Wounded and Hurt
talk about Bullying
Here are some emails from
Students, Survivors and
Parents enduring Bullying in
"...i went to a counselor and to the principal, both.
They told me they were going to take care of it but they did nothing except
give the students a little slap on the wrist. I went through a lot and
I had to deal with it on my own, no matter how many times I asked for help.
kept getting worse and there were times when I wanted to kill myself.
Schools are supposed to protect their students and make them feel safe.
I feel like my school did neither. ...They didn't even try to help me.
There were a lot of people like me. And I know one kid who had it worse
than I. But no one tried to help him either. The tormenting went on even
after we graduated high school. I feel like that was because the school
did nothing to stop them from doing this to him. He killed himself
Kingston Jr. High - Washington - "Right
now in our school we feel harassment is so bad that we are setting up our
own group and putting it in the students hands."
Center Middle School - Ohio - "i got a girlsuspended,
cause see was going to beat me up, and a few days later i found out that
her friends were writing a note and signing it with my name and were going
to get me suspended. Like a week after that my best friend told me that
tia(the girl that want to kill me) was going to take me off school grounds
and beat the living daylights out of me and she got me freak out. I am
sucidal and she isnt helping me. I pressed charges against her, but i don't
think it will help my life at all."
Tupelo High School - Mississippi - "i just want
to die.. i can't tell anybody.. i am too scared"
"I hate bully's, but I've learned to use my hands
now, they fear me."
(This is a child who could lash out at others if
West Islip High School - New York - "Because
the girl was bullying me My mom told her mom. Well things got so
much worse. ...I was threatened and I was afraid if I reprted it that it
woud get so much worse on Mon. They set up a fight after school.
...Stupid me went off school grounds andended up in a figt. I hit
the girl a couple of times in the head with my gym lock. I didn't
know what to do. There was a lot f blood. The cops came,
- I was brought hme by the police but the girl and her bf got away. The
school is open and won';t even deal with the fact that a kid from another
district got in. ...That was in April. It's August and I have
to go back in a few weeks. They were never punished. It's going
to continue. I geth threats. It is just so hard to prove anything.
She is really good at covering her tracks and doing things when no one
is around. I'm 14 and this happened this past year in 9th grade."
"I am a lesbian and I have gotten harassed by many people."
"i have been picked on since grade 2.
I could always hear people laughing at me. i would usally come home
crying and all my mom would do would say when u get to high school
everything will be much better. during public school i got teased by teachers,
and students it lowered my self esteem so much that i just wanted to die
but what keeps me going our my dreams! in the future i hope that i can
help people with their own problems and keep them from commiting suicide
and to help boost their self esteem. i hope some tim in the near future
that no one has to deal with bullies and the torment that comes with them."
"I myself have been harassed at every school i go to in
different states and actually tried committing suicide from it. everyday
i walk home and i have guys throwing rocks at me and saying awful things
to where i want to crawl up and die. i just hope we can find a way
to help stop it. im sick of seeing people hurt. if nobody
does anything about it it'll only get worse"
"For the past three years i have gotten
bullied alot. The school has done nothing to stop it. They have had meetings
with the kids that are doing the bullying and of course while they have
the kids there they say "oh we will stop" but thats when it gets worse.
I started in the high school this year. And it seems to have gotten
worse. Im getting picked on very single day. I have missed so much school
to. Because i have stress. Depression. Anxiety. And all that kind of
stuff. The schools seems not to realize that the bullying it just adding
more stress on to me and its stopping me from getting an education. I cant
take much more of this... I cant take much more of anything. I told
my school they said i have emotional problems and i have to deal with them.
and forget everything that is happening to me. Well i cant anymore.. Im
at the point i cry my self to sleep at night. that im scared to
walk alone in the hall ways of school. And the point where im cutting myself
because of the pain. and i don't want to deal with that pain. Please
help me!" tiffani
"I was harassed in public school from grade
3 to grade 8 and I still hear people teasing me every once in a while"
"A small portion of the skin on the knuckle
of my left index finger was burned off, in the middle of my Latin class,
by a student who was convinced that I was a "queer". He had ripped the
cover off of a camera, and he pressed it into my hand and charged up the
flash; the extreme heat left several large holes in my knuckle. The Latin
teacher did absolutely nothing upon notification; the bullies, all seven
of them, were called down to guidance and given a stern talking-to and
finger-wagging session; my mother responded with casual difference, and
my father blamed me for creating an environment favorable to have myself
victimized. The main bully was given the least punishment, I believe,
because his father is a very wealthy and very prominent local doctor.
