During the late 1970s as I sat in my 7th grade world geography class, a classmate, Roger, who was small in stature, walked into our classroom, at least once a week, with a fresh black eye. My best friend and I used our childish behavior to laugh and poke fun at him. Back then, neither children nor their teachers had ever heard of the term “bullying.” I learned the hard way that the verbal term involved teasing or hurtful comments. I also learned that if administrators during the 1970s knew of such bullying, they sure did a good job at keeping the information away from their students—especially me.
Thank God, now that I have grown-up, I learned that today school officials …show more content…
For example, our school sponsored a book fair. The event occurred in the middle school’s library. Roger enjoyed reading, but on that school day, he didn’t have any money to purchase his favorite books. Unfortunately, he secretly helped himself to whichever book he desired.
The school reports quickly circulated that he had been caught stealing. Mr. Curfew, Roger’s English teacher, contacted Roger’s father. Then on that evening, rather than suffer a horrendous beating from his father, Roger grabbed a loaded handgun. He aimed the pistol at his own forehead and splattered his human brains across his bedroom’s wall. I will never forget the stone wall heaviness that weighed me down after I heard the tragic news, and then I understood that Roger’s black eye was due to his father’s abusive behavior. Sadly, Roger got caught up in an educational system that had no idea how to identify the painful signs of abuse. So, he suffered in total silence. Mr. Curfew suffered too. After Roger’s tragic death, his lamenting caused him to walk around school looking just like a zombie.
In those days, there were no crisis support programs to help students cope with school devastation. Therefore, due to the lack of support, my classmates and I remained …show more content…
God gave me the self-confidence, and power to ignore Fred’s teasing, and guess what? I learned that Fred had his own self-esteem issues. For instance, he was seriously overweight, and the students used to tease him too. However, the most disturbing part of Fred’s story was felt after I got older. I learned that Fred’s battle with obesity and his painful divorce pushed him into a deep depression. Unfortunately, he went to sleep one night, and he did not wake-up the next day.
If I unpeel the experience of my world geography class, I can see how times have changed. Today, bullying can be easily detected, and due to my childhood experiences, when I substitute taught, I put on my detectors. My students understood that I would report, Bullying Point Blank! Are you enjoying this journey? I hope so, but if not, don’t lose steam, move to the next