Many people think that we are immune to this national bullying problem, because we live in the “Buckhead Bubble,” but we are not. In fact, I was bullied in Lower School and Middle School. Starting in fourth grade, a girl at my old school started spreading rumors about me, and it only got worse from there. Even after we both moved schools, she continued to target me and make my life miserable. I didn’t even want to go to school some days. The administration gave her demerits, but pieces of paper weren’t going to stop her; I was forced to avoid her rather than she being forced to stay away from me. Because the faculty ultimately did nothing, I had to remove myself from the situation, and I changed schools. Since then, I’ve learned from my experience and I’ve tried to share my story in order to help people understand what could have been done to help me.
One thing that teachers need to understand is that kids don’t bully during class, during lunch, or whenever there are faculty members around. They are much smarter than that and they will do whatever they can to make sure that they won’t get caught. I was bullied after school, at dances, during free periods, even on school trips — times and places where teachers weren’t paying attention. Next, students who see someone being bullied don’t understand how much of a difference they can make just by telling a teacher what they saw in the locker room after school. I was constantly waiting for someone to speak up, but no one had the courage. And finally, parents constantly underestimate the possibility that their son or daughter could be a bully. The girl who bullied me put on an “angel” face to her parents so they never saw how their daughter could ever be a bully. People ask me if I wish I could go back in time and change it, but I wouldn’t, because then I would have never come to Pace and I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I hope you have learned something from my story and I encourage you to speak up against bullying.