"Just ignore them" they say and "it won't hurt" they say. This is all I heard from most of my teachers at middle school whenever I'm being teased and provoked by classmates. Little did they know, I've been ignoring the torments for about 4 years. There have been so many kinds of abuse that I've experienced during that time from being dragged to the name calling to being excluded by my classmates to having my items vandalized, and after all of that, the words "Just ignore them are said to me. Out of 11 of my teachers, including my principal, only 3 had reached out and/or attempted to address the issue of me being bullied. The saddest part was the my principal at that time didn't address the bullying, especially when He witnessed a student verbally abusing me. All he did was telling me that "He who angers you controls you" A Proverb sounds great but at that time, I needed someone to stand up for me and the principal of the school couldn't even do that to me. Did I mentioned that I had attended a private Christian school? At first my parents told me the same thing "Ignore them" until they've noticed how it had taken a toll on me, going back home begging to transfer schools, crying in the car about what happened that day, and even lashing out on my younger siblings. Since I couldn't fight at school my aggression went to my younger brother. There would be times during school when I would take Advil for the slightest headaches and then I would fall asleep in class because I was feeling "sick". I wasn't sure when all of this was going to end, I was tired of crying myself to sleep and being called names such as "polka dots, dalmation, bony, raisin bran, dominos dots, skinny, etc." it wasn't like they were doing this in secret it was out there, a teacher could actually hear what was going on.
There's so much to my story, but even though I graduated from that middle school, the bullying had taunted me all until college. It took a toll on my self image, self esteem, and my personality. All I wanted was to be accepted by all. It was hard to put the past behind me because some of the students from middle school attended the same high school I've attended. It was to the point that I had to seek counseling a year after I started college and that was a breakthrough for me!
One thing I want to say to the teachers and other school leaders is this: when a student comes up to you stating that they are being bullied, please take the initiative and end it immediately, even if they may be "sensitive" put it to an end and inform the parents. Don't wait until they come back to school with a gun or any form of lethal weapon. Stop responding by saying "Just Ignore Them" because just ignoring will make matters worse.
To those of the kids who are currently being bullied: talk to your teachers and if they are not taking action go to your parents. Please learn to forgive and seek counseling to help you heal from your painful past. Know that you are worth so much more and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Don't resort to violence and suicide. Be able to live to tell your story and make a stand against bullying.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.