I had an earlier post about my experience with bullies and bullying. Sad article today in the Chicago Tribune. A local teen ended his life and his parents feel bullying was a contributing factor. His parents say he did not feel protected by the school, and school officials -- while declining to discuss his case in particular--feel that in such cases, they try to do everything they can to help.
I was bullied a bit by some jerks when I was a freshman, but then fell into a crowd that no one bothered. But I knew other kids who were harassed endlessly. At my ten year high school reunion, I was relieved to see one of the victims there with his gorgeous wife-- a successful business man with a baby on the way. Those classmates who used to make fun of him were floored at who he had become. I liked him in school (we were always seated next to each other, thanks to the alphabet) and he remembered that I was always nice to talk to (when I did talk!). But while I was thrilled to discuss his success, I felt kind of sad that his high school experience was tarnished by a bunch of idiots who, as it turns out, really didn't amount to a whole lot.
I had hoped that, by now, things had changed for kids. The school that the boy in the article mentioned above attended said they posted posters about recognizing bullying. They also have a system in place where people can anonymously tell administrators about bullying. Maybe they can't do anything else. That the rest is up to kids and parents. But it's been up to kids and parents all along, and look at where it's gotten us.
For my friend from high school, once he graduated he realized college was completely different. He wasn't bullied. He gained confidence in himself. And currently, he is in the process of conquering the world. I hope every kid out there being bullied can see that it won't last forever. Unfortunately for some, high school seems like it never will end.
Til next time,