From the Inside Looking Out: Bullying

by  , Youth Reporter from Altgeld Gardens

Editor’s Note: The following article computer science homework help was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program class at People for Community Recovery, a not-for-profit organization based in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.

It all started in 1st grade—the thing that I thought would never happen to me, actually did. I’m talking about bullying.

I remember how it started like it was yesterday.

I was sitting down at my desk doing my schoolwork. Then I stood up to go sharpen my pencil and my classmates started calling me fat. I said nothing and went back to sit down and they took my pencil and I told the teacher but the teacher did nothing. I told them to give it back but they didn’t even give it back, so I grabbed the pencil and took it back. They pushed me and then I pushed back. We got into a fight.

I’m a big guy, even back then, seven years ago, but because of my size no one ever believes I didn’t start the fight. Also, because of my size people, including teachers, just assume I’m able to protect myself.

After the bullying started, it lasted until the fourth grade. They really started pushing me over the edge and it started affecting my behavior, to the point where I had a hard time following rules.

For example, we had this school rule where we could only go to the bathroom at certain times. One day the teachers wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom because of the school rule. I didn’t think it was fair. I thought that it was a bad rule. I had to go really bad but they kept telling me “no”, and other kids started teasing me and I started getting angry. I held it and held it until I just snapped and walked out of the room. The teacher yelled at me to come back but I just kept walking and went to the bathroom.

Times like this pushed me close to the edge. As I got deeper into the fourth grade the bullying kept getting worse and worse. It got so bad that I eventually had to move away, so I moved to Minnesota with my family.

We moved outside of St. Paul, MN so I could get away from all the trouble. As soon as I got there I thought it was beautiful. I never wanted to leave. The apartment we moved to was great. There were laundry machines inside the apartment. I loved the surroundings—there were baseball and football fields. It was great.

There was even a basketball court and a park nearby, too. It seemed like my family and I went to everything, everyday. I did a lot of things that I didn’t do in Chicago. The school I went to was even better. The kids were nicer to me, even the teachers, and there were all different kinds of races of people I’d never experienced before (at least not that often)—there were Somalis, Indians, Latinos, and Caucasians—and nobody hurt anyone. So it was great. The school lunches were different, and better than Chicago’s. The school had recess and I loved it.

But we couldn’t stay in Minnesota. We had to move back to Chicago.

When I moved back the bullying started right back up. I was sad because I wanted to stay where I was, in Minnesota. I liked it there and I didn’t get bullied.

Back in Chicago, I couldn’t get any help from the teachers and the kids were still mean. And the school now had police and if they hit you and you hit back, you’d get suspended. I hated it. I wanted to move back to Minnesota so bad. But we can’t move back because the rent is too high.

Bullying is wrong for a lot of reasons. One reason is that it can really hurt someone—physically and mentally—and can give people less confidence. It not only hurts the people being bullied, it also hurts the bullies. Being a bully can damage your future by gaining a bad reputation.

How to avoid bullying is hard. I’ve been trying to avoid bullying most of my life and trying to figure out tactics to help. Seems like the more I try, the more I fall. But I will never give up. I will never give-in and give up hope. I wish that I had tips to help kids who are going through what I’m going through now.

I think other students, but especially the teachers, should take more responsibility in stopping bullying before it gets out of control. Students should stand-up for other students. If teachers know bullying is going to happen and do nothing as they watch it happen, it makes them very responsible.

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