I have contacted the school several times in regards to harassment, and
I am beginning to take up a more defensive stance for other students who
are being mistreated."
"I have told principals and counselor and
the most has been done is that they have been kicked off the bus for 1
day... This just made matters worse... I can't even walk down the halls
without someone yelling vulgar language at me."
"I hope that I will be able to withstand
these hurtful feelings."
"school sucks" "people suck"
"i have been harassed since kindergarten
because i am over weight. i finally got out of my school"
"Well now i am out of school because the
harassment was so bad but now every thing is better but i would like to
punish the teens that were doing this to me! thanx byebye"
"i'm 17 y/o. and have always been "different,"
a little effeminate, gay, school pariah since middle school, quiet, but
had some friends in elementary. i changed, once my "differences" started
to matter to other classmates. i was called names every day, locker
vandalized sometimes, beaten to chants of "kill the queer," anything
i say or do mocked, so i no longer say anything there and move as little
as possible in classes. would like to be invisible there... along
with stopping bullying behavior, we have to teach kids that - no matter
what other's will think - stand up for the kid who gets beaten up, mocked,
pissed on, isolated. sit by the kid who eats alone. say hi. inquire about
his/her day. include everyone. why is that so hard for kids? how many suicides
and school shootings will it take before they learn that the consequences
of not doing that are devastating?"
"when i was in seventh grade (i am now a
junior in college) i was harassed daily by people who had previously been
my friends. i won't go into specifics because it hurts less to think
about it now, but it was the worst time of my life. the memories
and hurt followed me all of my life, and i had considered suicide too
numerous of times to count. ...looking back, i know that
so many of my problems began back in school, and it breaks my heart to
think that other kids might be going through those same experiences i was.
i didn't include my school name because i still struggle to leave behind
the painful memories sometimes, but i just wanted to write and tell you
that i hope you can reach as many young people as possible..."
"i think that this is a big problem! i have
become very depressed since all of my experiacnes. i have attempted
suicicde a few times and have not recived any help. when i told my mom
about the bullying she said just ignore it. that DOESN'T HELP IT AT ALL!!!!!"
Survivors talk about Bullying
"I was a victim of bullying at school and turned to self
harm and suidice as a way of releasing my pain and anger .When I got through,
I began to speak to the media about my experiences , and I would like to
share with you a couple of articles . The first was written for BBC
(UK ) and aired on BBC Radio One , as part of a mental health week.
" I was being bullied a lot at school. People used to
call me fat and spit on me and throw things at me. I used to bite back
so they used to enjoy it even more. But then I couldn't take anymore and
I took an overdose. When that didn't work, I started cutting my wrists,
and then cutting my arms. That was how it began for me. I could
just get really upset after a day at school. I'd slash all up my arms.
I used to feel angry with myself, because I was punishing myself. I was
angry with the whole world. When I used to cut myself I used to feel
really confused and there were lots of thoughts going through my head.
I'd say out loud what people were saying to me and then cut myself. But
then it didn't achieve anything because people at school found out I was
cutting myself. That led on to me taking more overdoses and standing at
train platforms thinking I could just jump off. I was so confused.
Every day was just the same. And I thought what's the point? Self-harm
was a new way of coping with my feelings, but I didn't really cope with
them very well. I live with my dad - when my dad found out he was
really upset and I felt bad for upsetting him. My brother used to help
me out loads. I went to my GP and he said he was going to refer me
to someone. I took my fourth overdose at school. My friend told one of
my teachers who referred me to someone at school - they referred me to
the same place as the doctor. I ended up going to a child and adolescent
psychiatrist. I saw a really nice lady. It was quite good talking through
things. I think I'm coping a lot better to what I was two or three
years ago, but it's still a really slow process and I just have to take
one day at a time. You're never going to be completely recovered, but you
just have to stop yourself. There is help out there and it's not the end
of the word, because you can get help "
The second was written for BBC Online (UK) .
When coping means cutting, BBC , August 2003
Sam Hunt, from Birmingham, is 17. When she was severely
bullied at school, she regularly cut herself with a knife - and took repeated
overdoses. Doctors say the number of people coming to A&E units with
self-harm injuries is on the rise. Sam now talks to other young people
about self-harm and how to cope with it. She wrote her disturbing story
for BBC News Online and explained how she broke the self-harm habit.
