Bullying and Abuse at School
May 5, 2016 6:53pm CST
When you send your child to school, you know that they are going to be educated but you also make the assumption that they will be safe. Unfortunately, that is far from what many children in the United States experience once they are left in the care of teachers and other school staff members. They are at risk of harm not only from the adults who are supposed to see that they are educated but also from the other children they spend almost every moment of the school day with. I had the bad luck of experiencing bullying and abuse from both as I grew up, though this post will focus only on interactions with other students. The first incident of true abuse happened when I was in third grade. I'd faced bullying since the first week of kindergarten, I never understood quite why. All girls in my grade were basically controlled by one girl, the youngest daughter of the school's secretary. She was the youngest in her family and used to getting whatever she want it, her mom saw to it that things went that way at school as well. Any coloring competitions or such that took place for our grade - her picture was always chosen as the winner and things like that. She and her 'second in command' had found various reasons to make me miserable. Usually, the bullying was just confined to stupid things like pretending all the other girls were princesses and I was their servant, or chanting at me that I was the devil and needed to be gone. That one spring day though, it crossed the line from bullying to life threatening abuse. I don't remember exactly what led up to it but I do remember them knocking me to the asphalt as all the other girls in our grade stood around us. She then commanded all the other girls to grab my arms and legs and carry me. They carried me to the restrooms, which were in a mostly detached building from the main school, and threw me inside the girl's section. They then held the door closed. This was all done because in the spring time that restroom was one giant bee's nest. I know that I beat on the door trying to get them to let me out before curling into a ball in the corner, hoping to not get stung. As an adult, I know had the bees in that restroom all come after me - I would've been stung to death long before anyone would have been able to get help. By some miracle, the other girls got bored and I was able to leave after about 10 minutes without a single bee sting on me. Since the supreme rule taught to us by adults at elementary school was "don't tattle!" I never said a word to anyone until telling my mom I didn't want to go back to that school the next year. I attended public schools for the rest of my education was fortunately, I guess, mainly only subject to various verbal bullying and threats throughout the rest of my years in school. That is excluding some incidents of physical and sexual harassment in 8th grade which I've previously written about. One thing which all the abuses perpetrated on me by fellow students has in common though, was that adults either ignored them or blamed me for them happening.
8 people like this
• United States
6 May 16
I know what you mean. Now, I was never physically abused, though I once had gum put in my hair, but I was subject to verbal abuse. Finally, in 10th grade, I attended the public school for 4 weeks and the abuse got so bad, I would come home crying nearly every day. I finally told my parents (Mom) that I couldn't take it, they had to let me go to the Catholic school where my brother was going. We, my brother, sister and sister-in-law, were talking about some of that last night. My sister-in-law, of course, wasn't around then, although she did attend high school with my brother, just didn't know him then, and my sister is 4 years younger and was 5 grades behind us, so she was busy with her own friends back then.
10 May 16
@zarlamain In my nephews school they have made it a policy that they change pupils every year in class ,so they dont form cliche and go on harassing others.Not sure if its a good policy as my nephew do no have permanent friends because of it.Every year he has to make new friends which must be kinda tiring.But there is no bullying as well Teachers are happy too as it becomes easy to control lass.
• United States
7 May 16
I am really sorry that this happened to you, Lola. Children should be able to count on the adults in their lives to protect them. The victim should never be blamed. I also blame the philosophy that tells children not to defend themselves. It is our inherent right to do so. Also, once we are victimized, it changes us. In some cases, it makes us easier targets for the next bully or abuser, unfortunately. We become fearful and withdraw inward. I sincerely hope you can find a trusted friend or counselor to help you through the pain. Be well.