The pain was just too much
“I can’t take it anymore” I said to my mom.
I was ten years old when I finally told my mom what was happening. I didn’t tell her before because I thought I could handle it. The only people I told were my two best friends, Jason and Kerri. But enough was enough. My grades were falling. I was terrified to go to school. My friends couldn’t be with me all the time. They wanted to tell the principal and my mom. But I said, “No, it will only make things worse”. Well, they got worse anyway.
Imagine this: Each morning I would arrive at school. This kid (Trisha) and her friends would taunt me constantly. They would follow me down the corridor and call me “ugly” “freakie”. They would talk behind my back. Make fun of me as I walk down the hall. Yes, at that time I worn clothes that maybe didn’t fit in with their image. I was small and looked like a boy.At lunch time I went outside with my friends and played. That is, until Trisha came out and picked on me. She and her friends would make comments and the other kids would laugh with her at me. To avoid them, I would go to the bathroom and eat my lunch in a stall so they won’t see me. I stayed there until the bell rang. My friends, when they could, walked me home from school.
There were days, however, when they couldn’t. On those days I was so frightened, I clutched by books. I nervously looked around to see if they were there. And they were - every time. I had to walk by a park on my way home. They would be there and shout names at me. Several times they ganged up on me, grabbed me, pushed me down to the ground and kicked me. I ran home and went directly up to my room, hid in the closet, so no one could see my tears.
The final straw came when I was in the washroom washing my hands. The door opened and three of them came in. I tried hard not to look afraid. I went about my business and got ready to leave. One girl grabbed my arm and I said, “What do you want?”, “What have I ever done to you?” She just laughed and started hitting and kicking me. The others joined in and put nail polish in my hair, torn my jacket and spit on me. They finally stopped and left when they heard someone outside. I pulled myself together and went home. When my mom came home from work, I went downstairs. She couldn’t believe what she saw. She cried and I cried.
She and my father called the police, the girls’ parents and my school. They were suspended for two weeks. When they were back in school, they threatened me. My parents wrote the school board and the newspaper, but nothing changed.
I moved to another school. It took me two years to get over the trauma of that attack let alone the bullying that happened previous to that. I was able to get better but it was with lots of support from my parents, my new school and counselling. Yet I know those feelings of fear are still with me. I have problems with self-confidence, my body image and anxiety. But one day at a time, I will conquer these problems.The effect of bullying lasts a very long time. I am now sixteen. I am doing okay but it has taken lots of help and support from others. I have come to realize that bullies are sad, sad people. As we have seen in the past few years, this problem is widespread. It has escalated into violence in schools — those being bullied fighting back or not able to take it anymore and committing suicide. Or bullies taking it too far.
Along with strict rules on violence and bullying in schools, TEACHERS/ STUDENTS AND PARENTS need to be an active part of the solution. As well, educators throughout Canada need to realize that these kids need help ----- those being bullied and those bullying. It just doesn’t happen, there are reasons for a bully’s behaviour. Need for control? Perhaps, but why? Low self-esteem, poor home environments? These questions and issues need to be addressed.
Kids being bullied need to:
Educators and governments are beginning to view this as a major problem in our society. Internet sites such as bullying.org and news features such as CBC coverage of the issue, are bringing it to government and public attention.
Only through increased exposure of the problem can solutions be found. But let’s not study it for a year or more before we come up with a plan to address it.
Let’s not let another young child get killed or die because of bullying.
Please, let’s do something NOW.
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Bully Beware website Vancouver Province Newpaper -under Special Features - Bullying in Schools Safe Child website