What’s been your experience with bullying?

Today MPR News begins a series of reports exploring the issue of bullying and what can be done to address it. Today’s Question: What’s been your experience with bullying?

  • http://www.presidentfor2012.somaligov.net Badal Kariye

    Bullying is criminal and equals to death penalty because it can cause death easily so, it must be stopped early than lately in any schools and public parks.

  • Wade

    I was both a bully and bullied. I don’t see the big problem. Of course I’m a strong person who never fell victim to things like low self esteem, peer pressure, etc.

    I can see how bullying can be a big deal/problem for kids who are mentally and physically weak.

  • Zeke

    Kids have always bullied each other, and with little data to suggest the problem is any worse now than it has been in the past. But I’m pretty sure my instinctive hesitancy on this point is wrong, for three reasons.

    The first is simply that research suggests anti-bullying programs in schools work fairly well.

    The second is that something really has changed in adolescence since the advent of the internet.

    The third is that, like it or not, parents now expect schools to be aware of student social stigmatisation and ostracism, and to intervene to do something about it. Over time, this is going to become one of the things we simply assume schools should be doing. That will probably mean at least somewhat fewer kids going through that experience, and that’s a very good thing.

  • george hayduke

    I was tormented until I’d had enough. I grabbed one of the gentlemen by the crotch and throat and tried to throw him down a stairwell. I had him up on the railing before I was stopped. No one bothered me after that.

  • Rich

    It is a horrible shame that it takes the death of a teenager to bring this issue to light in the public. Bullying has been around forever, but it’s gotten to a point today where it is almost impossible to avoid. The problem stems from children not being taught right from wrong, and not being properly disciplined at an early age. Bullying doesn’t start in high school, it begins on the playground.

  • Chris Oinonen Ehren

    There are programs that work, but bullying prevention is implemented differently from school to school. Without solid leadership and commitment from the top down and training for teachers there’s no progress for students. I’ve had my son in classrooms where he was considered the problem because he, as a highly functioning autism spectrum student, was the problem because he was a magnet for the bullies, and if he “just wouldn’t act that way” he wouldn’t attract so much trouble to himself and wouldn’t be “such a disruption”. Some teachers apparently wanted him to suffer in silence and weren’t the least bit interested in creating a safe space in their classroom. They were more interested in their seating chart than in putting some space between him and the bullies. It went as far as kids pinching other kids with mousetraps, not just my son.

  • JEB

    I can look at this from a couple different standpoints.

    I was bullied in grade school. It hurt, but my involvement in the martial arts gave me confidence and taught me how to deal with it without a physical confrontation, even if it meant kicking a hanging bag in class that evening!

    Now, I teach the martial arts to kids and adults alike, and some students have presented me with bullying scenarios. My organization has an anti-bully training curriculum, so I have answers both textbook and from personal experience.

    Finally, this anti-bully curriculum is available as a free seminar that I can teach in schools, but it is very difficult to get into the schools to teach it. There is a lot of red tape due to not being a district or school funded program. The anti-bully programs are out there. Tell your school that they need programs like ours to teach kids, teachers, and parents how to deal with bullying.

  • awen briem

    Of the LGBT and questioning youth and adults I knew in high school I am the only person still alive, two of these lives lost to violent hate crimes. The bullying I experienced was relentless, ranging from psychological to physical and eventually escalating to violence.

    No one ever spoke out against what was happening. Teachers and school staff who observed the incidents either ignored it or placed blame on me. This intensified my fear and anger and created lifelong trust issues that I continue to struggle with thirty years later.

    By the time the bullying escalated to violence, it had become clear that the adults around me were not going to help. I kept it to myself and endured.

    But these are not issues we can isolate to school cultures. If we are going to authentically address bullying and create and maintain safer schools and communities for our youth and children we must be sure to look at the whole rather than separating individual pieces of our society. What we as adults say and do all day every day has a direct impact on the youth and children around us. When we invest in fear and rely on divisiveness to feel safe we are setting a precedent that carries into every school across the state. A current example is the proposed Marriage Amendment to our state constitution. In the last two weeks our youth and children have observed our elected officials fight to codify inequality and our state senate solidified that position.

