Testimony From a Teenager. A teen’s perspective on a generations bullying epidemic

Hey guys my name is Torin Hovander. I like to watch movies, play video games, and hang with friends. My grades are pretty average as well as my athletic abilities. It’s my last semester of high school so I’m beginning to look back at all of the good times. Sadly though not all of the experiences I had were fun. From 6th to 10th grade I was the recipient of pretty harsh bullying.  No matter what I seemed to do nothing got better. The reason why nothing got better was because I was taking the wrong actions. If someone made fun if my clothes I would have my parents buy me new ones. If someone didn’t like my hair I would get a haircut. If someone called me a nerd then when the teacher called on me I acted as if I didn’t know the correct answer. Doing all of these things did nothing to help my situation. During a long night of no sleep and a lot of thought I came to a conclusion. The bullies didn’t hate my hair or clothes but they hated me. I had never done anything to them so why would they hate me. This question confused me for months until one day in history class. The lesson for the day was about how dictators use a group of people and blame them for their own faults. My teacher taught me that the best way to seem perfect is by tearing those down around you. After class I went to my locker to drop off my history book and grab my science folder. As I was beginning to close my locker one of my bullies knocked my books out of my hands. As I was trying to get all my papers together I noticed he was laughing. I also noticed that he had a very bad case of acne. One almost every inch of his face was a big red spot that almost made it look like he was a burn victim. I just shrugged off the incident and what I noticed, like I had always done. A week went by with most of the same things happening. Go to class go home do homework watch some TV do it all over again. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary till in English class I couldn’t find my backpack. Apparently while I was in the restroom one of the girls took it and hid it somewhere. People laughed as I was looking stupidly around the room for my things. The girl who hid it was laughing especially hard. Her voice seemed to boom like a canon bouncing off of the walls like how noise does in a canyon. She laughed and laughed to the point that I wanted to cry. The more she laughed the more her chin began to jiggle. That’s when I noticed that she didn’t have one chin but more chins then I had ever seen before on a human. The chins would move as if they were filled with jelly. At that moment I found out that she had a small weight problem and my other bully had a small skin problem. I then began to get mad at why they are pointing out my flaws when they have such obvious problems themselves. After that class my teacher had me go to the counselor to see if I was doing ok. We had a short conversation about what happened and what is going to happen to the girl who did it. I felt happy that she was going to get punished and then I realized she already had to deal with her weight this would be just another thing that would make her feel bad. I asked if the counselor could instead of punishing her give her help. He was confused to what I was going at until I told him that she had a major weight problem. He said he would see her and find out if he could help. While he was at that I asked if he could also help the boy who had the acne. After the talk with the counselor I went home did the same routine as always until one day as I was walking down the hall I noticed something different? No one was calling me names or pushing me nothing bad was happening. When the bullying stopped I was so happy and my bullies also seemed much happier. What I learned from the experiences I had was that bullying helps no one. The kid getting bullied is emotionally torn down while the bully is never built up from whatever brought them down. Sadly not everyone has this view point. In our country there are some people who believe that bullying is a natural part of growing up. What is natural about hurting others to mask personal pain? So if no one wins in this atrocity of human behavior then why do we do it? The reason why, there is no other option. There is no alternative to alleviate the pain children feel. I believe that a few students at a high school in Albuquerque have found one such alternative. At the beginning of the year a couple seniors got together and decided that bullying was something that had to go away for all of us to be happy. To do this they formed an anti bullying club that only had about four people. Over time with dedication perseverance and looking at bullying in a different way the meetings have gone from 4 people to 17. The number of members isn’t even the remarkable part but instead the affect the club has had on the culture of the high school. Before the anti bullying club bullying was seen as an acceptable behavior to participate in. After an aggressive campaign using a few basic tools such as face book they were able to make a complete one eighty in the viewpoint student took on bullying. The opinion went from its fine to bully to why would you bully. I can only imagine what will happen to the school after a few months what can they do in a few years. This story is an example of what can happen when teens get together and decide they want to make a difference. It is also a signal to other teens out there who want bullying to finally go away. The signal is that now is the time to rise up and fight for the happiness of all of us. For an entire generation to say that we don’t want this to happen in our schools. For teachers, parents and community leaders to support us in changing our society for the better. It’s time for small groups of teens to organize in every school in our nation. The moment we do that will be the moment we as a people say in one booming voice bullying is not ok and we will see the day bullying finally dies so that our children and their children will never have to feel what we have felt ever again.


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