Monday, August 3, 2015

Bullied on the Bus



Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

Last year I was riding the bus to school and I was bullied everyday. Three kids would force food into my mouth. They would laugh at me, poke me, call me names and pull my braid. No one did anything, not even my sister.
They called me stupid, ugly, fat, said I was a pig and made pig noises, and said I could die and no one would care.
On the last day of school I pinched one of the girls really hard and the bus driver said that because I made a mark on her, she had to report me. I got into trouble at school and by my mom too.
My mom yelled at me and said, “What’s wrong with you.” Then she called my dad and he told me to stop upsetting mom. He doesn’t care either.
The same kids are going to do all that again now. My sister won’t do anything again.
Why won’t anyone help me? I hate them all.
Signed,
Stuffed Pig

Dear Stuffed Pig,
We hear you. We want to emphasize this fact so that you can realize that your voice will be heard. The first person in line who needs to advocate for you is YOU! Start by not calling yourself names. Use your voice to be firm but not one of venom.
We believe the very reason for reaching out to us is because you do know you are a worthy of respect and love. It simply starts with you respecting and loving yourself.
 “Hate” is a very strong word and having thoughts like that will easily continue into actions that are abusive. Pinching and making marks on someone is also bullying. Being the bully might make you feel good for a short, hot minute. However, you will feel worse and worse about yourself. You need to love yourself  by changing into a leader and not being a victim anymore.
Your self-worth is low, but that can be changed. You decide and choose who you want to be.
This new journey means living by the five Cs:
  1. Be polite and civil by smiling, it will catch the bullies off guard. Say something like, “I won’t bully you and you won’t bully me this year,” and look the bullies right in their eyes, then walk away.
  2. Stand up tall with a determined and elegant walk. Your new carriage will show your confidence.
  3. Sit close to the bus driver and ask for help. Gain civility by asking your sister to sit with you and if she won’t, then form a new friendship.
  4. Don’t talk about past bullying. Instead, have the courage to find out what your new friend likes to do. Ask questions and listen.
  5. Find a talent and commit to developing your creativity in a class or club.
The odds are against you on a school bus. It’s an ideal location to be bullied because supervision is minimal. Also, there’s no place to retreat. Refuse bullying tactics by telling all adults involved about your new leadership plan. Suggest professional care if you don’t receive help from your parents, teachers, administrators or bus drivers. 

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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