"I believe that schools … have a positive duty to be vigilant ... to guard against bullying and to deal with it and stamp it out if it occurs. The consequences of a failure to do that can be very profound."
1997 Coroner’s Report
Bullying has always taken place and it probably always will. Too many times, teachers shrug it off as " just joking around", and the everlasting "if they didn't tease you, they wouldn't like you." I believe they just don't want to deal with it.
When I was in Junior High, I heard chanting outside of the cafeteria, and I walked out to see what was going on. Four or five students were chasing a very heavy girl up the hall chanting "Fatty, fatty, two by four, can't get through the bathroom door, etc." As they chased her, more kids joined and added to the girls humiliation. I followed behind them slowly, trying to understand what was happening. The girl escaped to the locker room in the gym, and they tried to follow her, but the P.E. teacher stopped it.
I hurt so much for the girl, and wanted to console her, but it was too late. I didn't see her at school the rest of the year, so she must have transferred. I was new in the school and could not believe kids could be so cruel. That same year, I became the object of some of the same bullies. I was from the mountains in Eastern KY and very different. I was very small and very sheltered. Being one of seven children, I did not have a lot of clothes and most of them didn't match. I had no social skills, did not fit in. When two of the girls saw this, they made my life miserable. They called me at home and whispered obscenities into the receiver. I was ashamed and did not tell my family or anyone about this. I missed many days of school and my grades suffered. I thought of suicide or anything so I did not have to face these girls in school. My music got me through it. I knew I could pick up my guitar and sing and I was good. In High school, I stood up for myself against two school bullys and I believe they respected me for it. They didn't bully me anymore, though they did bully other girls. The good thing is that once I was out of high school, it all changed. I made friends at work, had boyfriends, married my husband and life was good. But the bullying will always be with me and the humiliation will linger. Teachers are now being educated in dealing with bullying and I applaud them. Tonight my six year old grand daughter taught me the steps to deal with bullying, One time, two times, three times, it is bullying. Don't cringe and hide. Stand up and say "leave me alone". I was so proud of her.
Sad to say, recently a seventh grader was being harrased on the school bus and at school, so she went to the vice principal. When she told him about this, he said an unbelievable thing "Maybe you should switch to another school." I have met him and though I don't particularly like him, I couldn't believe he would be capable of this. He should never have been put in charge of our children. I'm beginning to believe the continuance of this bullying may be traced to administrative offices.
Please join me in putting an end to bullying.