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I'm a small-town poet in both written word and performance. I'm more influenced by rock and roll but I am also a lit-chick full of curiosity. My influences are far and wide and I can find writing inspiration in anything, from important matters to pure whimsy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

They Had it Coming

Every child who attends school should feel they are in a safe, nurturing environment. Schools all over the country have failed children in this respect.

A recent case in my community, is a perfect example. Despite an alleged anti-bullying policy being put in place, the victim was continually harassed. You can't just tell a child to "turn the other cheek" and expect the bullies to go away. If anything they appear to have become crueler.

Bullying is an issue that's close to my heart. As a child I myself was bullied. While not as bad as what this poor girl has gone through, elementary through middle school was filled with name-calling, shunning, the occasional physical altercation and phone calls to the school or bus garage. The only way anything was done, was when my parents demanded it. They had to tell the bus garage that I was to sit in the front of the bus because of all the times I've been tripped, had things thrown at me, had my hair pulled, been hit and other forms of harassment. I was to blame for the smell whenever the bus rolled by a skunk or some rotting roadkill.

One incident in sixth grade sticks out in my mind. When I entered middle school word got around that I was the "weird kid" who was a popular target in my elementary school. I was being bullied but kids I never met. One group of "popular girls" decided they would pretend to be my friends, so they could tell me to ditch my true friends at the time. The school knew about it from day one thanks to some concerned students. The ringleader let her cohorts do much of the harassment when it was found out I knew what they were up to. The following weeks were filled with nasty phone calls to my house, me getting chased, verbally harassed, my desk was vandalized. The teacher knew and lightly disciplined the students by making them write meaningless apology letters. They didn't actually do anything until one day I snapped and almost beat some kids with my chair. If the teacher hadn't walked in I would have beaten these kids. IT TOOK ME ALMOST COMMITTING ASSAULT FOR THE SCHOOL TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! My proper complaints to the teacher just weren't working. The discipline was so weak that the kids harassing me just kept it up and "played" nice.

Of course this isn't about me moping over my past. I've made peace with some of my former bullies, and the ones who haven't grown up have grown up to remain losers going nowhere.

It's sad to see that things haven't changed much since I left middle school a half a lifetime ago. The family suing has had to deal with their daughter facing racism, assault including sexual assault, and property damage to name a few from her peers. The slur (fxxxxxg nxxxxr) written on the sidewalk in her deodorant wasn't cleaned off until a week later. She was place in situation where she had to work amongst her attackers. Anti bullying policy my ass. If they had a real anti bullying policy something would have been done about the assaults, something would have been done about the fact this poor kid was stuck going to school in a hostile environment. To be honest, they had it coming. It's about time somebody sued them. Handling these problems on school level haven't worked. Getting the police involved hasn't worked. Maybe a lawsuit will open their eyes.

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