The Ottumwa Courier

Columns

October 25, 2013

Bullying IS personal

(Continued)

OTTUMWA —



I was brought to the school office, and it all came out. Speaking out gave me new strength. I wasn’t fighting alone anymore. I had the administration and my teachers on my side. My parents, who have always been on my side, gave me the confidence I needed to fight back, “as long as I didn’t throw the first punch.” I don’t know exactly what happened with my tormentors, but I heard that they were warned if they harassed me one more time, they were going to be suspended. In my case, it was enough to make it stop. One of the girls’ older sisters came after me looking for a fight one day, but when she saw I was willing to stand my ground, she backed down. I found confidence and self-worth again, but at times I still feel the impacts of my experience.

So I write to take a stand against bullying. I write in hopes that a victim might find the strength to speak out. I write in hopes that a victim can see that it does get better and that there are people on their side willing to help. All they have to do is ask. All I had to do was nod my head.

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