When I first began senior school, I found myself alone for the first time
in two years, with no friends and only myself to depend on. I thought that
there would be so many people on their own like me and that it would be
easy to make new friends. How wrong I was. I tried so hard, but it just
didn't seem to work. I sat alone in many of my lessons. At a size 12 to
14, and being taller than my peers, I realised I was developing quicker
than them. At first I wasn't bothered. Then, as I walked the corridors,
people began shouting 'fatty' at me and making fun of basically everything.
One small childish comment changed my whole life: 'You smell'. It stuck
and soon people were avoiding me in the corridors. I went home every night
and scrubbed myself in the shower until my skin was red. Overdose The angrier
I got, the more they enjoyed watching me. I was getting on the bus in the
morning thinking I was going to throw up from fear. I went
home every night and scrubbed myself in the shower until my skin was red.
One November it became so hard for me that I gave in
and took an overdose of painkillers. 'Good - that will make them sorry',
I thought before I drifted to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I decided
not to tell anyone, faking illness as a cover up. But I really did want
to die. My dad and the school found out about the overdose, and a few weeks
later, as I sat in my bedroom, I suddenly became so angry that I grabbed
a razor and began slicing at my wrists. I hacked away for a long time before
I realised that it made me feel better cutting at myself - so I moved the
razor up my arm and cut there. In a way, I saw what I was doing to my body
as an art - I enjoyed watching the blood and seeing what patterns I could
make. Cover-up Soon I was cutting myself so often it became habit. For
every person that hurt me I cut myself a little more. I would say their
names aloud. Then cut. I was careful to cover it up, although looking back,
I think that people knew but just didn't say anything. Once, I had my wrists
right through to my elbows bandaged. In a way, I saw what I
was doing to my body as an art - I enjoyed watching the blood and seeing
what patterns I could make.
I took four more overdoses, each time, more desperate,
I pushed up the amount I was taking, regardless of the damage I was probably
doing to my body. On the fourth occasion, I was at home alone - I just
sat there thinking. I was involved at the time with Children's Express
- a journalism project aimed at eight to 18 year olds. When someone from
the project rang that evening, he tried to calm me down, and for the first
time, I cried about the whole situation. 'I don't want to die,' I sobbed
down the line. That night, I wanted to change. Low point I was referred
to both a counselor at school, and to a child psychiatrist. I hated everything
about the psychiatrist, but the counselor helped me. But I still found
myself slipping deeper and deeper into depression. I just drew far away
from any kind of relationship with anyone. I cut myself nearly every day,
in the toilets at school, at home, anywhere I could. Sometimes
I pulled my school tie around my neck until my lips turned blue.
Other girls with similar problems approached me. One, who I'll call Rachael,
was also bullied, and cut herself. We became friends. Some mornings she
came in with blood all over her wrists, and she hardly ever ate. In the
end, I experienced the same attitude that many people have about self-harmers:
'They can't be helped'. There seemed to be nothing that I could do. Turning
around I continued to self-harm, finding new ways, as cutting didn't seem
to have the same effect anymore. Sometimes I pulled my school tie around
my neck until my lips turned blue, and I pulled scarves around my neck,
holding them tight until the whole world seemed to spin. Once, I stood
at a train station willing myself to jump off the platform, then climbed
a high-rise block, finding a gate barring access to the roof. But finally
I gave in and began to talk properly to the counselor. I began telling
her what I was feeling and about the bullying. I was prescribed antidepressants,
then pills for anxiety and to help me sleep. I met my mum, who I hadn't
seen since I was four - and it was the biggest step that I have had to
make. Breaking the cycle I hope to work as a writer one day, and I'm taking
A levels and working with a mental health charity, Mind Out for Mental
Health. So far , Iíve spoken to lots of the media Ė Iíve been on BBC News
, written for The Guardian and appeared on GMTV as part of anti Ėbullying
week and speaking out about my experiences with self harm . Being bullied
was probably the hardest thing Iíve ever been through, Iíve lived in a
hostel before but nothing compares to the pain of being bullied . Sometimes
I do slip back in to my old habits of hurting myself Ė Itís something that
was caused by bullying but that effected my entire life . I think that
Iím breaking the cycle now though and Iím glad that Iím able to talk about
bullying and encourage others to speak out . Since this , there has
been a spiral of ups and downs , with more medications and incidents like
the ones described . However , next year I am going to study at University
and I have my own website on bullying: www.bullyzone.moonfruit.com
. Samantha Hunt , Birmingham , UK .
