Since it's come up a lot lately, were you ever bullied in school?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, May 29, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was at a time when nobody did anything. The kids usually did it when the teacher wasn't around, but sometimes the teachers saw and they didn't care. I was teased for being too skinny, not well developed, very immature and naive, too short, "stupid" (that is what they called Learning Disability (LD) back then) and I hated to go to school. I used to pretend I was sick.

    Although we talk a lot about bullying at school in 2011, how much progress do you feel we are making? I know that there is a boy with issues at my daughter's school and he still gets teased. In fact, he is going to have to go to an alternative school because he reacts badly to the teasing and hits. The kids who are doing the teasing don't have any consequences.

    How do you feel? I think this is a big issue. I do think it's better now then it used to be, but probably not as good as the schools would like it to be. Or the parents.
     
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    I was, and I never knew why this one group of girls, especially the "ring leader" Kathy V. (yeah, I still remember her name) picked on me. My saving grace was that I was never in any regular classes with them, but did get stuck in electives, study hall, or lunch with them. Fortunately it wasn't all that bad, and I got through. I had a small circle of friends, but being a natural "odd ball" although I was accepted by these friends, I never felt like I really fit in.

    I was shy and smart. I Thought I was *ugly*, had low self esteem, etc. Years later I found out through a friend that the way most kids perceived me was the exact opposite. They thought I was pretty and VERY smart, and since I "didn't want to associate with anyone" I was a ..............................................................................SNOB!

    I really don't think it is much better these days, but I do believe most schools are trying to do what they can. Their methods are not always the best, but I always appreciate effort.

    Our middle school has a thing called a "bully box" Kids can put their complaints in the box and ALL complaints are investigated. Unfortunately, the first party's complaint to an issue is taken more seriously and considered "more true" SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO the clever kids who learn how to "work the system" can actually use the "bully box" to bully kids. UHG! My friend's son fell victim to this. Started because he simply didn't like a particular girl. Wasn't mean to her, didn't ignore her, just wasn't as friendly as she wanted him to be. She complained that he threatened her and she was now afraid for her safety. So now this, funny, gentle, nice kid is considered a stalker, and is labeled the "bad guy" by the way this is a "normal" child. I dread when my girls will start this school because I HATE dealing with girl drama. I never did as a kid, and avoid it as an adult, but must do whatever I can to help my girls navigate it and live through it when it creates "real" issues. Just like me they are not naturally skilled at it, and I always encourage them to "figure it out" on their own, but when intervention is necessary, it's necessary.
     
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Yep, I was the chubby four-eyed brace-face nerd. I may have bloomed in high school, but the same mentality still follows me.
     
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Four eyes, braces, weird because I was "smart", I went to a private school through 8th grade and was not rich like most of my classmates - I went because they took me at age 5 into first grade, so I was way younger than everyone else (birthday AFTER the cutoff for public school). I was the proverbial ugly duckling. I hated it. I was also a crybaby (duh, I WAS a baby).

    I didn't fit in when I was in high school, but it wasn't quite so bad. I had a "reputation", which was funny because if I had done half the things that were rumored... Wow. I wasn't perfect but I didn't sleep around like they said I did! I found out many years later that people really did like me, they just weren't sure what to do with me. The people I disliked the most, are now closer than the "friends" I had...
     
  5. Persephone

    Persephone New Member

    I went to a small school with same core of 17 people from grades 1-8. I was, and still am, painfully shy with new people, so I only had 1 good friend while others banded together. We had new people come and go, but the new people were always friends with the main group of people. I was teased for being so quiet, like the other group of kids would have a random boy send me "love letters". I had no idea how to respond so I just kind of ignored them. Found out later that they actually did like me, but I was given the b-word label because I was so shy. The shyness made my teen years even worse as the girls got meaner as they got older. Even to this day I am still seen as stand-offish and cold because my shyness makes me quiet and reserved until I get to know people.
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. I would have KILLED to have been considered smart and nerdy...lol.

