Submit a video, story, poem, artwork, or audio clip expressing how you feel about bullying, how you think it affects students and schools, what you have done to prevent bullying, or what others can do to prevent bullying.
I am on the football team at my high school. If you aren’t a starter on the team, you were usually the one getting picked on in the locker room. When I first started I thought I was going to have fun in it because I’ve done football all my life and wanted to continue on in my high school career. When I started I was one of the smaller guys on the team and the coaches didn’t see me as much, but got a secondary position. After the first week there I started getting picked on in the locker room because of how small I was and shouldn’t be on the football team; that was when I started not going to practice. I was scared that if I went to practice, then I would be picked on again and not be a part of the team. I didn’t want to tell my mom because she would be mad if I quit football because it costed her $150 to put me in that sport. So I just waited after school and didn’t go to practice and was on my phone watching YouTube. The only time I actually played was at the games to show my mom that I was still on the team so she wouldn’t get mad at me. So I am questioning whether I want to play football next year because my freshmen year of football wasn’t the greatest and just started here and got the bad look at it. I want to continue football because I’ve played the my entire life, but could now be at stake just because I was bullied.
With pain she looks at the world in fear
Broken apart by the ones she held near
An arrow to the soul
A dagger to the heart
Her hopes and dreams starting to depart
You can only see the dread in her eyes
No cuts on her wrist?
Take a look at her thighs.
What once was a girl
Full of hope
Full of light
Has now become an outcast
A shadow in the night.
This is a deep poem. I just wanted to share something that I wrote, with you. This kind of explains my life. Please, remember. You are UNIQUE. They are bullying you and talking bad about you behind your back, because they are jealous. THEY ARE BEHIND YOU FOR A REASON! Because, you could change the world, you could make a difference. I don’t know you, but I love everyone who is reading this. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT.
Just, be true to yourself, go ABOVE and BEYOND.
On the first day of school, I sat by my big brother. An older girl switched seats and sat by me. I didn’t want her to sit by me but she did. She pinched me. Ouch! A few weeks later, she sat by me again like she always did. She pinched me so hard that it left a bruise. My mom saw the bruise. My brother was sick the next day so I cried about having to ride the bus. I felt scared. Then my teacher said that my mom was going to pick me up. We went inside the building and I told my teacher what was happening on the bus. My teacher helped me stay safe. I still think about it. I learned it was bullying a nd it’s okay to tell an adult.
By: Lydia, age 6
All my life I’ve always felt less-than because that’s how my bullies made me feel. Every time I’d look in the mirror, I hated what I saw. I tried so hard to fit in. To stop all the "you’re ugly" "you’re fat" "ew". I started ditching class with the cool kids to be excepted. I started wearing clothes that got me dress-coded to look "hot". I started to not do my homework to be "cool". I wasn’t being who I was. And the harder I tried the harder life was. I woke up with puffy eyes from crying myself to sleep. Until, I met some amazing peopl e. They were kind to me, they appreciated me for who I was, they didn’t even notice my flaws. Those are the people you have to be with. I know how it feels, I care. You’re not alone.
When I went to the public school I was bullied from the time I was in Pre-K until my last year there which was 2nd grade. I even got kicked out of Pre-K for hitting the kid that was bullying me. Everyone used to call me names like "Germy" and make fun of me. It felt kind of like being killed and then revived again for them to start all over. Every time I told a teacher or an adult at school they told me ‘That didn’t happen" and then I got in trouble for telling. My Mom kept calling and going to school but the Principle and Councilor just told her that I was making it up, and that nobody was bothering me. Finally my Mom and Dad took me out of the school and put me in a public online school. Now I love going to school every day and I have all A’s which is really awesome, since I kept failing at the regular public school because I got tired of everyone not being nice. You see, I have a high I.Q. but I learn way different than everybody else because I have a behavioral disorder called Oppositional Defiance Disorder or O.D.D. and I can’t be still, so I was always interrupting the class, and that made everybody tease me more. Anyway, my name is Jeremy and I am 9yrs. old and that’s my story.
Haven’t we all been bullied or been a bully at some point in time? I am often asked what inspired me to write Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park and am quick to respond with the standard answer- “bullying is all around us” or “my mission is to introduce the concepts and terminology at a younger age in a way that small children can understand.” But bullying hit me hard in the first grade.
To provide a little background, I attended a small Catholic school in San Francisco’s East Bay. I was a child struggling with the effects of neglect and abuse from a “trusted” babysitter. It was a fragile time in my development. At daycare, I learned that conforming was critical to my survival and at school, I became a focused student and high achiever as a form of control. Often dubbed “the teacher’s pet” because of my adherence to the strict rules enforced in the former nun’s classroom, I became a target for bullying.