    Even our youngest children are aware that if someone is being treated differently, then there must be something different about them, and so the seed of fear and prejudice are planted. While we undoubtedly need to continue addressing bullying in our schools, we also need to develop the courage and the willingness to speak out when we observe injustice in order to mentor for our children how to do the same.

  • Larry M.

    When I was growing up people were less aware. With me questioning my sexuality and even with some of my friends participating in experimentation I still had to hear the word “fag” repeatedly in “normal” conversation with friends. We used to drive down Hennepin avenue and some of my friends would scream yell “fag” out the window out as we passed certain bars or saw men walking together. No wonder it took me to the age of 21 to begin to come out. What a long time for me to find my truth.

  • Larry M.
  • Larry M.

    Jonathan Duffy is the writer, director and producer of the Documentary Film “The Doctor’s Wife.” Shares his experience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ht8UcCYBT0&feature=player_embedded#at=58

  • Steve the Cynic

    Bullying is a form of predation. Bullies steal power from their victims and gain status among their friends by belittling others. Bullying persists because bullies learn that it works for them. Unless they suffer some negative consequence from their behavior, they will continue to employ such strategies even as adults. At home they abuse their spouses and children. At work they intimidate their peers and subordinates, and even their supervisors. In politics they use nasty smear tactics. In business they become ruthless profiteers. The rest of society aids and abets bullies when we despise the weak, resent the needy, blame the victims for being bully-magnets, and shrink from confronting bullies when we see them in action.

  • Al

    Like George Hayduke below, I was bullied for a while in school by another boy. One day when the pain was just too great, I beat him up badly in front of the rest of the boys in my grade. I was pretty much left alone after that. I have never done anything like it before or since, and I’m not proud of it, but in my teenage mind I saw no other way out.

    As I look back at it I can now see that he was probably trying to gain some measure of respect from the other boys by bullying me. He came from a poor family with divorced parents, wasn’t all that great academically, and not in sports. He didn’t fit in very well in our small Catholic school with primarily middle class, nuclear families and most of the kids in sports. I know he had been bullied before.

    It was an overall sad situation when you think about. I now wish some adults had been more aware of what was going on and help to work some of it out. When you’re 14 you don’t always have the decision making skills you need to handle this.

  • Debbie

    Bulling even happens to adults–probably more than any of us imagine. I am a middle-aged woman and just last week I was bullied by an Apple Valley city employee who I have been critical of for what I consider abuses of his position when he takes gifts of recreation and entertainment through the professional organization he belongs to. (They charge private companies to advertise in their publication and then they use the money for gifts they could not accept directly). On Tuesday night I was walking my dog at 9:30 p.m. when the disgruntled employee and his dog began to menace and intimidate me. When I tried to get him to leave us alone and go on his way he tauntingly said, “I’m just walking my dog” and continued to refuse to leave us alone and insisted on following immediately behind me with his dog straining at the leash. This all took place on a dark and unlit walking path in the center of my neighborhood. A man should NEVER bully a woman and certainly never bully a woman in the dark when she’s alone–except that’s what bullies do I guess. They’re also arrogant and think they can get away with what they do–I’m sure that’s why he jeered that he was “only walking my dog” because he felt confident enough that he could say he wasn’t trying to intimidate me. The thing is, it worked, it’s not worth it to me to speak out against a government policy if I’m going to be ambushed after dark in my own neighborhood. It was very frightening and even though I’m mad, his bullying worked because I would definitely think twice about drawing attention to his activities as city employee ever again. Bullies suck but they get the job done.

