Today started off as a normal work day with the laughing and joking around with my students and co-workers. Yet Later on that day an incident went down and after talking with one student in regards to the situation I decided to have what they called an Anti-Bullying intervention meeting. It dealt with about 20 students and I felt that it needed to be handled as soon as possible so there wouldn't be any more serious issues in the future
I couldn't help but remember when I was in high school and I was bullied for over 3 years. It made me think about what I went through and how unfortunately it shaped my life. So during the intervention meeting, the students in question had to do some role playing and also talk with some older students in regards to why they were having issue and beefing the way they were.
I told them about my situation and how I was unfairly judged by other students of my school. I told them if they think it's hard now being in groups against each other not liking and talking about someone. Imagine how it feels being the sole target of over 30+ people over a 3 1/2 period. How it felt when you did go to someone in authority and they shoot you down telling you, "Girls will be girls". I had to go to a school and worry every morning how was I gonna avoid "the lynching mob". I dealt with this problem from my freshman all the way to my junior year. When I finally met the breaking point i went home to my mom and told her I wasn't going back to that school.
So she took off the next day from work and escorted me to school the next day. when we came through the door and were in the lobby, 2 main student I had issues with from the graduating class behind us, made some inappropriate comments to mom and I. Well, my mom is from the south and she had some words for them. We had a sit down with the Vice-Principal and I informed her of the situation. She pulled out a buzz book and told me to circle all the names involved. By the time I was done I think there only 15 or so names not involved.
I told the Vice-Principal that this all started back when I was a freshman and I could recall that the Senior that was suppose to be my big sister, didn't want me. Then the second person who was picked to be my big sister also rejected me as well. So the only way I was actually able to get a big sister was when one of my friends asked their big sister to take me on.
So while I'm reminiscing about my past to my students I inform them that what made this really sad was that all the girls that had issues with me were black. Not one white person was in that group that made my life a hell that whole time. They would make fun of the way I looked, what I wore, anything to make me feel bad about myself. I had to deal with some of them in my classes. Having to deal with their stupidity and their ignorance. It effected me so bad that when i first started school there I was an A and B student by the time I graduated I was happy with barely passing my classes with C and D's.
I hated going to lunch because I knew I had to see them and get teased by them. What really made it hard was that whenever I moved up a grade they would inform the new incoming freshman class about me and they would make it their business to make my life miserable as well. My self-esteem had been torn to new low levels because of them. It was because of them I never wanted to reach out to other black people, especially females. I didn't think I could trust them and kept close to my white friends.
I remember one incident when my boyfriend at the time escorted me to school and he saw that some of the black girls were at the doors teasing me. I tried my best to ignore them and he even offered to walk me into the school but I didn't want him to be late for school. I was so close to tears but I refused to let them see them.
So after explaining to my Vice-Principal about the problem she just looked at me and couldn't understand how I had dealt with such pressure for such a long time. All I could do was shrug my shoulders and cry. So the following day, I noticed a big change, none of the girls in question were harrasing me anymore and the same counselor who had ignored me the first time, informs me that she has set up a meeting with the two black female ringleaders from my class. When we finally sat down I asked them one question that had been burning at me for year.....WHY? What did I ever do to you to deserve the treatment I have received from you since freshman year.
You want to know what they said??? Because you always would be hanging out with the white girls. I looked at them in shock and thought to myself, "I can't believe I ever wanted to be friends with these idiots." I informed that 2 of those "white girls" happen to be classmates of mine from my previous school and I had known them since KINDERGARTEN. Why in the world would I need to get rid of my white friends to make friends with the black girls? Why couldn't I have both? They did. So why should I have been treated differently.
Ever since then, things were somewhat normal. They tried to invite me out to do things with them, but deep down I knew I wouldn't ever be comfortable being around them. Now some of them believe it or not, I do consider associates, maybe not friends, but I don't see them in a negative light anymore. But the others....The ones who were suppose to be my Big sisters as well as some of the other black classmates...., the one's in my graduating class and even some of the those in the class that graduated before me......I wouldn't give them second glance. I know deep down I would never be able trust them and point blank I don't deal with two-face devils.
Even now I will see some of them out from time to time and I know they see me and they will take those second looks as though they are making sure their eyesight is not deceiving. I just shake my head and keep walking. I really crack up when I get the letters in the mail from my former high school asking for money and contributions. I just glance at it and put in the trash. I wouldn't give them a dime.
Because of that situation it had lasting negative effects on me. I dealt with depression, having low-self esteem, my weight, and other things. I actually started to slowly turn around about 2 yrs ago. Of all places lol, I work in a high school, working as an administrative assistant, it actually motivated me to get back in college and finish and really go after my degree.
Seeing these students going through somewhat of what I went through, really struck home with me. I told them if you ever feel as though you are being bullied, the biggest mistake you can do is keep it bottled up. It only festers, never healing and the long term effects can be devestating.
So as the meeting was wrapping up and last words were being spoken by the counselor I couldn't help but think maybe if my situation had been nipped the bud earlier, how would I have turned out....
I can honestly say now though working at my present location has definitely given me a boost of confidence that I hadn't had in a long time. It also has given me back-bone and a stronger character to not take shit from anyone. I just wish the person I am now had been around back then. LOL but most likely I would've been expelled for kickin someone's ass, so maybe things happen for a reason......
After I left school I told my mom about what happened today, and she said maybe you should be an administrator and talk about Anti-bullying..hmmmm....I'm not sure if that would be my calling, but I do know that my students know.....if they have a problem, they know I have a ear for them to use;)