    I did ok socially in high school as I was very pretty. I felt like it was all I had and by then had given up on my school grades. I got kind of a rebel reputation and for me anything beat getting picked on. I developed an artificially tough edge. I also developed a big mouth so I defended myself that way. Nobody teasesd me in high school, but I still remember Jason W. who tortured me in grade school.
     
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I was a square peg in a round hole but I was seldom teased because I gave as good as I got. Not a lot of friends, and definitely on the periphery. I think I just figured there was nosense in trying to fit in.
     
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I was tormented for my race, poverty level, having divorced parents before it became fairly normal, wearing glasses, being short............... You pretty much name it, I was bullied for it. Didn't help that due to abuse at home I had a rather strong victim mentality going which I'm sure the bullies picked up on. Well bully I should say, same girl through k-6th grade.........when I finally had enough and discovered that I DO have a temper, and a nasty vicious one at that. That was the beginning of the end of my victim days.

    I had teachers that were worse than students, which of course sends the totally wrong message to other kids. I had a principal that made both the kids and teachers seem mild.

    ONE teacher stood up for me, and she nearly lost her job over it. She didn't repeat it. But I adored her for trying anyway.

    Honestly? I don't see any real changes in the way bullying is handled in the schools. I didn't see it in dayton, the suburbs of dayton, or even down here in this little town. Some teachers do handle it better.....some principals will too, then you have the awful ones and I won't go there as I could write a book on the subject. We'll just say that nothing got done until I threatened a law suit and involved the police dept.

    My kids were taught to stand up to bullies without fear of consequences at home. I backed them up every time. They never started a fight, but they were the ones that usually ended it. Old school? Maybe. But a person has to learn to stick up for themselves and fight back. I happen to feel it's much better to learn that as a child then at say 30, or perhaps never.
     
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Not by the students. I went to a very small, private school, perhaps like Persephone did. We were all close. I was darn lucky!
    But we have some doozy teachers. One paced up and down between the rows of desks and stared us all down, insisting she could make every one of us cry. It was the first time I learned to make good eye contact and not cry, because my stubborn, angry side came out. I have no idea what made her do it ... she must have been out of hormones or something!

    When I see kids being bullied now, I have to listen for a bit to make sure it is what it is, before I step in. The closest I came to stepping in was last yr, when an older girl was picking on a younger boy, making him cry. He finally hit her (she had it coming, and he pretty much missed). Just as I moved toward them, another parent separated them and then commented that they were siblings, which made perfect sense. Ugh.

    Teachers like to say they handle it but kids are so sly and devious, the teachers can't catch it all.
    And hey, it still goes on ... on the street, in country clubs, you name it. Very sad.
     
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I was a different nut in school. I'm one of 6 kids, my brother (Make Love Not War - and smoked Mother Nature constantly), my older sister was a nerd and tormented, then came me - "The Enforcer". I was really pretty popular albeit I was a fat kid, but I grew up being the kid in the family that was sent to defend my older and younger sibs. Once you kick the crud out of a few bullies, people either give you a wide berth OR they stick close so you can protect them too. After a while, my mom was sending me to handle the issues the less popular kids in school were having.

    Sort of like Robin Hood - without the robbing! lol

    After a while, teasing stopped in the classes surrounding mine - the school jumped on it pretty quickly, until my youngest sisters class went through. Nastiest bunch of kids I ever met. I was 19 years old and touring the playground for her and taking on the school administration over the torture they put her through.

    I hate a bully...that's for sure...I can't stand them.

    Beth
     
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I was lucky. Of course there were "moments" when things weren't great but all in all I was cute enough, friendy enough and smart enough to fit in. on the other hand I was aware of poor treatment aimed at "new" kids or different kids. I did my best to help them. When P.E. teams were picked and I was captain (or whatever it was called, lol) I always would call out the name of a girl who was an "outsider"...not first or second but early on or in the middle. Most of the time they were left to the last choice and I felt badly for them. Those "outsiders" absorbed those moments and over the years would stop me and say thanks. Sometimes I would choose to share lunch with those girls in hopes that it would help them get absorbed into the mainstream. It didn't help that much but I not only felt it was my moral duty but most of them were really nice people.