  • Chris

    I was lucky enough to be terrorized by my own personal bully for years. I only had one bully because if any one else picked on me he beat them up. Lucky me. This kid nearly killed me at least 3 times. He pushed me into a on coming car, caused me to fall from a jungle gym & land on my face. Pushed me down a ice hill into a brick wall. His assaults were verbal & physical occurring almost daily. My school years 3-6th grade were a living nightmare. Most of his assaults happened at recess. It was a huge playground so I tried to stay with the teacher or far away with him. There was usually only one teacher supervising a huge playground & 100 kids or so. I was a walker & sometimes he would find me on the way to school. To be fair this was the 70′s and allot has changed since.

    Now my daughter is 9 she’s having her own issues w/bullies . Threats, minor pushing in the hall, name calling & some hitting. When she tells her teacher she is usually told to deal with it. There was a very serious threat against her & a friend two years ago, her bully was told to leave her alone & kept in for recess for a day. My daughter was too scared to tell me because she was told if she told an adult she was being hit she & her friend would be killed. This girl refused to leave my daughter & friend alone and again nothing was done except they were separated by class the following year. My daughter is over sensitive & a bit of a drama queen this is what opens her up to teasing. The other day a teacher saw her being pushed in the hall and sympathised with her but was about it. We are switching schools next year that has a stronger bully policy but should we have to go that far?

    Kids have picked on other kids the strong will always prey on the weak. We have all these great laws & things have improved for the unfortunate kids who are being bullied since the 70′s but it is my opinion teachers & staff are overwhelmed or in some cases really just don’t care. There needs to be no tolerance when it comes to bullying. Maybe this means counseling needs to be provided or anger management classes need to happen. Parents need to be contacted & maybe they need to go to classes. Staff needs to enforce the current laws & parents need to have strong recourse if the laws are not enforced. As an adult I see protecting kids as a no brainer so why do so many people have the attitude that bullying is not a big deal. No child should be terrorized during the school day. No child should be allowed to continue to hurt another child. It is a big deal that can effect a person for the rest of their lives. Ask any one who was bullied as a child I doubt they will say it made them a better person.

  • Joanna

    My sister was bullied for being dyslexic. My brother was bullied because, well, because he was a boy, and it seems that part of becoming a man in this society is relentless hazing and violence. I was bullied for being younger and smart and a dork. We have a culture that rewards bullying behavior in the marketplace, and that celebrates thuggish sports figures, that badmouths intellectuals and sneers at artists. It’s not surprising that this behavior will be imitated by kids trying to fit it or taking advantage of the lack of adult intervention.

    I’m glad that society is beginning to recognize this “normal” behavior as wrong and harmful. The fact that we survived does not make it OK. The fact that many do not survive, or live with life-long psychological damage should strengthen our resolve to confront bullying at school AND at work and in our culture at large.

    I have experienced relentless bullying at work with no assistance from those I begged for help. It doesn’t end in school.

  • http://www.fiddlehouse.com Joshua Koepp

    I’d like to find out more about Jeb’s program from above.

    I was bullied a little bit when I was the new kid in middle school: Pushed around, cornered in bathrooms, slammed against lockers etc.

    Since then I’ve worked in public and private schools and out-of-school time programs for 15+ years and have seen bullying being ignored, addressed in an OK way, and addressed poorly. At the end of the day, I’ve realized that there are legal limits on the school districts and parents that benefit bullies and abusers.

    Unless you’re lucky enough to have mature, insightful, professional staff at your significantly underfunded public school the only thing you can do is build resilience, social skills, and personal strength in your kids. This includes setting firm boundaries regarding safety.

  • Vicki

    Our neighbor boy, 7th grade with Asbergers, a quiet boy threatened to take his own life because he couldn’t take the bullying on the bus by older boys. He was from a strong supportive family but did not tell anyone of the bullying until the police intervened.

