I remember my very first bully. I was in fifth grade. There was a boy who forever reason just decided he didn’t like me. I was new to the school. My family and I had only been living there for a few days when I started school it was already in session. I was a really quiet person. Especially when I didn’t know anyone. At this point I had not yet met the two brothers who would become my brothers. I was just this girl who wanted to go home. New area, new school, and new people I was over it already. About a month later I was sitting at my desk when my bully walked up to me and out the blue told me I was ugly. I ignored him and he just became relentless. He would call me names. He didn’t bother anyone else in class like this at all. I think I was a target because I was so different. In fifth grade I mainly wore jogging suits and stretch pants, I kept my hair in braids (well my mom did), and I just didn’t care how I looked. I was a bit delayed in that department. I just dressed however my mom thought was best. I didn’t really have my own sense of style.
Either way Jermaine (That was his name) would find some way to torment. I can’t remember ever doing anything to make him dislike me. One of the worse months in my life was when my teacher sat him next to me when she moved the class around. I had informed her that I was being bullied by this person. She told me that she believed he was doing it because he liked me. Matter fact anyone besides my parents who I told what he was doing to me I was told he liked me and didn’t know how to express himself. Even when I told them he was messing with my food (we had snack in class) , that he stole my stuff, and would pinch me. When my mom called and reported what was going on. They downplayed it as two kids who liked each other and didn’t know how to handle it. I can tell you I didn’t like this boy at all. Then one day he pinched me and I finally had enough so I slapped him and he punched me in my face. Do you know these people wanted to suspend me for ten days. Thank god my mom wasn’t having it. I got a one day suspension and he got ten days. Which of course made him torment me even more. The only thing they kept doing was believing what they wanted. I was so glad when the school year ended. I had one incident with him in middle school he followed me and hit me upside my head for no reason. My mom immediately reported it to the principal and let them know that if it happened again there would be a problem.
What was upsetting to me was the whole time I was telling the people who were suppose to be in charge what was going on instead of doing anything about it they tried their hardest to convince me that my abuser was expressing his affection towards me. I wasn’t feeling any affection from him. I felt tormented. I felt like no one was listening to me. It took my mom threatening legal action and pressing charges against the school for them t actually do anything. He finally stopped.
This memory popped up in my mind because one day at work a little girl was expressing how this boy kept hitting her and she didn’t like it. She was telling the story to the coworker. The coworker immediately told her that the boy liked her. I immediately remembered being told that was like. The girl told my coworker well she didn’t like it. Now I don’t know what my coworker did but I hope she talked to the young man. Cause that is not the way to express you like someone. Dismissing this young girl’s feelings is not okay. We as adults are suppose to protect children not justify the actions that they dislike. Whenever my daughter or son told me that someone was messing with them I immediately jumped on it. I woud give them tools to help deal with the situation and then when that failed themama bear would come out and I would do whatever necessary to put an end to whatever problem they were having.
I want my children and the kids I work with to know that if they talk to me I will take action. Not dismiss them. No every situation doesn’t mean punishment. A child may need to be taught better ways to express their feelings but you won’t know if you don’t take action.