When I was in 6th - 8th grade, I was bullied.
I was the proverbial little kid, who no matter how quiet I was, how low a profile I tried to carry, seemed to always attract attention. The bus ride to/from school was terrible. I remember trying to get kids to change seats with me and that would only make it worse. You try everything. You ignore them-wrong move. You try and talk to them-wrong move. You try and stand up to them, but they're bigger, tougher, stronger, than you so that doesn't usually work so well.
I remember staring straight ahead on the bus while the kids behind me would smack my head, or throw things at me or even sometimes spit in my hair. I just took it, because I didn't have a clue what to do about it. The words hurt, but you'd never let them see you were upset or for God's sake cry. If you cried, you might as well just kill yourself. You'd (think to yourself, wrongly of course that) you'd never live it down, no girl would ever look at you, your Dad would be ashamed of you, etc. NO CRYING...
There was NO WAY I could beat up any one of those guys, let alone all of them. If I told on them at school, then as we said back then, my ass really would be grass. Even though the bus ride only took about 30 minutes to get to or from school, it seemed like an eternity. I'd pray for green lights like you wouldn't believe.
My other friends were like me and while they felt sorry for me, they weren't about to step in because then they would've gotten pushed around. I used to fantasize about walking up to one of them and hitting them as hard as I possibly could right in the face. Blast the biggest/toughest son of a bitch one time right in the mush and maybe that would change things. But I couldn't do it. I physically couldn't make myself walk up to the guy and do the deed. Which just makes you feel even worse.
By the end of 8th grade, it was over...I'd discovered choir and after school activities where the kids were more like me and not remotely interested in looking for a fight. I spent the summer playing baseball every day and having sleep-overs at night at various friends houses.When I went back to school for 9th grade, it was different. I don't know why, but nobody really bothered me anymore. It just stopped...
Sometimes in high school, where I was very happy and comfortable in my music courses and friendships, one of the old bullies came up to me and apologized for being so mean to me. I never really trusted him in spite of the apology but I did appreciate it. I remember I asked him why he and his friends had been so mean to me. I remember him answering that there really wasn't a reason. I hadn't done anything. They were just in a mood one day and I was the lucky guy.
Its worse now for kids who are bullied. Once I got home, it was over. No cell phones, no internet, MySpace, Facebook, emails, etc. Today's kids have a hard time finding a port in a storm. I wouldn't be young again for nothing. I never experienced anything like that again. I don't think it messed me up long term, I think those kids were probably as scared as I was and that's how it came out. Who knows?
I shared all of this because of the video below. The bus monitor's name is Karen Huff Klein and several kids are really giving it to her. Name calling, mean spirited, hateful shit that just has no place in being a human. The most disturbing point in the ten minute video is when the kids said that "...she was so ugly that her kid should kill them self." Which, is exactly what Ms. Klein's son did about ten years ago.
It seems that after this hit the internet, she was flooded with support, flowers and gifts to help move her past this incident, which is being investigated by the local school district. Good for her.
The video is below...its disturbing, trust me...