    Even in the 50's school personnel didn't do anything unless extreme circumstances took place. I didn't understand it when I was a teen and I don't understand it now I'm a senior citizen. My #1 easy child was teased because she was large (not fat) and wore glasses ("4 eyes). It broke my heart. Fortunately she joined the chorus and although still a bit of a loner she had a refuge at school. Yep........it still upsets me that kids are cruel and adults in charge are blind. DDD
     
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I was viciously teased and tormented, esp in elementary school. I was in a Catholic school because my dad's side of the family is Catholic and because it was just a far better school academically. Academically I did very very well usually unless I was just bored and rushed through something. In my case the teachers, even NUNS, were a huge part of the bullying. Several of them would point to me and tell my classmates what a freak I was, using that word, because I preferred to read rather than chase a ball. I am quite sure I would have been diagnosis'd with at least aspie traits if not full asperger's if I was a child doing the same things now. I can remember being so incredibly confused by things my peers did for "fun" - especially chasing circular objects around and playing football. NO sport with a ball ever made much sense and sports were the big thing in our schools. I was also a HUGE klutz and that got me teased. Elementary was bad enough that I did not speak to ANYONE for an entire year. I did not answer any question out loud, not from a kid, not from a teacher, not from the principal, and not from the priests. We were forced to go to confession each month and I just sat there. didn't say anything - and every time they told me I would spend eternity in Hades because I would not confess my sins. Yes, I did have first confession and communion, but I stopped believing LONG before the end of sixth grade when I left the school to go to public school. There was no way, in my mind, to reconcile what we were taught in religion class with what the teachers, esp the nuns, did to me. But I was not the only child they tormented. If you were not pretty, smart but not too smart (my failing was being female and far and away the smartest person in any classroom including the teacher by grade four, added to the non-sports attitude) AND your family had to have money that they gave to the church. My parents could barely afford tuition - no way could they make big gifts to the church. Heck, we couldn't even afford to buy school uniforms - my mom found the material and had to sew them.

    When I went to public school I was teased and bullied also, but not by teachers. Seventh grade was awful. I had NO clothes. Six years where all you wear to school is a uniform means you do NOT have a big wardrobe of the latest styles - and often you don't even know what the styles were. So I was a great target with that added to the other stuff. Things were better in high school, around 10th grade or so. I had a couple of close friends, we all were into photography, spent a tone of time together and things were not nearly as bad.

    I wish the schools now were more proactive. the elem that my kids went to when we first moved here had a counselor who used a really great anti-bullying program. It was super effective, used peer mediators (in elem school! - 4th and 5th graders were eligible), stressed not bullying those with handicaps,e tc... and the way the kids responded was incredible. Those students with disabilities that included behavior problems were not teased nearly as much because most of the other kids would force anyone picking on them to stop immediately. Even kids that didn't know them but were passing in the hall would get involved. Then we had to change schools because we moved. They tell us there is no bullying but it is a big fat lie. thank you has been torments a LOT because he is so smart and gets straight As.

    A couple of you mentioned being teased because you wore glasses. I got that too, for a few years. A LOT of it was really bad because the day my mom took me to get glasses and then took me to school was HALLOWEEN!!!!!! Yes, my first day of wearing glasses to school was on a day where everyone wore costumes (because we did back then - all day we wore them!). It was really really bad.
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How have you told your child to handle bullying?

    My kids were told they could never throw the first punch, but should fight back. I don't care if they get suspended for it. Fortunately, this doesn't happen to Sonic (good choice of school) and I think the other kids really respect Jumper, but, even if somebody didn't, they wouldn't want to mess with her. She wouldn't put up with any rap from anyone. She HAS gotten involved when kids were bullying the younger sister of one of her closet friends. When two teachers caught her yelling at the tormentors, she was called aside and told she should not "intimidate" the younger kids.