  • steve

    As a teacher for 22 years, I saw many good bullying policies and curricula come and go. They “go” because any attempt to rectify this hurtful behavior only succeeds if it is practiced consistently over many years. It too often devolves due to staff turnover, administrative turnover, student turnover, and the unrealistic expectation that teachers and other staff will be able to witness bullying first hand, process the “case,” and deal with the aftermath (parents on both sides, repeated bad behavior, etc.); it’s overwhelming, and it often takes class time, prep time, and lunch time. Staff tend to “bend” under the strain, and there goes the buy-in that is essential to success. The answer? Raise my taxes, hire support staff to implement a District-wide curriculum to reduce bullying in our schools, and stick with it.

  • James

    Walk softly and carry a big stick.

    Bullies tried to mess with me in Jr.-High.

    I got in shape with Taekwondo, and then they jumped me again.

    I kicked then around… they left me alone after that. One of the bullies actually committed suicide soon after… good riddance.

    DTOM

  • Whitney

    @ Debbie,

    Your story is exactly why bullying should be fought. I recommend that you call the police and file a complaint about what happened to you. Your story is very disturbing to me.You have every right to question government policy without being harrassed for your opinions. After all, this government (whether it be municipal, state, or federal) is supposed to be a democracy. If you truly believe you were targeted because you spoke out against government policy, you need to report it.

  • JEB

    @ Debbie,

    Yes, go to the police. Make them aware of the incident, and try to be more cautious of when and where you walk your dog in the future.

    I also teach women’s self defense. We address both physical attacks and awareness before any attack has taken place. My martial arts school is in West St. Paul, so a little bit of a hike for you, but I can do a seminar for you and your friends if you might be interested. http://www.legacyama.net

  • Charles

    I was very small, very thin and very weak as a junior high school student. I was bullied constantly, both at my school and at the school my parents taught at. One day I decided life couldn’t be worse if I fought back and was badly beaten, so I fought back. Lo! I wasn’t badly beaten, the bully that particular day was so surprised he backed off, and I discovered a lot of being bullied was permitting it to happen. After that I fought back and wasn’t bullied any more.

    My son, like me small and puny, at age ten responded to bullying by putting his hands behind his back and simply taking it. Amazingly, that worked, too. Bullies didn’t like being made to look like bullies.

    Moral? It’s hard to generalize about bullying. Maybe it was the thirty years difference in our ages, or the difference in our schools, but our disparate approaches brought the same result.

  • Crystal Zaske

    I was bullied extensively, beginning in 4th grade. I read a great deal, and was considered a “book worm”. I was told that I was stupid, ugly, and remember a time when a classmate told me that maybe I would get lucky and look better when I grew up. The individuals that bullied me were further validated by my math teacher. In the fifth grade, I began to hide whichever book it was that I happened to be reading behind my textbook during class. Eventually, my teacher caught on, and forced me to put my textbook down, to reveal the hidden book; in front of my peers, she went on to humiliate me, pointing out that other kids where there to learn, and I was ruining that experience for them. For years, I was emotionally and physically tormented my my peers. This period of time is crucial for the development of a child’s self-esteem; I struggled long after graduation to develop even a shadow of this. My mom, after becoming frustrated by the school system, transfered me to a different school in the eighth grade. Nobody knows the mental anguish, uncertainty, and self-loathing that I have undergone, aside from those who have been bullied themselves. This was an everyday event, that caused me to drop out of school, hate myself, and envy those who fit into society. I continue to see a therapist, have 4 wonderful children and a loving husband, and have graduated with a BA in psychology; yet I continue to doubt myself, having a hard time making friends, and suffering from severe paranoia and avoidance of others, although I am now able to put on a good front. If educators and parents truly understood the detriment that bullying causes to the emotional and physical wellbeing of another, surely they would do everything in their power to prevent it. Unfortunately, we are a society that continues to move away from compassionate behavior. I have come to learn that many people believe that bullying is a normal behavior that individuals have towards “outsiders”. This leads the victims to feel as though there is something inherently wrong with their personaity, or physical appearence. I look at photos of my childhood, and can now realize how adorable I really was. I feel sympathy and compassion for the girl in the photos, because I am her only friend.

