Here’s my suggestion:

Go after Crystal first, since she seems to be the ringleader. You know what they say about cutting off the head of a snake. 

What do you think about using fire? There is something deeply unsettling about being set on fire, and that's something that can be advantageous to you—you may have to threaten to set this bitch Crystal on fire.

Now, I don’t recommend that you actually set her on fire, I mean that’s the last option to be used, only if the threat doesn’t work and you can get her alone where no one knows what you are doing. If you do set her on fire and there are witnesses, you will be branded a psychopath and you really will have to run away from home to avoid the nuthouse. So rule one: no witnesses.

But, back to my original advice. Learn to play with matches. Light them and let them burn down to your fingers. Yeah, it takes a lot of guts to have your fingers slightly singed, but that pain will be worth it when you threaten your bully. 

Find out where Crystal hangs out and find out when she is alone. Confront her and begin your little match game. Ask her how she likes fire and tell her that you love seeing things burn. Casually mention some suspicious fires you’ve looked up on the Internet and let her think that you and a friend in another town were responsible for them. Tell her that you’re crazy and that she does not want to mess with you. Also, tell her that if she breathes a word to anyone about this she will end up a toasted marshmallow; either you or your friend will make sure she burns.

If that doesn’t work, beat the crap out of her in the bathroom. 

Call 555-5000 for my instructional video, Beat Up the Bully Before the Bully Beat You

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Kristen Houghton is the author of nine top-selling novels, including For I Have Sinned and Grave Misgivings, books 1 and 2 in the best-selling new series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation. Book 3 in the series, Unrepentant: Pray for Us Sinners, will be published Fall of 2016. She is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own.

Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories.


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    It’s important to bring challenges and pressure on yourself so that you can grow. Too often people focus on the negative, and they focus on the challenges they face at school. This can lead to a lot of unhappiness and stress. They don’t have any sense of satisfaction, and they get very bored.

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