I was watching an episode of SVU, and it was one that focused on bullying that (of course) resulted in murder. Why? Because even after the girl being bullied told the school multiple times, they didn’t believe her. We’d like to believe this wouldn’t really happen in a society that is so anti-bullying aware… but it does.
I remember being in 7th grade, bullied daily, verbally an through actions. I remember being called names, questioned about vicious rumors that weren’t true. I remember coming back from gym class to discover that someone had dumped a can of soda into my locker and all over my day clothes. I remember throwing milk into a trash can, accidentally splashing a passing girl’s shoes; I was pushed into the bathroom and a group of several students crowded around the bathroom door, cornering me in with the girl, who screamed and cussed at me until I leaned down and wiped off her shoes.
I approached the school counselor. She called myself and several of the girls that were the biggest of the bullies. I was told I was being overly sensitive. I was told that I had hurt their feelings (they told flat out lies about me and things I had never said, while looking me in the eye). The counselor believed them. I was then told to apologize to them, and that was the end of the meeting. As I was leaving, the counselor took me aside and informed me that they were there to give academic counseling, not social counseling, and not to come to them again.
Shortly thereafter, the bathroom incident occurred, and my mother had had enough. She demanded that the issue was handled by the principle. Instead, I was called in to the vice principle’s office, and he made it a point to ask me, “What types of things are they doing? It sounds like they’re calling you names?” When I said yes, and before I could continue, he told me that perhaps I needed to just ignore them, that kids will be kids, and sometimes they are “kind of mean”. I was excused.
When my mother found out, she stormed in in person and forced a meeting with the principle, who, thankfully, was a sweet, caring man, who was extremely frustrated that no one had told him anything about any of this, and if he had known, he would have dealt with it long before then, himself. He told me that I deserved to be respected, and that the girls would be talked to, and that they were not to approach me, ever, or risk suspension. He then told me his office was always open to me. The bullying considerably lessened. I was lucky that the principle responded the way he did. But it shouldn’t have taken a full year for it to reach him.
Even adults don’t step in the way of bullying most of the time, and it’s a sad, sad thing. Please, for the love of god, BELIEVE A KID WHEN THEY SAY THEY ARE BEING BULLIED.