Bullying. Do you know what that means? Think about it. I bet that almost a thousand people know what it means, but I bet those thousand people would never stop it. Imagine this. Imagine walking down the hall as a child or even now and see someone being pushed against a locker, being yelled at. This victim looked scared and helpless, didn't know what he/she had done wrong. You stand there and watch everything happen, you watch when the victim is punched in the nose and teased. What would you do? Don't say you would walk up to the bully and punch them or stand up for the victim unless you actually would, I want to hear the truth. Personally I would think "Yes, I would curse the bully out and punch him, see how he/she likes it," but it reality I would never do that. So would you? Would you stand up for someone who is being bullied or just walk away, knowing that you just witnessed that?
When I was little, probably about seven or eight years old began the times when I was picked on. Two girls, thought they were perfect and better than everyone else started picking on me. It was about 3rd grade, I had just gotten my first pair of glasses, and I was scared to wear them. Scared of what everyone else was going to say about me. I only had three friends during third grade, they were nice though and we stuck like glue. Probably the only people I really trusted, only three people who I could talk to and not feel uncomfortable. Back then people knew me as, the mute girl, pretty much. I never talked, when a teacher called on me I wouldn't say anything. Not because I did not know the answer but because I was afraid of what people would say about me. There were only a few people that I could talk to without worrying about other people hearing me, my two best friends.
During my elementary school years, I was place in Special Ed., why? I have no idea. My parents told me they did not want me to be in that class but for some reason the school placed me there. I made some new friends, they were different and maybe that's why I became friends with them. During that class I wasn't afraid to talk because I knew people wouldn't judge me. I know you are thinking "but you were seven how could you think about that?" Well it's easy, I was always the shy girl, the independent girl and I still am now. Maybe I was shy because it was a co-ed school but I don't know, maybe I was just afraid of what would happen. Would the world end because I talked? Or would other kids make fun of my voice? I was just nervous and I do not think I could change that, not even now.
I left elementary school in fifth grade because my parents did not like the structure of the school. My parents moved me to a home school program school that was smaller. My mom did not teach there and it was not at my house, so I still don't know why they called it that. My first experience there was great, I went caving. The best part was, I did not know anyone, but was brave enough to go out by myself. I think my parents that day were really proud of me too. I remember coming home from the caving experience and had made five new friends. It was very new but great.
My parents started paying tuition for the school and I had my first day there. The school was at a home and all we did were logic packets and math but it was better than public school. I remember talking to more people and having more friends. At recess we would play capture the flag and I was fast so people complimented me on that. I had begun talking to people, which was new as well, again I think my parents were really proud of me.
Throughout the years at that school I had great friendships until a new girl came. She was the girl that had bullied me in third grade. I remember her telling me to stick together and become friends again. Well I might have been stupid enough to believe her because after a few weeks she started hating me again. For what reason? Yet again I have no idea. The clearest memory I have of her pushing me around was when everyone was called into the living room for a 'meeting'. I walked in and stood next to a high schooler, I think the girl became jealous that I was talking to him, I don't know. She came over to me and pushed me up against the wall. I stood there, shocked, while everyone else just laughed at me. I felt so embarrassed and wanted to curl up in a corner and cry. All my friends were laughing at me, staring, but I didn't want to leave. I wanted to cry. It was terrible, I never told my parents about it though.
Maybe it was a mistake leaving public schools and moving to this home school program. I thought it was a good experience and I would never have been bullied again, but I was wrong.
One day I was 'making a movie' with two of my best guy friends and the bully came outside. She asked if we wanted to play hide and go seek tag... classic. As usual we all got into a fight because one of my friends hid in a tree and the girl couldn't tag him. So we all got out of our hiding spots and went to see what was wrong. I, for once, stood up for him. I told her to back off and that it was just a game, but a tree is a hiding spot. So everyone got into a fight. Luckily it was the end of the day so we could go home. But, the next morning the teacher called us into a room. She talked to us about fighting and just getting along, all that. When she said that everyone could leave, I started to get up. She told me to stay because she wanted to talk to me. I did and it was the worst decision ever, not because she abused me but because it brought me to tears. I was being scolded because I was standing up for someone, apparently I was the one to have started the fight. It was a lie, I was just standing up for my friend. After the talk, the teacher told me I could leave, but I stayed in the room. I cried because I did not do anything wrong. It was Valentine's Day. When I arrived at home that afternoon, I cried in my room. I did not tell my parents.
