I'm not quite sure how to start this, but here it goes: My name is Ariel. And I'm bullied. I was born with osteochondroma. It's a bone disease, so my bones develop just a little weirder than most people's. Just at the joint areas so my bones are kind of popping out. Kids just love to use that for their jokes. But this is the real world we're talking about. People now a days are cruel. And its expected, or that's what all the adult figures who have the power to stop it at my school say. High school.
It all started in the 3rd grade. My trust issues that is. I had a teacher who wasn't so comfortable with the fact that I'm a mixed race. I had just transferred to a new school from one I really loved. And I didn't want to talk to or touch anyone. And I didn't. I didn't have one friend until the middle of fourth grade. But one day my 3rd grade teacher told me that she was calling my mom to speak with her. I didn't think I was in any sort of trouble because I had barely spoken 20 words. She was unable to reach my mom but got a hold of my sister who is 16 years older than me. She was in her twenties around this time. So, my sister gets there and my teacher tells her that I'm acting like an animal. Attacking students, ripping up papers, out of control. And its then that I realize that she's lying. And I confront her about it right there. I ask her why she's lying. And she just ignores me. My sister, of course, believes her over some 7 year old. And she punished me.
In 5th grade I had a teacher who made it very clear that he didn't like black people. (I was the only kid at the school who was part black) He did everything he could to try and hold me back, stop me, make me cry. Thankfully we had an aid who graded everything. I passed.
Then in the 7th grade, my classmates started bullying me. They drew horrible pictures of me and put them everywhere, stapling them on the walls of the classroom, filling them in my desk, covering the whiteboard in drawings and mean words. The teacher did nothing. She was always shopping online on her laptop so she never payed attention. One day, it got to be too much. A boy spat on me. I went into the restroom and called my mom on my emergency cellphone. We talked to the principle but all he did was tell the boy not to do it again.
8th grade was somewhat enjoyable. People still made fun of me but I ignored it. That was the year I graduated middle school. On the last day, I went and I told my 3rd and 5th grade teachers (My 5th grade teacher went on to get fired and get his teaching degree removed when he had intercourse with a minor)that I still remembered everything that happened and that I was telling the principle about it. That scared them.
Freshman year was pretty bad. I had friends, but they weren't always my friends. Only when they needed someone to hangout with at lunch or vent to when they got into an argument with someone else. I didn't mind. But the popular people at my school seemed to notice. And they were really mean. That was the year that I began to get physically bullied. Slapped, punched, pushed. One girl was really bad. She'd hit me with her backpack which was huge and packed. She was like an ape, her upper body was the strongest. But I have three brothers so I rough house a lot. One day, she hit me and I cracked. I pushed her to the ground. Turns out I was a lot stronger than her. I told her to leave me alone. She did, somewhat.
Sophomore year was horrible. I was a walking target to a lot of people. They said so many hurtful things. It got so bad that whenever my mom dropped me off at school, I'd wait for her to turn the corner to drive to her job which is in another town and once I'd see her truck drive away I'd take the hour walk home. I missed over 72 days of school. And eventually, I attempted suicide on school grounds. But then I remembered The Bully Project just before I was about to cut my wrists in the girls bathroom. I had taken a few pills before my attempt so I stumbled to the safety officers office. It was then that they realized just how bad it had gotten, and they tried to stop it.
Nothing worked, people still hit me, pushed me, ruined me emotionally. But by the end of Sophomore year, I made it clear that I wasn't going to give in. Take my life just so they could find someone else to pick on. So my Junior year, I decided to take home hospital. Basically, schooling from home. Now, in my free time, I'm trying to get awareness here going. I'm not completely strong, but if more people banded together with me, we could be the strength that some of these kids here need. I know I'm not the only one going through problems here.
I'm 15. I'm Lost but at the same time I'm found because I know what I want to do about the bullying here. I'm going to make a difference. Here in the Central Valley of California.
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