Friday, October 1, 2010

This Should Not Have Happened And Hell, Yeah, I'm Taking It Personally

   I just feel ill when I see stories about bullying. Earlier this year, there was Phoebe in Massachusetts. She was targeted another girl who'd been complained about by several other parents for her cyber abuse of fellow students. Earlier this week, there was Ashton in Texas. Now there's Tyler at Rutgers. Click on the purple "no" at the top of this entry for the HuffPost's coverage.
    The combination I presented--that of being taller and heavier than average, sounding more like an adult than a kid, and the premarital name of Gay--was like a bullseye to the arrows of the bullies K-12. My parents diligently reported incidents to the principal, but nothing really was done about any of it.
     Telling the kid to have compassion for the bully doesn't work. "Well, we just have to learn to get along" is useless.  Ignoring doesn't work, and that goes double if it gets physical. It's called assault, battery, defamation of character. All crimes in the adult world, so why put up with it in children? 
    Especially not now in the cyber-age. I had to deal with prank calls, practical jokes, and unordered pizza delivery. That was bad enough. Finding that images of myself in a sensitive situation had been taped and uploaded without my knowledge or consent is incomprehensible.
    I went to an away college and then moved from my hometown. I'm married to a man who comes from a culture that adores the curvier variations of the female form and regularly tells me that women with graduate degrees are hot. Life did get better, even though I felt as if I danced down an IED-filled road as I passed though the early part.
     But I'm here now. I have no wisdom to offer, except that if you can't get the principal, the administration, the R.D. (resident director) to help you, get the ACLU or some other group behind you. You don't deserve this. The shame is on them, and someday they will be the victims of their actions.

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