  • David Rogde

    I was bullied by a giant Korean adoptee in the 1960′s. He was several years older than his classmates and was big and strong. I remember 6th grade football when we played his school he would march from one end of the field to the other with our entire team draped on him.

    He bullied me in early 8th grade, luckily he could not catch me. He was caught smoking in the boy’s lavatory by Mrs. Tell later that year, and was expelled. Sadly that was the sum of his education as far as I know.

  • Joan

    Bullying doesn’t stop with childhood/adolescence. If a child is allowed to bully, or if they witness their parents bully others, they too will grow into an adult bully. I married into a very dysfunctional family where intimidation, threats and bullying were an everyday occurrence. I stayed too long as the effects of the daily/weekly trauma left me with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Complex. It has taken a lot of counseling for me to understand what type of person bullies others, but it still doesn’t excuse it. I am not a weak person. I own my own business, and was also a leader in my church and community. The stress of my in-laws caused me to eventually lose all self confidence, become depressed and eventually led to a divorce. Bullies need a victim and I realized too late that I was the perfect victim as I didn’t understand what was happening until it was too late. I thought love, patience and kindness were the values that you brought to a marriage. But bullies don’t understand any of these qualities, they loath these traits in others, and consider them signs of weakness.

  • Jason

    Bullied in the 8th grade I felt isolated as I rarely saw others being bullied. Part of the pain comes from the feeling of being singled out. Many years later after hearing of far worse stories I realized that my experiences were not so bad. Considering how it affected me I can only imagine the pain other victimized kids are feeling.

    Bullying is very serious and should not be passed off as some normal rite of passage. I would not be surprised if many dysfunctional behaviors of even “normal” people today could be traced to the trauma of bullying in their youth.

  • Michele Kessler

    Bullies bully because they see themselves in their victims. to put it another way; bullies are insecure, suffer low self esteem, they cover this up by well, being a bully. They want their victim to FIGHT BACK. I know, because I have been bullied my entire life because I am some what shy and conflict averse. I was in a vocational printing class years ago. Two bullies would size up the women in the class by needling them. The gals that stuck up for themselves won the respect of the bully. I failed this test and was bullied to the point of having to quit the class. Bullies have followed me for ever. I am in my 50′s now and was bullied by a young manger I worked under. She was trying to get me to quit. I would not quit because of the poor job market and my age. I also needed health insurance. I had to go on a medication to deal with the stress. I lasted three years than I was laid off. I now work jobs that are “in the field” . I no longer encounter bullies. The bully is often targeted as the problem. But it is human nature. The world is a tough place. I am the problem. The recipient of bullying needs to learn how to stand up to the bully as both the bully and the victim often suffer from low self esteem.

  • ‘sara’

    Unfortunately, bullying can be found in the workplace, also, and supervisors, as well as ‘human services/resource’ administrators are too often ill-equiped to deal with the dynamics and consequences of bullying.

    One person in my department has poisoned our department and spread her toxin throughout the workplace. It sounds dire, but I am not exaggerating. Two persons who work in other departments would enter from a back door in order to bypass her desk. I suffered stress symptoms.

    Though I just recently learned that people from maintenance to faculty went to HR about her, I wish I had known earlier – I wouldn’t have felt so alone and isolated. People immediately around a bully don’t speak up. As one co-worker told me when I confronted here on it, “As long as she’s attacking you, she’s not after me.” Sounds a bit like grade school, doesn’t it?

    Targets of bullies can become isolated, primarily because others don’t speak up. The target too often becomes the problem and is easier to muffle or ease out the target rather than the bully herself. This bully has changed my life.. Did I allow her to? I’m not sure; part of me died because of her and the way our administration handled it.

  • EAL

    Parents should teach their children ethics, problem solving skills and self defense. Couple this with existing laws and there would be no need for this costly, politically feel good legislation solution in search of a problem. The apparent awareness of a greater problem is exacerbated  because of it’s  emphasis in general media reporting. Oh wait! Eric barked he does not like me! My feelings are hurt because he is being a bully! think it cannot happen? Think again!

