Bullying on the Rise
Bullying comes in many forms, from teasing to harassment to physical aspects. When people talk about bullying, it seems to get swept under the rug, like it’s not a big deal. However, bullying is an epidemic. I believe the number one reason a child, or adult, is bullied has to do with being different. I think bullying is starting entirely too young in children, these days. I feel there is a difference between harmless teasing and bullying, but harmless teasing can turn into bullying in the blink of an eye.
When I was growing up, I was bullied but not until third or fourth grade. I was bullied because I came from nothing or due to my sibling’s differences. I was thin, with stringy unwashed hair, torn clothes that didn’t match, shoes with holes that didn’t fit, “welfare trash” is what they called me. Most of my life my family was homeless, nobody wanted to rent to a family of six children. I think it showed worse on me than my siblings that we had nothing. I was the oldest and I always made sure they had things before I did. I was pushed around and teased for it all the way until high school. I remember the last thing I got teased for before I left Denair High, was the fact I was on the football team. Girls don’t play football, but I did. I don’t feel I am a bully due to childhood bullying but I am sure I have tendencies I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t happened to me.
My brothers and sisters were bullied as well. Mostly due to the fact that they sucked their fingers at school or smelled of urine due to wetting the bed and not showering before school. My brother, Donnie, was bullied for the way his teeth were. He had buck teeth, a huge gap, and an unsightly overbite from sucking his fingers. He wore braces for four years to correct the problem. He was beat up almost daily and made fun of. My brother bullies others as an adult because that has become his defense to the teasing and bullying he got as a kid.
One time, I got in a physical fight with someone for bullying my siblings. I got suspended from school but I didn’t back down from protecting them. In middle school, the principal wouldn’t do anything about the bullying going on, even though it was reported many times. We took matters into our own hands at that point. Should we have? Probably not but someone had to get serious about protecting us from being hurt, physically and emotionally.
I always told myself, when I had children I would do everything in my power to keep them from going through the torture of being bullied like I was. I wanted them to enjoy school, not be afraid to attend. However, not all parents are attentive to their children’s behavior or care enough about what is happening at school, to prevent bullying.
My son, Layne, was just four years old, in preschool being bullied. Four years old! How are these four year olds being raised? For three months Layne was pushed around, hit with balls, stepped on in class yet the teacher did nothing. One day, I was...