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I got a suggestion to blog about bullying from my mother-in-law. This is something that has been a big topic for just about every one in my life. My brother-in-law, Ryan, had issues when he started school this year, and he struggled with how to deal with it. I have to say as the year has come and gone, I am proud of what he has done to do his part in stopping bullying.
Statistically, 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying. Me being one of them. I was 16 and starting my 11th grade year. Things seemed to be off from the start when I could see people whispering with eyes pointed at me and when I was left to sit alone at lunch and endure it. A few weeks went by and I spent some days in the lunch room, and the rest in the art department. A girl I had been friends with came up to me and asked if I knew about somethings that were on a website. What was she talking about? I went home that night and stared at my computer, terrified to see what was on the site. Turns out, the person who made it had taken it down before I had ever gotten a chance to see for myself. But from what I have heard (from a few people) it was pictures of me defaced and lists of diseases I had and people who I had supposedly slept with (for the record, I am clean).
I couldn’t walk down the hall without hearing someone call me something vulgar. On a few occasions I was threatened. I couldn’t understand why I was targeted when I hadn’t seen or talked to any of these people for months. All the people I was friends with, were no longer my friends and I started missing a lot of school. I wanted to quit, but I felt like I would be jipping my parents of seeing me get my diploma. So I did home schooling which was a huge fail. I had to go into school for 2 classes, and the rest were online. The ones online were so complicated that not even the math teachers at the school could figure it out. So I couldn’t progress in most of my studies. Finally I had stopped going to school all together. My parents confronted me and said that they knew whatever I was going through was a lot harder than they knew, and told me they would support me on whatever I wanted to do. My mom went and signed me out the next week, and I was officially a drop out.
Since then I have had a few jobs, gotten married, bought a car, etc. I hate that I went through that but it also made me stronger and a little more compassionate.
What should I do?
Educate yourself, and your friends, of the different ways you can be bullied. Notify an authority figure (teacher or parent) about the abuse. If it is sever, notify your local police station.
For more information like statistics and what defines bullying visit http://www.makebeatsnotbeatdowns.org/facts_new.html
If you are a victim of bullying &/or abuse call (800) 786-2929
or visit WWW.1800RUNAWAY.COM