12 Years Later

I was in 6th grade, twelve years old when I was bullied by a group of about 7 girls. I don't, to this day, know why it started. I had gone to school with these girls for 6 years, I had been in girl scouts with these girls. Mostly it started with the name calling. I was called a b**** more times than I can remember. I practically lived in the counseling office because of the constant harassment. I was getting physically ill from the stress I felt at returning to school day in and day out. Once the physical stuff started happening (girls pushing me into my locker, another girl jumping on me on the bus, being pushed in lines) was when my mom got involved. I had just gotten off the bus after being jumped on and went to the counseling center to talk to my counselor. She wasn't in so I went to the cafeteria where everyone waited before classes started. I had sat down at the table with my friends when all of the girls involved surrounded the table and started calling me names because they thought I had told on them. I called my mom sobbing as soon as I could get away, begging her to pick me up.

The school did nothing. My mom and I got the same generic response: "Girls will be girls." and so on. 

My mom had met with the assistant principal, the principal, the counselors, the super intendant, and eventually pulled me out of school and got the police involved. Once the police became involved is when the school finally took action. They arranged a meeting with all the girls involved and the parents of the girls. Not all of them showed up because "There is no way my daughter did that." 

The parents that did show, I remember, took to heart what the meeting was about and took steps to make sure their children no longer participated in the bullying.

The rest of that school year, which, by the time all was said and done was only a month or two, I wasn't bothered as badly by them. 

I swore to myself after that happened that I would never allow that to happen to someone else. I would be the voice of other people if they were unable to speak for themselves. The following year I made good on that and helped a boy in my swim class who was being physically assaulted. I stood up to a group of three boys who were at least two years older than me. 

I'm 24 now. 12 years later and I still stand by the promise I made to myself. 

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