My story with bullying has already been told. I was bullied at school as a child and it went on for years, all the way to grade 11 which was when I started to make new friends and for the first time in a long time I felt like I belonged and was accepted. Iwas still bullied a little bit after that but it wasn't as bad because I had somthing that I never had before and that was friends to stand up for me. I never had a problem standing up for myself, over the years I got good at that as there was never anyone to stand up for me. My bullies never beat me up, they couldn't I was fortunate enough to be a little stronger than others. That didn't stop them from teasing me and and going out of their way to make me feel bad for their own pleasure. I used to lash out in anger towards them as a result of the constant name calling and that seemed to make them enjoy it more. When ever a teacher or adult would get involved I would always be subject to the same thing over and over again with nothing ever really being done to solve the problem. Over and over again I'd have the same "solution" thrown in my face, "just ignore it and they will stop doing it." is what was always said to me and it never seemed to amaze me when ever it got said to me and believe me I heard that same thing a lot and realised that what they were really saying to me was I'm going to ignore it so you might as well do the same. I have a news flash for people who believe that ignoring a problem will make it go away, it wont it will only make the problem bigger and bigger as it did for me every time I was told to do it and tried. Another thing I've heard a lot in my life when the subject of bullying comes up is the incredibly ignorant idea that "kids will be kids" and that is just one of the biggest scapegoats I've ever heard. When it comes to the subject of bullying teachers and school board members and even parents have been known to use that term and I believe that its because they want it to be as easy as the notion that kids will be kids and they will eventually grow out of it. When people say kids will be kids what they are really doing is building a wall of bricks that all say kids will be kids and they use this wall to hide behind because like I just said they want the kids to just grow up and grow past this problem. The problem with that is when the bullies grow up and grow past a whole new batch of bullies come along for them to ignore and once again take the opportunity to hide behind the idea that kids will be kids. My point is that my childhood was tough as it was for a lot of other kids because we lived in the era of "kids will be kids" and it makes me happy that as people we are starting to realize just how big the problem of bullying really is and always has been. It's nice to know that we are finally doing somthing to create a better future for our kids. I don't have kids yet but I am getting married and the next part of the plan is to have kids, and I don't know if my kids will be bullied the way I was or worse and I don't know if they will be bullies themselves( i sure hope not) but when or if that time comes I do know and guarantee that I will not hide behind the"kids will be kids" wall. The truth is kids will always be kids and as parents or future parents and teachers we need to help kids understand that its not ok to treat others poorly and make others feel like they don't matter, because everyone matters.

My name is Cliff Gagne and I stand against bullying!

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