    Jumper has no problem defending herself. She told both teachers that she wouldn't have to do it if the teachers stopped it. This child was constantly getting picked on and her mother had been to the school to no avail. The two teachers sent Jumper to principal for "intimidating" the bullies, but he just grinned and congratulated her on sticking up for a younger child (he likes her a lot). I told her the same thing.

    I can't blame my kid for taking up for a younger kid who is being tormented by her peers. And she's right...if the teachers did something about it, good kids like her wouldn't have to...
     
  14. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I was never bullied--but watched my poor easy child daughter deal with stuff that no one should ever have to deal with, especially after all she went through. And I was there---teaching at the school. It has taken years to develop her self-confidence enough that I know she will be okay....but the bullies---even years later, won't stop the harassment.
     
  15. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Of course. Everyone meets someone who tries to have power over them. That is bullying to me. I was a strong personality, had to be. We moved all the time as my dad was in the Air Force. For me it was mostly the mean girl stuff. When we moved back to the states, we just didn't have the money many people had who went to the local high school. I didn't have top brand stuff, but I always tried to look stylish and my mom was quite a seamstress. I remember a girl always commenting-did you get that at K-Mart? I also excepted everybody-part of the culture in over-seas schools, that was not cool at my high school. I played in the band, sang in the choir, was a cheerleader for a year, played tennis and took calculus. I was a bit weird. I stopped doing the cheerleader thing because a group of girls use to sing out loud in front of everyone-"The Birtha Butt Boogie" (dating myself). I was a curvatious creature and not the rail thin, popular at the time.
    Still have some scars. I don't go to reunions, accept Facebook friends from former high school jerks that barely talked to me, and when I go home....I don't do the social stuff with people who were barely nice.

    Today it's scarier because of the internet and cell phones. It's also scary because we know what it does to people and esp. kids and their development. It has always been a part of school culture. It's hard to catch and see,under reported and we still have the" blame the victom" thing going on.

    I think the old school thing of defending yourself is ok. If my daughter did that, I would take her out for a shopping spree and lunch on the day she was suspended. They have to take care of themselves and sometimes it means being tough.
     
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    R.E.L.E.N.T.L.E.S.S.L.Y.

    When my "high school reunion committe' had the nerve to call my Mother's house after 25 years? And well, you know - They've "Grown up", and "Moved on" and "All is water under the bridge now" because "We were all just kids in high school".....My Mom took the message, and left me the phone number to call the "Reunion organizer" and I want you to get a perfect visual of ME standing there making "Air QUOTES" with my fingers for all the air quotes I've made above. School was helk for me. Absolute helk. I was nice to everyone, I never picked on anyone, I had a very much live and let live attitude and finally FINALLY in 12th grade? I got looks, I was allowed to pluck my UNIBROW, and wear jeans, not dresses with knee socks, and thank GOD my Mother went to bat for me with my uber conservative religious ideals Father....because I couldn't have been a bigger social out cast, but I was never cruel to anyone, and I was and remained a good girl." But high school girls are incredibly venomous and my life made that movie Mean Girls look like an ice cream social.

    So when I called the reunion chairwoman back - it was one of the clicky girls who had been incredibly cruel, rumerous, gossipy, and taunting to send me home a lot and also have no clue that my self esteem was in the gutter and this would help me make poor decisions in my life. So when she answered all "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii how ARE you? I said "I'm fine." The conversation immediately went to "Well it's been a long time hasn't it?" I said "Please tell me when there ever WAS a time?" (long pause) "Excuse me?" then I said "Well that would be a first. You asking for my forgiveness. I just wanted to say I'm not coming to the reunion." Of course she jumped right in with "OH well are you sure there is no way you can make it? and I finally just said "Look (her name) What is up here really? You were cruel to me in HS, you were not nice 25 years ago, and I doubt you're being sincere now."

