I was reading the New York Times when I came across this headline.
Now the article speaks a lot about the school and the role that they may have played in the suicide of a teenager who had been bullied by her schoolmates.
I supposed what stood out to me was just how horrible we can be to each other. For whatever reasons they disliked her, it resulted in them tarnishing her reputation at school, on the internet and constantly badgering her. I suppose this must have also been a complete culture shock for her since her parents had moved her from another country. I can’t imagine that pain.
When I was younger, I was bullied. It was in the fifth grade. My parents had just moved from the city to the south suburbs of Chicago. I was the new girl. I was a geek. I was short. And I was always the teachers pet. They should have just put a note that said “kick me” on my back with those statistics.
The kids would stand in a circle at recess and take turns kicking me. On the school bus they would push me down the aisle. Destroy my property and call me names.
At the time my parents were devout evangelical conservative christians and they truly believed Jesus wanted me to “turn the other cheek.” I don’t think that’s sound advice.
Years later, after being home schooled for high school, I went to the public high school for a few classes. It was during this short time at the public school that things got out of hand. This was immediately after Columbine happened and every school was sensitive to the potential of violence. Through some mis-communication and perhaps just high school bs, i ended being pushed in front of a moving bus, having my hair grabbed and pulled and being followed home by four girls who yelled all sorts of threats at me.
The school told me I wasn’t allowed to fight back. They told all of us that. They said because of Columbine, even people fighting back to protect themselves would be expelled too. I couldn’t afford to be expelled since it was my senior year and I had a full scholarship to college coming up.
Because the school officials did not handle the issue in a way my mom saw fit, the police were brought in to handle it. Eventually the girls were suspended and things died down.
If you are being bullied…which can even happen to high schoolers, college students and adults, you have to take that serious. Don’t be the boy who cried wolf just because someone doesn’t like you or your opinion. But if someone is threatening you, destroying your character and reputation and bullying you, do not take it lightly. If the school doesn’t pay attention, tell your parents. Tell anyone. Do you remember that huge fight in Chicago that resulted in the death of that high school student at Fenger High School. This type of stuff escalates fast.
If you are a part of a group that sort of screws around with someone, but you really aren’t the initiator…you should know better. You are the company that you keep!
Know that its not worth your life. Its not worth someone taking your life or you taking your own. It gets better. Trust me. After enduring the bullying in fifth grade and then in my senior year of highschool, I can tell you. It gets better. People can say anything they want, but you have to remember to know yourself and to not get lost in all the noise that others make.
Have a strong support system; close friends and family because when the evil banchees start spouting out poison, your support systems are the ones who can speak the truth of life and love into your life.
Bullying is no joke. People, even children die every day because of it.
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