Bullying stories: May we ask your opinion?

“When my family and I moved to upstate New York and when my stepdad joined the Air Force, it was a really tough time. I had to  say goodbye to my friends in Texas and a warm climate for the kind of cold that seeps through twenty layers of clothes and still leaves you freezing and shivering…and no friends.

“The base we lived on was over 45 minutes away from the giant school I had to attend. The bus rides were at least two hours long each way for me. The first bus I rode ended up being one of the worst experiences of my life. Forced to sit in the only empty seat in the back, the high schoolers sat, glaring and rolling their eyes at me – the puny junior high kid with frizzy hair and large peach-colored glasses.

“The first afternoon that I rode home on the bus, the tormenting starting. Poking me, making fun of my glasses, my hair, my shoes. In the mornings, the bullies were tired and left me alone unless I tried to get off the bus before them, then I was thrown down on the floor while they stepped over me or into a seat, tangled in a mess of a jacket, scarf, beanie, boots and a few tears. It continued for months.

“I am in my thirties now and I still have never told my parents about those awful moments. I cried into my pillow every night. Eventually we moved and I made friends and rode a different bus. Things got better but it was a time I will never forget, nor how it made me feel.”

What about you? Tell us about your experiences of being bullied, leaving out names and identifying information.

How did it make you feel?

Did anyone interceded on your behalf?  Did it get better?

Have you ever interceded on someone else’s behalf?

What did you do to make it through the bullying?

11 Comments on "Bullying stories: May we ask your opinion?"

  1. Lauren Withrow | June 21, 2016 at 10:31 am | Reply

    There is a website called iwitnessbullying.org and it gives information and insight for those who want to learn how to step in and stop or prevent bullying.

  2. When I was in my early teens, I was a studious bookworm with glasses and frizzy hair. I rarely made eye-contact when walking down the halls at school. I, along with others like me, was called a dog and received a few barks now and then.
    I remember the two guys that sat behind me in Physics class. One was probably just as dorky as I was and the other was a roper (it was before being country was cool). Anyway, the dorky guy usually picked on me, but one day he kept barking at me during class, just loud enough for me to hear, but not the teacher. Finally roper had heard enough and turned to the dork with a disgusted look and said with a country twang, “Shut up.”
    I don’t remember their names, but I believe the dork realized he was a dork and that it wasn’t cool behavior. The roper became my cowboy on a white horse because he intervened and I don’t recall the dork ever bothering me again – at least not in Physics.
    Statistics show that 57% of bully-type behavior is stopped when a peer intervenes on behalf of the person being bullied. I believe intervention from peers – whether it’s kids at school or adults in the workplace – is the key to stopping bullies. It’s the people with strong character that are really “cool” when they stand up to stop bad behavior.

  3. As a kid, I was always “the one left out”. I always felt that way. I believe it was because I knew I was different from other kids. I mean surely they weren’t all being abused by those adults who claimed to love them? I always felt different, so any little slight was construed in my mind as bullying. Something we as adults need to learn, and something we should (and i do) teach our children.. everybody is struggling with something.. be kind always. It is not fun to be mean.

  4. While I do agree that what you experienced was bullying, I think that bullying is a term that is overused these days. Parent think their child is being bullied when it is just “normal” kids picking on other kids. Bullying is exerting power, either physical or mental, over someone to get them to do what you want. It is generally something that is repeated, over and over, not an isolated incident. For example, a child who hits or threatens to hit another child daily so that the other child will give them their money/electronic item/etc. is bullying. A Kindergartener telling another student that they don’t want to be their friend anymore is not bullying.

    • I don’t think the term bullying is overused and I don’t think “kids picking on other kids” is acceptable. There is no magical number of times after which terrorizing some kid goes from “normal” to “bullying”; it’s just bullying.

      Forgive me for saying so, but the excuse of “normal kids picking on kids” is the kind of rationalization a bully’s parent would use when being called in for a meeting with the teacher/principal.

      I do agree with your last example; “A Kindergartener telling another student that they don’t want to be their friend anymore is not bullying.”

  5. Misty Mahurin | June 23, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Reply

    I think bullying is making some ones life a living hell everyday and it’s not ok. I would come down on my kids like a hammer if I ever saw them unkind to another person. Bullies like to find someone who cannot stand up for themselves and use that person as the butt of thier jokes to make themselves feel bigger. I praise my children when I hear them make an open-minded comments or do a kind act. I do not tolerated unkindness from them and I set an example by doing kind things for people and going out of my way to include those i see others leave out. Many mean or bully children learn that behavior from home and the examples they get from thier adults. I’ve been bullied, sure. But I’m strong so I stand up to them now and look them in the eye. That usually makes them turn and skill away. Bullies are people that have to find thier strength in hurting others, not within themselves. God help you if you or your child ever try to bully mine. My kids are amazing kind hearted. That’s my gift to the world. Stealing, lying, cheating are all “human nature” but they can be unlearned through discipline and by setting an example as a parent or loved adult.

  6. Misty Mahurin | June 23, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Reply

    And I do not mean to be mean or aggressive or belittle anyone elses veiw. But it’s not ok to dismiss bad behavior as “oh, that’s just kids being kids” that’s why grown-ups are supposed to guide young people into better behaviour. Ignoring bad behavior is what leads to two RISD students trying to take thier own lives because their peers made life unbearable for them. I am open minded. I love all life styles and opinions. Life’s not easy and kids do need to learn life lessons, unfortunately not all nice ones. Like when I had to tell my 14 yr old daughter that she would never get to see her beloved friend again or laugh with him again because his pain was so huge that he ended his life at 16, days after his birthday, and a big contributor? People at school bullying him through text, social media, ect. That was a hard thing on my mother’s heart. So sorry if I come off aggressive but this behavior cannot be played down. I remember a point in 8th grade myself where everyone in school kept saying the same phrase to me every day and no one would even tell me what it meant. My parents were no help, I dreaded school and I had always loved school. I did not have the strength then that I gave now or the confidence. I will never allow my children to do that to somebody or allow somebody to do that to them. It takes a community to raise strong respectful healthy productive adults. I picked Emory to raise my family. I wasn’t born here, or grow up here. This is a very good community. When we see something is wrong we should come together as a community and look for a solution. I know this may be a little off topic of personal stories of bullying but this is why we are discussing it right? Billy was a nice kid, not perfect, not even always a good kid, but we failed him as a community. And any other children that have been in pain while we looked the other way. Thank you

  7. There is a big bully problem in this school. My youngest son was bullied here because of his ears and glasses. My daughter who’s a sophomore has been bullied and told to go kill herself. Her friends have been bullied. Now my other daughter (8th grader) who just moved here is being bullied on the bus every day by seniors because of how her eyes look. Some parents in this town need to hold their kids accountable for how they treat other kids!!!!

    • > Some parents in this town need to hold their kids accountable for how they treat other kids!!!!

      Unlikely to happen since kids learn bullying at home. The parents of bullies are unlikely to see their kid’s behavior as bullying and even less likely to do anything about it

  8. Kids may learn bullying at home, but not all is lost! Kids also learn behavior from friends, teachers, coaches, bosses, etc. Change starts somewhere and we are all responsible. While humans will never be perfect, we should strive for perfection – continue to be more Christ-like, having love for everyone. That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate “bad” actions. Jesus loved sinners, too. He changed the world, making it a better place. He asked we do the same.

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