I want to tell you a story about someone who I met through my daughter. They were close as could be considering they went to different schools and lived in different towns. I’ve talked with his mother a time or two. Both are very friendly and delightful to talk to. Once I told them about Project LIRA he automatically stepped up and said, “I’ll share my story.” I can say I never dreamed he’d be the type to be bullied. However, bullying knows no boundaries.
First of all, let me describe what I know of him. He’s a tall handsome teenager with blonde hair and thin frame. He looks and acts like a typical teenager. He doesn’t cause anyone any trouble. He’s well mannered and respectful of people. He even tried to help Lily when she needed to talk. There was some flirting as I read back and forth through the facebook IM’s. Nothing harmful to either teen. I’d roughly say he’s probably 16 or 17. I’m not really sure, and I didn’t ask. To say the least I automatically liked him. He seems like the type of teen who has a great heart and would be a real catch for any young lady and a true friend to anyone.
He started telling his story to me and I realized what a cruel world we live in. People should be proud of being different, not ostracized or bullied. Nobody should pick on a person if they have some type of impairment. That is the lowest thing a person can do. You see my friend had surgery when he was young and had cochlear implants to be able to hear with and quite possibly some other attachments to help him hear better too. Kids at his school would knock his attachment off his head and he wouldn’t be able to hear. He was knocked against walls, called names and other acts of violence. I was appalled when he told me it started in 4th grade and is still going on today. I mean are you serious… kids at the age 9 are this cruel.
He began to hide because it would happen to him at school and after school. He would be tortured and called names daily. He was made to fear his own peers. He made many attempts to obtain help from teachers and other adults. Sometimes they would help him and other times he was ignored. It’s a huge problem when adults don’t listen to a person who is afraid and being hurt on a daily basis by his peers. Teens today still push him against the wall, say rude things and attempt to cause him bodily harm. This has gone on for years. Why do I ask? I can answer it very easily. The anti-bully campaign is being ignored. This has to stop. He’s still in a position where he still asks for help. Sometimes he gets it and other times he doesn’t. In the midst of being bullied, what does he do? He tries to help the other teens who are bullied and yet he’s still dealing with it himself. To use his words, “We have one sick world nowadays because of people who hurt others with saying mean stuff about them.” Students should have one another’s backs instead of rallying against the person being bullied. In his words, “it really sucks to be bullied. People should help one another.” He is right and I consider him a hero for coming to me with his story and if he needs help, I will be the adult going to his school with his mom to fight for him to be safe where he has to learn. I know a few of his classmates who would join us. So to the young man who came forward. I think you are brave, strong, and a wonderful person who I am honored to know. Keep your head held high and know there are people out here who will help you whenever you need.