I remember in junior high and high school being bullied and bullying back. It was a time of survival. In junior high, I dressed “weird” for a typical Midwestern girl. Black was my favorite color and still is. Crazy hair, lots of jelly bracelets, funky colored leg warmers, and Chuck Taylor sneakers were part of the “uniform.” However, I had a strong personality and constitution to push back bullies. It’s no surprise that today my occupation is an artist.
In junior high, I distinctly remember four bullying incidents. For lack of a better description, the words “jock” and “redneck” will be used indicating the lovely time period from the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s. The first event was a “jock” picking on one of the only minority students. I started yelling at the “jock” and he got in my face, threatened me, and eventually stormed off.
The second incident included a group of “redneck” girls chanting “virgin” while playing volleyball in gym class. I screamed back at them and they eventually backed off. The third event featured a classmate whose family owned grocery stores in my small-town. In gym glass, he started remarking about my small breasts and I yelled back that he was compensating for his small penis. He backed off and never talked to me again.
The final incident included a classmate who I had been a friend with for years. One day, she decided to fight me for absolutely no reason at all. We met at a park at lunch, she threw the first punch, I refused to fight, and one of my “redneck” friends jumped in. We were called to the Principal’s office and everything was business as usual.
Of all these memorable incidents, two classmates committed suicide unfortunately and one called twelve years ago asking for money. That was over 20 years ago, so where does that leave bullying today? It appears that it has reached an epidemic and disgusting level.
Ask 16-year-old Michigan teen Whitney Kropp about bullying. Recently, her peers picked Ms. Kropp to be on Homecoming Court as a joke. As a result, she wanted to commit suicide. The world community stepped up to help Whitney with 120,000 likes on a Facebook page, and donated services like a hair stylist, dress, makeup, and more to make her celebration special.
Kropp to ABC News: “The kids that are bullying, do not let them bring you down. Stand up for what you believe in, and go with your heart and go with your gut. That’s what I did, and look at me now. I’m just as happy as can be.” Whitney is a great role-model and inspiration.
The government created the website: www.stopbulling.gov to stop this epidemic. According to the website it: “…provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.” This is a start in the right direction. Bullying needs to be pushed back and eliminated.