speak your mind even if your voice shakes

I've dealt with a combination of bullying and racism since I was in pre-k up until now (im going to be a college sophomore in the fall). I've been bullied by kids my age and adults alike. I had a pre-k teacher call me "darkie", one of my second grade peers tell me that I was "a stupid piece of crap", I had a bus driver stop the bus to pick me up by my backpack and throw me into another seat because I dropped my pencil on the floor, and the fact that he couldn't see my face in the mirror above the drivers seat gave him reason enough to move me.  I've been on buses in high school where kids would call other black kids walking by our moving bus the racial slurs for no apparent reason, and the bus driver would pretend not to hear it.  I've sat at lunch tables alone, and not by choice. I've been labeled as a nerd, called stupid and ignored for no reason.  I've been apart of several different school districts in several different states, and I can tell you for sure that this is not a one school, one district, one state problem...

 BUT you know what I did while I was in grade school? While my voice was "too small". While kids called me a nerd, I worked harder to get even better grades so that one day I could be their boss. When people made fun of me for being athletic and playing basketball with guys, I played harder, and eventually got to a point where I was sought after by several D1 colleges.  When I ate lunch by myself one day at a new school, I invited myself to someone else's table, and ate with them until I made friends. I told my school's security, my parents, the vice principle and the principle about the kids on my bus and the problem was solved.  No more middle school kids walking home were being yelled the racial slurs at by the rude high school kids on the back of my bus. 

School can be a great place or it can be a scary place, but you've got to be brave enough to stand up when you or someone you know is knocked down. If the problem is too dangerous or too big for you to handle on your own, tell an adult. Speak up.

Speak up for yourself when no one else will.  Speak up for others when they can't speak for themselves.  Tell the world how great you are, and believe what you say.  After you get done speaking, ultimately, your success, in spite of tribulation, will be enough to speak up to your grade school bullies.
I graduated high school school in 2012, and I am currently studying to become a math teacher. My stand to end bullying does not and will not end with a high school diploma or a fancy degree. With God by my side and a whole lot of faith, I believe that bullying will end.

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