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I was among the many who were bullied in high school. The worst of it was that it started after I was victimized. I had my halter top yanked down in front of a group of boys I didn't like (and who were known bullies). I was too ashamed and intimidated to say anything for some time, and my girlfriend was too afraid to speak up. When I did tell my father, he talked to the perpetrator. It only made things worse. I tried to retaliate by turning in on of their friends for a prank, and it backfired. I was spit upon, had pennies lugged at me, and never knew who was going to turn on me next. It seemed like the permission to treat me as an object of abuse spread like wildfire. I and my parents tried to get help through the prinicipals and guidance counselor, but they turned a blind eye on this and shrugged it off as typical adolescent behavior. I didn't want to step outside of rules to defend myself...I knew my salvation lay in graduating, getting out of school and going on to college. I came very close to commiting suicide...to writing my note and setting up to do the act, but was able to walk away and get counseling. I was one of the lucky ones and had lots of family support. That time in my life is still very painful to reflect upon even 25 years later...but in the end I know I am more than that, and that adolescents are prone to LOTS of irrational behavior. We need leadership from the adults in school...to let the bullies know this behavior isn't okay and hold those responsible for their acts. They need to be punished and redirected. We don't do either the victims or the bullies any favors by igonring them. It teaches both groups poor coping skills and doesn't prepare them for successful adult life.
posted 2 years, 7 months ago
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