The recent stories of extreme bullying and apparent sexual assault coming from St. Micheals College School in Toronto have brought up the subject of bullying in my mind, and I would like to discuss it.
The lie I feel was once told about bullying in school thankfully does not ring true nowadays: “It will not be tolerated.” Today it actually means that. The age of #metoo and the push to strengthen gun laws are definitely steps in the right direction. It helps that now so much is actually recorded on phones.
I didn’t know what to do about the bullies in high school. I was the “wigger,” the “retard,” the one everyone made mad so I would spaz out and entertain them. In my day no-one else knew what to do about it either.
The Columbine School shooting was an eye opener for me. I saw in that case what the impact is on those who feel they have no other choice. Sadly, some part of me once thought if Columbine had happened whilst I was in school, would I have done something similar? I was lost, hurt, scared to go to school, feeling out of options, much like Eric and Dylan. These days I know that would have gotten me nowhere and done nothing.
Violence begets more and I would not be here writing this. I am desperately sorry for the victims of all school shootings. I applaud all those who are trying to end bullying in the school system. And I am happy that something is finally being done. People are aware that bullying can no longer be ignored.
I am however a little morose about my own history and what could have been done for me. I really want to believe that I don’t hate the bullies, but it’s hard. I might get angry from time to time about it but all I feel inside really is a scared sad kid who wanted to be left alone.
For anyone who has been, or is being bullied, just know that violence is not the answer, even if they are violent to you. Just stand up and speak out. Justice for the broken starts now.