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View Diary: We lost another teen to bullying: "The kids at school are right, I'm a loser, a freak, and a fag." (43 comments)

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  •  I had a sadly similar trajectory to Carlos. (6+ / 0-)

    Started being bullied and harassed in second or third grade by a large group of people, called 'gay', 'faggot', 'homo,' etc, being made fun of because of my weight, the way I dressed, the way ... well, pretty much fucking anything about me would be made into some way to hurt me.  Kids would 'befriend' me and then betray me, publicly, in deliberately hurtful ways, just to fuck with me.  I would tell teachers and aides that someone was picking on me and I'd be told not to be a tattle-tale.  I'd flip someone the finger after they said something nasty and I'd get in trouble when they went to the teacher with a few of their friends as 'witnesses' to back them up.  There were a couple of pathetic attempts at 'peer mediation' -- what are you supposed to 'mediate' when the primary issue is that someone hates you and doesn't want you to exist?  What a fucking joke.

    Finally, in my Jr year of HS, someone grabbed a book I particularly loved from me, and in doing so, tore the cover ... and in about a second, I made a decision.  I decided that I wouldn't take it any more, fucking none of it, and went right over the desk and started throttling the bastard in the middle of my AP Bio class.

    In the next six months I got into a bunch of fights (about half of which I lost, some badly), was suspended twice, racked up a couple weeks of detention ... but after about six months of this the bullying dwindled to a ghost of what it was, because if nothing else, I became the crazy kid where, if you fucked with him more than a little, he'd do his best to physically damage you.  (I didn't do stand-up confrontations or the pseudoformal fights that kids tend to get into, trying to punch eachother in the upper body.  I would jump you right there -- and I'd go for your eyes, throat, and nuts as priority targets. If it was too unwise to do that -- because there was an authority figure there to witness it -- you'd find me waiting around the corner with a lunch-tray to your face or a tree-branch to the kneecaps -- or into the front spokes of your bike, and in any case, if you went to the ground I'd take the opportunity put the boot in.)

    It was the best decision that I ever made in my life -- to stop listening to people saying garbage about sticks and stones and to start breaking some faces.  If I hadn't, I'd've probably wound up walking the same road Carlos did -- I almost did, several times, starting in about 4th grade.  But I'm still fucked up because of what I went through.

    Chronic bullying is nothing less than a slow-motion attempt at murder by attempting to induce the target to suicide through systemic shunning and abuse.  Eventually, when the problem is ignored by the system and the adults in charge, when you can't escape the situation, when all other routes are exhausted -- explosive and deliberate violence (limited to nonlethal levels, preferably no maiming) against the bullies is a perfectly reasonable response.  It's self-defense.

    •  Exactly. I've especially always hated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn, Praxical

      the idea adults put out there that if you ignore it it will go away.

      These kids doing the bullying?  I'm sorry, I know how popular it is to say "They probably have shitty home lives." "They were probably bullied themselves."  But if you're being bullied, those kids are the enemy.  And if we truly want incidents like this to stop happening, they need to be treated as such.  There needs to be zero tolerance for verbal/emotional bullying, and physical bullying needs to be treated as assault.

      •  The problem with zero tolerance policies... (0+ / 0-)

        ...is that they -will- be manipulated so that the bullies get the kid they're bullying in trouble under them.  

        •  Then make it so that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          micsimov

          the zero tolerance only applies to who started it.

          In my experience the problem with zero tolerance policies getting the victim in trouble too is that it gives the administration the excuse to do the "It doesn't matter who started it" thing, when, in fact, it absolutely DOES matter.

          Hell, expand it to include goading someone into starting the fight themselves.

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