Hey! My name is Taylor and I am proud to say that I am the author and illustrator of this story, Silent Voices, which tells the story of my actual experiences with bullying. I was a victim of bullying, such as name-calling, physical harm and emotional harm, and even sexual harassment. I will never forget the numerous times I would go to a social worker or a teacher or school staff member about these issues and they would always turn me down, saying that, "teenagers are just being teenagers," or "I think you're over-reacting, kid." A while after being ignored, I started to believe that this was the way I was supposed to be treated in school because I had Autism and Epilepsy, and I was supposed to allow this mistreatment to carry on until I couldn't take it anymore. I know what it is like to be bullied, to be depressed and feeling alone, to actually try and take my own life in the middle of the night so I wouldn't bother anyone.
In 2013, I will be 18 years old and I have figured out after many years of pain and sadness that I was not alone. I wasn't the only one to try and skip school because I didn't feel wanted there, not the only one to get targeted with nasty names because I glanced someone's way while walking down the hallway or get hit because I was zoning out. I also wasn't the only one to try and take my life and I wasn't the only one who wanted it to all just STOP.
While reading my side of the story, keep in mind that there are many other people being bullied for reasons that vary. And, to those who feel like they cannot do anything, it only takes one voice to stop this uprising battle of mistreatment and bullying. Together, we can all work hard to make schools a safer place. Be a friend, an ally, and help those who are silent like I was. Everyone is meant to be different and everyone is meant to be treated as equal.
I hope you enjoy this story and will take a stand against bullying.