  • Dennis Johnson

    This is the dumbest story I have ever had to listen to on MPR.

  • Joshua

    I just listened to the MPR story on bullying and am disappointed in the one-sided nature of reporting. I heard a lot about school policy, school discipline and schools boards. What I found lacking was the involvement of PARENTS, FAMILY and COMMUNITY in helping to solve the issues of bullying. By involvement, I do not mean for parents to attempt to get a policy or law implemented in a school system. By involvement I mean for parents, families and communities to talk with their child, view their Facebook pages and text messages and BE A PARENT. Parents, families and communities need to step up and work on values and virtures for their children. Parents, families and communities can certainly get involved in their child’s life and work on a strong sense of “self” for their child.

    Schools can not be the panacea to solve all the worlds problems. Schools are designed to educate. Frankly I am tired of “everyone” wanting our school systems to do “everything” and fix “everyone”. I send my kids to school each day to learn. Everything else is my responsibility.

    The report(er) took the easy way out and blamed schools, lack of policies and laws. I would expect MPR to dig deeper and report on the “hard” story. The story that is not easy to solve, but needs to have more light shed upon itself; i.e. “How do communities help children to stop bullying”.

  • Sue de Nim

    Bullying is a form of abuse. It saddens and angers me whenever I hear people minimize or dismiss the problem of playground bullying as if it’s no big deal. I have to wonder if the people who do that are former child bullies who are refusing to admit to themselves just how cruel they once were, or if they are perhaps still bullies to this day. I was bullied mercilessly until I got to college, because I was more bookish than athletic. When I tried to complain to adults about it, they told me I was being too sensitive. I took that to mean they thought I deserved it for being weak. I bear the emotional scars to this day, but I hide them well, because I’m still embarrassed about it. I know it wasn’t my fault, but there’s an irrational fear that people will assume that if I was bullied there must have been something wrong with me. The fact that bullying has always existed as far back as anyone can remember does not make it okay.

  • Jan

    I grew up as the “fat-kid”, and in my day (63-75) the teachers were alowed to take part in the fun!

  • DNA

    I was bullied at times in my youth, in the neighborhood and at school. My mom would say to run, my dad would say stay and fight for myself. Either one, I learned to do what it took to survive, bloody noses and black eyes where difficult to hide from my parents. By the end of grade school only kids twice my size would dare pick on me. A rougher friend of mine got some boxing gloves for a present and wanted us to box, even though I didn’t want to I put on the gloves. After a few punches my friend was in tears and I had hurt him, I said I was sorry and took off the gloves, deciding never to hit anyone again (and I haven’t in over 30 years).

    However in Junior High I became one of the targets of some crude hockey jock bully and his friends. I’d get chased through the halls and slammed into lockers, hit and kicked, why? I didn’t know, I never had met the kids until 7th grade (they were 8th graders and had gone to a different grade school). One relatively painful, embarrassing and bloody day I found my way to the nurse’s office. A meeting with the principle and my parents was what it took. They never touched me again, I don’t know what was threatened to the bullies but I’m glad it stopped, embarrassment and rage are not a good thing to have build up. I also took a judo and self-defense class that sent a few other “would be bullies” to the ground but that was all it took, I was left alone after that. I also started meditating about that time.

    High school was fine and bit more mature.

    Over my life as bullies have appeared to me in the world

    I don’t back down or run (I’ve gotten police assistance when weapons seemed to be hinted at), I do attempt to diffuse a situation, and I remind myself that bullies are severely confused and hiding pain from themselves, yet they have no right to inflict pain on me or others.

    I think having open communication, massage and bodywork, gentle martial arts and meditation as part of a school’s curriculum, a family’s routine and/or society’s functions would do a lot to help end bullying.

  • Josh

    I was bullied based on my, then perceived, sexual orientation.

    I grew up in a predominantly middle class neighborhood in a northern second ring suburb during the mid-90′s. I attended school like every one else, had a family, had friends and loved life. I then became the victim of a bully, I don’t think I will ever forget his name.

