Last week, a young boy was found hanging in his backyard by his sister. He was only 14 years old and had just started high school. He left behind a family, friends and people that cared.
He also left behind a bunch of kids that spent a great deal of time doing everything they could to make him miserable. They bullied him, taunted him, brought him to tears and eventually, drove him to take his own life. What kind of kids do this?
I don't like to talk about bullying. I don't like talking about it because I was bullied. But it's time. It's time that all of us started to talk about bullying.
I was bullied for so many years and in such horrible ways that sometimes I wonder how I survived. My earliest memory of being bullied was when I was in first grade. It wasn't until I was in third grade that my mom went to school to "talk to my class". Suffice it to say that it was a complete and utter disaster and had the exact opposite effect of what I am sure she was trying to accomplish.
It got worse. I didn't tell her it got worse because even then I knew that she was just doing what moms do... She was trying to protect her child. I can't begin to tell you the number of times I went home and hid in our big backyard tree and cried. But by the time I got out of elementary school, I was pretty sure I had learned how to cope. I couldn't wait to start junior high. I knew some of the bullies wouldn't be going to my new school.