After 4 years at the home school program, my parents moved me to a new private school. I had to wear a uniform for the first time, but while I was there, no one bullied me. The students there just left me alone, during those years I made such great friends. My friends are still with me to this day. Students there just knew to leave me alone, they would tease my other friend but I would stand up for her. My friends would stand up for her too. I learned that school can be fun or painful, just depends on how you are treated. Once the school year ended and we graduated, I was happy because high school was next. I had seen in movies how spectacular high school is but then again it is a movie.
Freshman Year. I started out school talking a lot, to teachers, during class and to new friends. Then I started getting quiet and dragging myself away from people. I met this girl, she was really nice and my guidance counselor told us that we were two peas in a pod. I talked to her about a lot of things, during school I considered her my best friend. But, I realized that I was losing my other friends, she was pulling me away from them. The year was almost over and Christmas break had just ended. I was walking to my locker one day after school, my best friend and other friend were with me. I opened my locker and found a note. It was black mailing me, supposedly. I told my parents right away and they weren't happy but I told them that after the weekend I would talk to my guidance counselor. My parents just nodded and we all just enjoyed our weekend. The weekend came to an end and my friend had texted me telling me how the note was a joke, that they put it in there. I was shocked because all weekend I was scared that people had started bullying me again. I told my guidance counselor and we all had a meeting, after a week I became friends with the two girls again. My best friend was shocked that I was friends with them again and jealous.
Spring break during my freshman year was coming up so quickly. I was at the computer lab one afternoon and my friend came over and sat next to me, we had to do a project. Then my best friend walked in and saw me, she started ignoring me. She said that my other friend stole her seat, which at the moment was thinking "how childish". That started another bullying experience. She started ignoring me and spreading rumors. She told everyone how I was a snitch for telling on her, I felt so alone. Spring break had started and I wanted to say sorry but she never accepted. Over break she kept making me feel more and more alone each day she said something to me, either over text, email or skype. Once the break was over I was terrified to go back to school, I wanted to stay home. I knew my parents would not allow that so I had to go back. Getting out of the car and downstairs to my locker was the scariest part, because she could have been anywhere. I ignored her for the rest of the school year even though I had no friends. I had hoped starting high school no one would bully me but I was wrong yet again. I was cyber bullied.
The last day of school for freshman year, my friend walked up to me and asked me why I would not talk to the girl who bullied me. I told her to ask herself, and the bully came over and yelled at me. I wanted to stand up and curse her out but I am not that strong, and maybe I never will be. I went home that day and cried myself to sleep, exhausted but happy summer had finally arrived. The next day I remember emailing my guidance counselor telling her of the situation but all she did was say that if I needed her to email her again. I felt so embarrassed that I would tell someone that, but not get any help in return. I just gave up.
During the summer I started getting more and more depressed, I was suicidal all summer. I only told my best friend, my parents knew about the bully but did not know that I was suicidal. One day my best friend from my old school told my parents about my suicide attempt and I was sent into counseling. It has helped me and I am happy I didn't die but I just did not want to suffer anymore with being bullied.
People are bullied everyday, no one stands up for them and no one helps them. Over the years of being bullied myself, I have learned to tell my parents or someone at school. Although they might not think it is that bad they will when someone dies.
Bullying can lead to depression, suicide, and addiction. I was so close to leaving my life because of bullying, so if you know someone that is close too, help them. I did not like when my friend told my parents about my suicidal thoughts but it really helped me in the end. Bullying can end by just one word, stand up for what you believe in. If this means leaving your fears behind you and standing up for someone who is being picked on or teasing, then do it. In the end it could help thousand people.
If one person can spread the word about bullying it could stop many deaths and addictions. A few years ago a movie came out in theaters and it is called "Bully". I watched it the day it became PG-13 and I was astounded that no school would ever help these kids. I know I would have been their friends.
Bullies hurt people every day, from words, to texts, to physical abuse but do public schools do anything? No. That is the simple one word answer. Not many public schools or schools in general take on the action to stop bullying. So if you have ever been bullied, stand up for yourself, you are just as important as everyone else, maybe even more because you have been through it. If you are a bully, learn to stop. Does it make you feel good to pick on people? Why do you do it? If you have ever witnessed someone being bullied then tell someone. I know I have been called a snitch before for telling on someone but in the end it could save a life.
Be aware of bullying and stop it, no one likes to cry themselves to sleep at night. I know I hated writing notes to myself showing how useless I am, I used to cut. It did hurt but it was the only way to get out of the pain I was feeling everywhere else. So just say one word. That one word could save a life: STOP.
Bullying is an ongoing issue and problem in America and if millions of people start to think it's bad, we could do something about it. So stand up for what you believe in and stop bullying.