    She said "Well that was in high school, we were kids then." So I let her have it, but I was very even keeled, and kept my cool like I would talk to a child. "Well you're right about one thing, we were kids. I had feelings, and you and your little group were incredibly cruel to me. Do you have ANY idea how many days I went home feeling like absolute (bad word) because of how you treated me? Almost every single one, and how much that affected my life? I mean because of the way you and your little group made me feel, I had NO self esteem, NO self worth, and made bad choices, dated bad guys, was in an abusive relationship and spent 15 years in counseling, and had a child that was abused and has emotional problems so FORGIVE ME please if I can't pull myself away from my life here in SC to go back in time to hang out with a bunch of people that cared so little for themselves 25 years ago that they didn't care how they treated people because even though I was a kid? I treated everyone decent - even you when you did awful things to me - I never tried to get back at you, I never called YOU names, I never talked about YOU, I never started rumors about YOU, and 25 years later I still don't have anything bad to say to you other than I don't care to be around you ever again, but I'm glad to hear you think you've grown up to be a nice person. Enjoy the reunion - if you don't have a record turn out - you may want to get with your group and just ask yourselves - How DID we treat people - and from here on out? How does how I treat people affect their lives - because there are going to be people in your childrens lives that treat them one way or another in school - and I hope NO ONE EVER treats them like you treated me.

    And then I hung up. And I never went to my 25 year reunion...... - and my Mom since has had her number changed.....and I never got so much as an apology card in the mail at my Moms house either. so that tells me everything about the character of that woman in her 40's - Same as it was in her teens - nothing changed. Nothing. The people that I would have wanted to see? Wouldn't have gone either - they were all treated like me too, and I mean no one kept in touch after graduation. I have to say though - one of my sisters friends sent me an email of some pictures after she heard about the conversation - and she basically was like _YOU really should go - look at them - You need to get a super beautiful dress, and do your hair and makeup and walk in like you have anmesia....lol. Because they sure wouldn't recognize me now. And I'd take my annual too - and make EVERY BOY that wrote Roses are Red Violets are Blue pancakes are flat and so are you -or Roses are red violets are blue your Mother is built what happened to you? - Cross it out. lol.....snort.

    Yeah HS just blew. So did grade school, middle school - Jr high was okay - I ran track, but basically I hated school.
     
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I went to my 20th reunion - because it was planned by someone who actually treated me decently way-back-when. It was interesting. husband and I left early.

    I have both. Onyxx IS a bully. I have tried to explain to her how others feel. She thinks it's funny to see people cry. I reminded her about the person that called her trailer trash when she lived in a trailer park with BM and her grandma. I don't know if I made an impression. Honestly, I don't know how to get it through to her.

    Then there's Jett, who is socially WAY behind, and so bullied there. THEN, he does things like not wear deodorant or brush his teeth - but he complains when people tell him he stinks. I explained. husband explained. Onyxx explained. Still haven't quite figured it out... How to get through.

    I figure they can defend themselves - but... Onyxx is likely to start things as opposed to defend... Sigh.
     
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Star, I would not go to any high school reunion. I'm not angry anymore, just disinterested. The few kids I hung around with were younger than me so not in my grade and one was from another school. Have no desire to see anyone else again and I live in another state. I did "friend" some people from high school who wanted to friend me (I have no idea why), but have not really "talked" to anyone.

    In my case, I wouldn't bother calling anyone up about our reunion. I just don't send back RSVPs. I do think a lot of the kid stuff was kid stuff and people do grow up, but if I didn't hang around with them, why would I want to see them twenty or thirty years later?

    Also, I can be painfully shy...so is hub. Why bother?
     
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, speaking of HS reunions.............

    I had NO desire to go in all these years. While I wasn't bullied or even made fun of after grade school, there really was only a handful of people I'd care to see again. One person, in particular, as I wanted to know if she'd been able to make her dream come true.

    Now I've reconnected with the old HS gang (well most of them) via fb. We chat quite a bit. Nothing huge, but we're sort of spread out so it's understandable.