    One day, mid October, I had just gotten off the school bus and had been walking to the doors when this fellow classmate of mine had picked me up, threw me to the ground and started to kick. This was in the sixth grade.

    Continuing on in my life, I was a member of a boy scout troop in an outer ring southwestern suburb that was predominantly upper-middle to high class residents. While I enjoyed being a member of boy scouts and learned many great things I also experienced a lot of harassment from fellow scouts. I would be teased, taunted and disrespected because of my then perceived sexual orientation.

    I found it rather disgusting that an organization built around the principles of youth empowerment would also, unknowingly, condone the activities of harassment and taunting through the various acts of exclusion that it participates in.

    Since then, I have shed my past and started a new. I refuse to let myself be the victim and I have not been ever since.

    When I was in school I did not have a voice. The bullies kept me silent. Now I am going to school to enter into a career in which I can help be that voice and teach others to be that voice for those who need it.

  • Philip

    It started when I moved out to White Bear Lake. My brother and I were in a single mother household, who struggled to make ends meet. Within weeks of the move both he and I were in a playground fight – I lost. I was wearing Zips tennis shoes to school and also wore a shirt my mother had made for me. Both of these items were not cool in a town which is known for its money. I pleaded with my mom to buy a pair of Nike shoes and she relented. I wasn’t with it enough to realize that I actually got a pair of women’s shoes. That’s when the pack mentality took over and I got it from everyone. My brother and I thought it would be a great idea to take judo lessons at the high school, but upon arriving for our first class, the two guys we were beaten by were advanced belts in the school. That also made its way around. We thought we’d try other sports and went into community hockey. However, kids who play hockey in White Bear have to start playing as soon as you can walk and then go on traveling teams. I was the worst player on the team and this was constantly pointed out to me. I thought going up to Camp Isabella with school would be a lot of fun, until I got it from five of the boys that first night. Heaven help you that you should let anyone know that you’re in the Boy Scouts. That would have been an automatic beating. This is how it started and it was constant. My entire school experience until graduation was horrible and I never got good grades, let alone friends. I have always felt my life started over again after high school and after I joined the army. I believe my experiences growing up had a huge impact on the negative choices I made in my early 20′s and it wasn’t until I came to know the saving grace of Christ that this all turned around. I had to learn to ask for forgiveness and just as importantly, learn to forgive.

  • KEB

    I’m am currently in high school, and from what I see everyday, bulling is a problem that needs to be addressed. People in my school are bullied everyday, and the teachers/faculty is blind to it. They are doing nothing to stop it. Many kids I know have tried to hurt themselves because of this bulling. Bulling in today’s society is normal; there is no way we can abolish it completely. Instead, we should help the bullied. I was bullied both in middle school and high school, and from personal experience, it was much easier to deal with in high school because I was more self-assured and I could easily blow it off because I understood that the bullies are the one who is a lesser person and who needs help. People who are still growing and who are not completely sure of themselves are more susceptible to the bulling. Instead of having seminars to stop bulling, schools should help kids to be more self assured by having some place that kids would be comfortable to go and talk to someone who will help them become more confident.

  • CF

    No one here has mentioned that those with Aspberger Syndrome are commonly victims of abuse. Many are harassed the day they enter schrool and are potentially damaged for life. Some decide to drop out of schrool and forfeit a [more or less worthless] diploma, rather than put up with the abuse. Those who have AS, a component of the Autism Spectrum, do not have the ability to easily relate to people, have poor social skills and are usually unable to “fight back”, leaving them particularly vulnerable.

    I would like to have the word “bully” and its alternate forms struck from the American lexicon. Let’s start calling it a crime of abuse and treat it as such. The phrase “sticks & stones…” is one of the biggest lies ever perpetuated. Abusers in schrool must be arrested, prosecuted and fined, placed on probation or even jailed if need be. Harassment is a crime regardless the age of the aggressor whether it’s on a playground or in the workplace.

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