At lunch, the “Three M’s,” who consisted of two boys and one girl whose names began with the same letter, would taunt me by stealing components of my lunch, playing keep-away with my chips or sandwich and later destroying them. For those of you who have ever experienced neglect, you understand that there is something very personal about stealing someone’s food. I was called names, tripped and even teased that I may have had AIDS because I was so thin. Keep in mind that this was the same year that AIDS was discovered and became a common topic of conversation among adults in my region. It got to the point where I dreaded to go out to play, withdrew from class activities and feared going to school. Left without many options, I finally received help from my mom. She went to the school and addressed the issue with the administration and the parents of the other kids. Miraculously, the kids stopped harassing me.
Because of my own experience, my 13 year-old son has grown up with a focus on his strengths and talents in order to encourage self-worth. It is something I have to work on constantly and consistently, as he has a tendency to veer toward focusing on his weaknesses and his own self-doubts. SELF CONFIDENCE IS THE GREATEST GIFT WE CAN GIVE OUR CHILDREN. Encouraging activities that are supported by his talents has created a new level of self-awareness and self-esteem in recent years. In addition, hearing the words “I’ve got your back,” followed by accompanying actions, has kept dialogue about bullying and problem solving such conflicts at the forefront of many of our family discussions.
Muttley, the main character in Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park, is in many ways a part of the young girl I was in first grade – teased, ostracized, different. I realize now that my courage ultimately came from believing in myself, nurturing my talents, and knowing that I had someone on my side. But, I would have loved to have had those skills earlier!
By: Jennifer Schreiber, author of Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park
Each year we attempt to initiate a campaign within our agency that brings awareness. This year we decided to develop an anti-bulling vehicle, which is driven each day by our elementary school resource officer. Our hope is that we develop a culture within our community that bullying is not acceptable and that it will not be tolerated. We believe that by bringing attention to this issue in Christiansburg, we can be part of the solution.
By: Chief of Police, Mark Sisson
What should have been a fun, care-free, exciting time turned into a lonely, fearful, depressing time. Being a military brat and transplant a few years earlier during middle school didn’t quite help the bullying I experienced. I already felt like I didn’t belong in this small southern Maryland town so the harassment was only adding insult to injury. I was a fairly quiet kid who was shy in large groups… like school (which I later learned was just a part of my introverted personality type.)…Now, I get it… kids can be mean. Maybe I should’ve had a thicker skin… (or, I dunno, maybe kids just shouldn’t be so mean?) If I remember correctly, I never showed anyone at school that it bothered me. I never yelled back, I never ran off crying. I might have rolled my eyes but that was about it.
Slowly, things started to intensify. It not only got worse in school but spread to my place of work as well. It started with one girl and then it became a team effort with her sister involved. Food was smeared on my car, my email account hacked into, was accused of keying one of their cars (which I would never do – I was raised better than that), harassing voicemails left on my parents answering machine, fake emails sent acting like boys trying to flirt with me, one of the girls got in my face trying to fight me, continued name calling, constant slander and defamation of character… it just became a living hell…I couldn’t figure out why I was such a target or threat to them that they felt so compelled to make my life such a nightmare. I felt trapped, scared, and alone.
I stopped playing sports. I wasn’t interested in doing any of the things I wanted to do like yearbook, after school activities, clubs/groups… I was barely even involved in homecoming and prom.
Looking back, I’m not sure why I ever let someone inhibit me from enjoying things but I just knew it would be awful. I was broken down and didn’t want to deal with it anymore so I just pushed anything to do with school away from me. I even had early work release and was so glad I was able to escape school and be around adults. I just couldn’t wait to graduate.
The worst part about the entire thing was that no one stood with me. I was abandoned. Anytime there was a confrontation, everyone just stood and watched. People rallied around my bully – she surprisingly had friends. Those who were my friends didn’t want to be involved… very passive with their support mostly because they knew it was really bad and didn’t want to become a victim themselves. I do understand that because I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone. However, I really wish someone would have helped me be strong. Stood by me and helped me brave the storm.
By: Jessica Starnes
I am currently 26 years old, when I was in school since the 2nd grade I was bullied. It was all kinds of different things; my clothes, my weight, my quietness (which was because of the bullying), being "alone", how good I got along with my teachers. I have learned that some of that bullying has been because of a lack of understanding. Some of it was the difference of priorities between them and myself and the other was because I was "different" I never went to a school dance, football game or anything. I was going to go to prom until my grandmother died the night before. A lot of those bullies made me even more self conscious of myself. Some of it has stuck with me and some has not. Somethings have changed and some haven't. Some of those bullies are now friends on facebook and some of them are still like they were in school. A few of them have written me and told me that my faith inspires them, which made me feel good. Bullying hurts, I almost failed a class because of it, but while we have people who bully us we also have those who care about us. The ones who care are the ones who get us through the rough spots.
My advice to you is this- There are always going to be more people who care about you than you know. Even if you find just one strong friend you have outweighed all of those bullies. My faith was my serenity. You're not the anything they tease you to be. You're identiy is in who you were created to be and the purpose you were given, don't let anyone else who is just as equal is you tell you how awful you are. Remember this, we are all different no matter how many are in a group, or how "big" or "powerful" the bully is they all have a different finger print, they are themselves and you are you, both with flaws and both with gifts. You're worth it!
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