I was bullied. My 8th grade year. I stood up to a bully in high school. I received a Masters degree in Education and built a caring environment in my high school classroom. Bullying happened in my classroom and I was furious when I found out. I'm thankful that student told someone and there was an investigation into the racist bully's actions. I decided to head to another state where I could work on a Doctoral degree and fulfill my dream of showing the community and educators that punks, goths, and metalheads have a place in our schools and society.
As a teaching assistant, I take full responsibility for the syllabus and readings for a children's literature class, which is a requirement for elementary education majors. To kick off Anti-Bullying month in my room, my students (should have) read Wonder by RJ Palacio. We discussed statistics and I shared a news story about a 12 year old bully who was arrested in Connecticut recently. We discussed the issue. We wrote down names we've been called or heard and ripped them up. But at the beginning of this month, some students reported that 4 classmates who are elementary education majors and freshmen in college were saying snide things about students in my class. I reported it and I was told that nothing could be done unless I wrote up a professional improvement plan. Fine. Let me gather more evidence.
Yesterday, I started showing Bully to my class. My students again informed me that they heard these women calling the documentary "boring" and a "waste of time." I'll tell you why they thought it was a waste of time: it was about them. They are bullies. I was disgusted and I felt I had enough to write these professional improvement plans. Part of the process is that I must inform them that I wrote these plans. One of the students who I strongly believe is a ringleader in all this questioned me. She felt she has done nothing wrong. She wants to play this game with me, fine. I will fight back. I will make it clear that bullying does not stand a chance in my college classroom. I am appalled that she wants to teach elementary school. Children who are impressionable. It makes me sick to think that a bully will be in charge of 30+ children.
I am over 30 and I have been bullied as an adult. I take it in stride. I am better than they are. I am stronger. The weak bully. But the strong prevail. I will fight back in every way I can. I am trying to figure out how to make anti-bullying campus-wide at such a large school.
Thank you, Bully Project, for everything you do and all the resources you have here. I do suggest you add more about college and workplace bullying. This happens everywhere. At any age. I was raised to be respectful and to guide others to also be respectful. I commend you for doing the same.
And to those out there who may be younger than me or older than me, I ask that you be strong. You are better than they are. You are a beautiful person with a loving heart. No matter how bad things get, I love you. You don't know me. I don't know you. But I love you. I believe in you. I think you're amazing and awesome.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.