Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reflecting On School Daze: Bullying

In between running to and from the hospital (to see mum), I had a chance to drop in over at Stars Will Cry, my bff Cora Zane's blog and weighed in on her post:

Seeing some of the news stories these past few weeks have brought back memories. I hurt inside for those kids and their families. School shouldn't be a war zone. It should be a place for learning as it was intended. A happy place where kids can make friends and work toward their goals and dreams for the future.

Reflecting on my own school years brings back both happy and sad memories. You see, I was one of those kids who got bullied. Always the new kid in school because my parents loved traveling and dad's job required it. Of course, dad could have left us kids at the homestead and came back after each job was done, but he loved mum and loved us kids and for him, there was no other decision but to drag all of us along on all of his assignments.

The problem is, dad would sometimes have two and three job assignments a year, so that meant I often went to two or three different schools in the same year. The cycle repeated every year. In all, I probably attended something like 20-25 different schools in 12 years. That's hard on a kid. Especially a kid who was chubby, had red hair, and whose momma dressed them funny. I kid you not! lol

I was pushed against gym lockers, tripped down two flights of stairs, called names, poked, given a black eye, kicked and more. The thing I hated about always being the new kid actually turned out to be the thing that saved me from depression and possible suicide. See, I could count on one thing—that before long, my family would move again and I would escape the harassment for a short while, as we traveled to our newest home. I would wave bye to the bullies and stick my tongue out. :P

Of course, there were times when a job took longer than the others, and I had to endure. But not alone. Oh no. This is where having a fierce Virgo mom is the best thing in the world. I recall one time she caught me hiding my face when I got off the bus from school, and made me lift my head—exposing a black eye and purple cheekbone. I thought she would be upset but I didn't count on the glorious, righteous anger of a pissed off Virgo with Capricorn rising and a Scorpio moon. OMG!

I remember that day so very clearly. She took me back to school and walked in on the principal without an appointment. Wowsers! And when the principal got all smart-mouth with her, she got in his face, set him down, and called his bluff! Oh yes, she gave him a wicked tongue lashing and put him in his place! I was never more proud of my mum than in that moment.

The kids who hurt me got suspended, and I knew they would come after me big time once they were back in school. Luckily dad (who never came to the school before) picked me up early that day and told me we were moving again. Whew. Only later did I learn that dad asked for a new assignment in order to get me out of that place and away from those asshats. I loved dad for doing that. :)

Of course, we didn't have cyber-bullying back then. Hell, we didn't have personal computers, let alone the internet. Things are so much worse now for kids because of the internet. But it's not the internet that's bad. It's how some people choose to use it. Like anything, it's just a tool. But a tool in the wrong hands can be devastating.

I agree that something needs to be done, but what will stop bullies? They were around in my day, and they were around in my parents and grandparents day too. Probably were around since the beginning of time.

What do you think? Is there a solution to this growing problem?


Mary Kirkland said...

I don't know what the solution is to this problem. I only know what I did. I was bullied when I was in kindergarten and my brother who was 2 years younger than me saw what was happeneing and when he got in the school with me when I was in 2nd grade he told the girl who was harrassing me to leave me alone and pushed her down.

My little brother was always there for me and still is. He is the reason I was able to get through those years. But when I got in 7th grade things changed for me. I got mad. I was moody as a kid but this was really bad. I didn't take it anymore and let everyone know I wasn't going to take it.

In the first year of high school I got in a fight with another girl who was bigger than me, she pulled out the second piercing in both my ears and I had to have them sewn up, but she had a black eye a broken finger and a nice chunk of flesh bitten right out of her arm. No one bothered me again after that.

When my daughter came home one day and told me that she was being pushed into the lockers, I told her I wouldn't get mad if she pushed the brat back. She did and the girl left her alone after that.

Cassandra said...

Hi Mary. Thank you for your comment. I know my dad also suggested standing up for myself and giving as good as I get. :) But I was always more of a lover than a fighter, so any efforts I made to fight back usually backfired on me. lol.

Although there was that one time... ;-)
Take care and all the best,