    Our graduating class has NEVER had a reunion. No one ever bothered. Except this year. Guess who is doing it? The handful of people I'd actually love to see in person again. The old HS gang........who uh, while not picked on ect, were not considered really the "in" crowd, nor ones that would do such a thing. lol Now I'm ticked as there is no possible way I could go. Just my luck. Oh well. I still talk to them on fb every day and we already ohh and ahh over our kids and grandkids.
     
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My first serious bully was my elementary school principal. Then his wife got in on the act. They were horrible. The other kids - some were bullies, but their efforts paled into comparison against the principal and his wife.

    High school - I was bullied constantly, I still have scars on my legs from being kicked. I was put into counselling because of self-esteem issues. The counselling was useless. Worse than useless. No CBT in those days. And why was I the one in counselling and not the bullies?

    Another high school - no bullies. They were there, but I had no problems. So it helped me realise - it wasn't me, after all. Or maybe the level of bullying at the second high school was just so weak compared to the purgatory I had endured.

    School reunions - my second high school has had three reunions, I went to them all. One girl who was a bit mean to me, was very nice and chatty, we sat together and I was surprised how well we got on. I still don't know why she was such a toad to me but again - it was minimal compared to what I used to cop.
    My first high school - I was approached about a reunion. I declined, explaining that I did not need to re-visit PTSD.

    About a year ago, I was contacted by a classmate from my elementary school, wanting to organise a reunion. It was an email unfortunately couched in terms of "Let's get together and remember all those wonderful times."
    I emailed back and said that with that premise, nobody would come. I suggested an alternative - "Let's get together and compare therapy stories, for all the damage our principal and his wife did."
    Sadly, although my former classmate agreed with me, he did not change the wording of his announcement and the reunion never happened, for lack of numbers. We even had a few teachers planning on coming along, the ones who had always helped pick up the pieces after the principal visited the classroom. I did get the chance to share a few stories and mentioned one particular incident that has haunted me - I was not the focus, another boy was. I have changed his name, but he had a surname with a word in it like "moron". Jack Moroni, if you will. He had forgotten to bring his homework for the principal's class, and the principal made him stand out the front of the class and read aloud, from the dictionary, the definition of "moron".

    My classmate immediately emailed me back, said he was in close contact with Jack Moroni, they were neighbours. He talked to Jack about it and they remembered the incident, were surprised I did (and had been so affected by it) and in return, they commented that in their recollection, I was commonly a target for that odious man and his loathsome harpy wife. I found sharing these emails to be very therapeutic and really looked forward to a mutual witch session at the reunion; sadly, it was not to be. I think too many of us had been too badly hurt.

    I always dreamed of hunting that man down and confronting him with my eventual success. Or something. Then I envisioned him in a nursing home somewhere as a drooling idiot ("read THAT out of the dictionary, you *^^)^!!!") and realised that there would never be any point. There are healthier ways to get revenge. Success, for example.

    That evil man and his wife tortured all of us purely for his own pleasure, and seemingly in the belief that it would make us stronger. It didn't, it caused deep wounds. They would encourage and enable other kids to bully those of us who were their targets, and endorse and arm these child-bullies with as much ammunition as they could think of. I remember the principal's wife (she took our class for sewing once a week) actually teaching these other kids new words to call me. In class. In front of everybody.

    Maybe that is what set me up for the physical abuse I copped in my first high school - I already greeted the world with hunched shoulders and a posture akin to a whipped dog.

    I suspect husband may have a few comments here on bullying - he also was physically beaten and two totally different techniques worked for him - one day he 'played dead' and scared the kid who had hit him into believing he had seriously injured him. And another time as husband described, he "rose up like Lazarus" and beat the living snot out of the bully, who never touched him again. Apparently, the other kids had to drag husband off the other boy, it took a lot of force. Word got around after that - don't mess with the sleeping tiger!

    Why was I such a target for my principal and his wife? Looking back now, I think it was because I was bright. He felt threatened and needed to bring me down a peg or two, he thought. And she did whatever her husband authorised, and did it with great enjoyment.

    I still want to track down that nursing home...

    Marg
     
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