I am in my 50s now, but when I was in school, from grade school on, I was extensively bullied. It began with my own kindergarten teacher making fun of me and the kids joined in.
By the time I hit middle school, I was not only being beaten up on the playground but suffering extensive abuse on the school bus, every day. I could tell you horror stories...and we are talking the 60s and 70s. Seeing this now has left me wondering how many kids back then ended their lives that we never heard about. I only wish there had been something like this when I was growing up.
My mother was one of the few parents that did fight back. She had to go to bat every year, but she did it, and I was allowed to sit in the seat right behind the bus driver, where I was left alone. Instead of going out for recess, I was allowed to work in the library or play basketball.
This didn't change things like getting picked last for sports or dirty notes or the thousand other ways that kids can bully other kids. I'm just testament that it continues going on.
I have not only witnessed it on the Internet, I have been the subject of bullying myself. People need to realize that bullying does not stop with just children. There are a lot of adults who engage in bullying as well and especially in the relative anonymity of the Internet.
What I'd like to see is a movement that addressed bullying at EVERY level. I know if we start with the kids, it's a good thing, but don't stop there. Spread the word to your fellow adults and even perfect strangers on the Internet. Let them know that it is not okay to bully someone even if you think you won't be found out (as in real-life identity). Let them know that the elderly are bullied and abused and not respected. Let it be known that the disabled are likewise bullied. And it's not confined to the Internet, either - it happens every single day, to adults as well as children.
Let's stop it all NOW.
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