So I just finished watching "Bully" about 10 minutes ago. I can't put into words, or really describe how bad it made me feel. How angry it makes me that schools aren't taking responsibility, acknowledging that spirits are being crushed and erased by bullies.
I was bullied. Going back to "that place, that time" is a little hard for me to do. I will say, like every other victim of bullying, it was hard and it hurt. The message that I want to convey here, as I'm sure many have done, is that it gets better! I made it through school. I did as my parents taught me: go out and do something that you love, that you're passionate about. Well, I did that. I then met a girl, not even a year out of high school and we married a little more than a year later. About 4 years later we had a beautiful son. I love life. I love my family, I love my job. I'm successful. I'm not successful because of money, job or material things. I'm successful because I'm happy. When you graduate high school it gets so much better. Because you realize you can do whatever you want and have the power to create your own happiness. Whether that's college, military, a trade, family etc.
Many people, many times, told me this as I was going through school and getting bullied- although it provided little to no solace. This was because the minutes, hours, days, months, school years just dragged on... at a painfully slow pace (for me anyway). As I look back on it, it seems like it lasted only a minute. I survived it, somehow. As I reflect, my spirit was broken and was made to feel bad about myself. But I never lost hope or faith.
Our son, a fifth grader, is now being bullied. As a parent, for me, this feels worse than what I went through in my days. Because you so want your child to be happy, to be loved, feel safe and know peace. He doesn't speak up much because he's afraid of being labeled as a "snitch". He feels it would only get worse if we tried to address it with the school. Without him really knowing, we sat down with the principle and counselor and tried to work on these issues. At that point, for us, we realized that the "school" doesn't recognize these as problems. Only normal situations of "kids being kids". Our son does describe other situations of kids getting bullied, harassed, embarrassed and most of the time, if not all of the time, a teacher is there. Doing nothing, except for turning a blind eye. I see my son's spirit getting crushed and he's made to feel bad about himself.
So again, the message I wanted to convey is that it gets so much better. It won't be like this forever. I hope that more and more is being done about bullying everyday. I hope that schools take a strong stance. I hope that politicians will take a stronger stance and advocate. I'd love it if Mrs. Obama would put as much effort and political power into bullying as she does with child obesity. I hope all of these things. I'm going try to make things better for my son and every other child out there. I'm going to join all of the projects that are trying to do something about bullying. I wont stop until a Zero Tolerance Policy against bullying is put in place in every school across America. Zero tolerance!
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.