My freshman year in high school, I walked into math class without a single friend in the room. Still, I was not expecting to be bullied in high school.
The Bullying Begins
One student in the class seemed “off.” He was rude and disruptive. After class, I told a friend that he made me uncomfortable.
One day, he came strolling into class and yelled, “Who is Kelsey with the braces?” I had those shiny nightmares on my teeth, and my name was Kelsey. I sat down with my mouth shut so tight you would have to pry it open.
Noticing my weird behavior, he said, “It’s you, isn’t it? Well, I’m gonna mess with you because you are scared of me.”
I acted like I didn’t care. I even laughed a little, while I wanted to disappear. The next day, I strolled into class and took my seat. I felt like someone was looking over my shoulder.
As he lifted his hand to my face, he said, “What if I just punched you in the face? What if I ripped off your little braces? Would you be scared now?”
Now, I was a very confident girl; I have always surrounded myself with close friends, I was a cheerleader and I’ve always stood up for people that were bullied. What a surprise to now be the bullying victim.
Once again, I laughed, but he saw through me. My teacher saw him bothering me and told him to sit down. The bell rang, and I got up to leave. As I stood at the door, I felt someone come up right behind me. “Be careful when you go to bed tonight. You may see me there, next to your bed.”
I walked off as quickly as I could and told my mom about this boy.
My mother could tell that I was very upset. Both my parents agreed that I should talk to someone who could help stop me from being bullied and get me out of what felt like a dangerous situation. The next morning, I walked into the counseling office, body shaking and knees weak. I’d asked my mom to come with me. I felt embarrassed that I would seem both like a snitch and too immature to handle my own problems.
I explained the situation to the counselor. We came up with some options, but I knew that everyone wanted me to confront the bully. Then I spoke with the school liaison deputy. I was 15, afraid, and talking to a police officer; I wondered how I ever got to this point. The vice principal and principal of the upper classmen sat in to listen to what I had to say. They told me that they would help the best they could.
Confronting the Bully
It was time for math. What would he do today? But, he was not in his chair. I didn’t see him again the next day. Did he get transferred into a new class? On Day Five, I finally felt safe in my learning environment. Books in hand, I walked into class.
“Kelsey. You really need to learn how to take a joke. I was suspended for five days because you couldn’t lighten up,” he said.
“Leave me alone,” I responded. “I did what I had to do.”
With that I walked away and never spoke with him again. I’d never intended to cause so much craziness.
I simply wanted to switch my class so that I could get away from my bully, but I decided that it would be best to let adults handle the rest.
I finished freshman and sophomore year always highly aware of my surroundings. I decided that avoiding him would be the best and safest option. Every time I saw the bully, I would walk away as quickly as possible and find friends to stand with.
But, I went to school every day with a little anxiety. When he showed up in class, I would instantly put my head down and remain as quiet as I could, hoping that he would not notice me.
Oddly enough, I had friends who had classes with him. They thought that he was the funniest druggie that they had ever met and wouldn’t harm a fly. Maybe he changed his ways; I will never know. After his graduation, all of my bullying anxiety and worries lifted off of my shoulders. I never had to see the boy who tormented me freshmen year of high school again.
I never thought that bullying could happen to someone like me. After all, I was a cheerleader, in the National Honor Society, a straight-A student, and a generally friendly person. But, bullies can pick on the most unlikely of subjects … girls like me.