"I was harassed for many years, beginning in
the second to third grade stemming all the way through my freshmen year
in high school. I had cut my hair short, and many older kids teased
me and would always ask, are you a girl or a boy? Knowing well that
I was female. People would make fun of my appearance, and everything
about myself. I was an outgoing individual and loud and loved to
have fun. Every day, in the hall, on the bus, biking to the store,
many groups of kids singled me out. I became depressed, suicidal, my
self-esteem dropped to nothing. I wanted to die so many times.
Somehow I got through it. ...I survived, and the healing is probably
still going on, and I know it took well into my high school years to come
to an understanding of what happened..."
and Hurt Parents talk about Bullying
New Jersey parent - "I want to thank you for your courage
and website. I have dealt with bullying and the indifference and political
maneuverings of school administrators. I have come to the conclusion that
*perpetuate* student friction, by pitting students against one another:
yearbook who's who, Homecoming, giving special privileges to certain students.
The schools themselves operate on archaic tradition that desperately needs
reform. I know for certain that the information on your site is valid,
about bullied students who go on to kill. Where we live, NJ, I noted that
two separate incident's of this, the newspaper account said that the young
men were severely bullied in school. If you want to add this to your website,
it would help to give strength to this valid theory. One was the murder
of Kim Marie Anderson in Deptford, NJ (don! 't remember name of boy who
did it, but the newspaper said he was severely abused by everyone at school)
The other was in a South Jersey town - the little girl who was killed was
named Crystal, can't remember more, but the killer was 'dumped on by everyone
in school'. God bless you in your efforts. My daughter has OCD and
Tourette's Syndrome and is teased although both of these are very much
under control. I am about to take her out of school."
"My son will be attending High School this
fall and he's worried, because the same kids that bullied him in Jr. High,
will be their and he thinks they will continue to taunt and harass him.
I e-mailed the Mayor and told him everything. He just sent a police
officer to the school. I called the police officer,
because he never contacted me and he didn't think there was anything he
could do. He sounded lazy and like he didn't care. I've heard
that it's best to contact the superintendent of the school, to get anything
done. That's what I plan on doing."
"We have decided that we care about the education of our
child and have chosen to home school."
"We were told by the superintendent that
'the school was not responsible for our childrens safety at school!'
My children had tailbones broken, torn tendons & ligaments. Spit on.
Called every filthy name you can think of..."
"Our daughter and many of her friends
all fear for their safety in this school. Their friends who attend
other schools also fear in those schools, so this is widespread.
all agree worrying about grades, courses, their future, etc. is minor compared
to worrying about making it through the day alive.
"Because of the lack of interest in protecting
children from being bullied I withdrew my son from school and began
homeschooling him. This does not solve the ongoing problems that
the school has but it does keep my son safe for now. He was in the
7th grade when things became unbearable. He will enroll in public
school next year when he will go to high school."
"Our son has put up with physical abuse
from one kid for awhile now. Only recently did we find this out because
he had been punched in the back so hard he couldn't hide it. He told
us how this kid came up from behind and hit him right between the shoulder
blades so hard he blacked out for a moment and he went to his knees. This
kid was laughing and asking kids around him if they heard how hard he hit
him. My husband told the school if they weren't going to suspend
this kid our son wasn't safe so he was taking him home. Now school officials
and the police promise us our son will be safe. Supposedly, if anything
happened again they would take action. Our son wants to go back to
school and face this kid. He says it would be worth taking another punch
just to see if the school will suspend this bully. This concerns
me a little because our son's friend heard this bully talking about how
angry he was and he was out to get him. This bully isn't new to trouble;
why he's still in school I don't know. But we're not going to sit
back and let this happen. I hate the thought of my son being put
in "harms way" just to set a trap for this kid. We can only hope
this creep will be punished; what a concept! Yes, there has always
been bullying but when there's mental or physical injury involved and this
is high school we're talking here, it's not "child's play" anymore, it's
assault plain and simple."
"How do you help your child you see they
are hurt by their classmates? My Son is an above average student and he
gets teased on an everyday basis. He cannot eat due to severe
stomach cramping. He has talked to his counselor who said "you have to
eat". He told me today he feels as though he is going to have a nervous
breakdown. The teasing is verbal. He is called faggot.... among
other things. It hurts me to no end to see my Son in so much pain everyday.
Where do I start. I can go to see his counselor but what then? If he names
Students he will receive backlash in the end and Im afraid it will only
get worse. He is getting depressed over this never ending situation.
I just don't know how to handle this anymore."
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