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When I was growing up I went to school with a boy who was a bully. was very aggressive and most students and teachers for that matter were afraid of him. He didnt have many friends and was considered a trouble maker. I went to school with this boy from kindergarten yet I didnt really get to know him until grade 5 when the teacher sat him in the desk next to mine. At first I was a little worried butdecided I would try to be friendly towards him. As I got to know him I realized that this boy had been through a lot in his life and wasnt bad because he was a mean person but acted the way he did because he was hurting and sad. After we became friends we would talk and when he we act out in class I would encourage him tosettle down. My friends would always question why I talked to him but I didnt care because I took the chance to get to know him and realized he was a good personthat just needed a friend. Today myself and this boy are still great friends and I canassure you that he is not a bully anymore. He credits me with helping him become abetter person because he says I was his first friend and the first person that he could ever really talk to. I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes you should tryto see beyond what everyone says and try to get to know people, the bully included. You shouldnt judge anyone because you really dont know who they are unless you give them a chance. In my case Im glad I gave the "bully" in fifth grade a chance because he turned out to be a great lifelong friend that just needed someone to notice him and talk to him. - Georgia Dracopoulos
In grade 6, I was in a group and we were the bullies to this one girl whom we used to be good friends with. One day we began to exclude her from everything we did and it continued every day after that. She began to tell the teacher on us, and thisonly made it worse. We got mad and began to write things in a notebook about herin front of her, so she heard everything we’ve said. But we pretended to be secretiveand spread rumors. The victim eventually left our school because she didn’t want to be apart of this anymore. Back then, being in this group of bullies, we all thoughtit was funny. But now I realize how dumb and wrong it was. Also cant imagine what the victim went through, having her friends turn on her and be so cruel. If I could go back, I would change my actions. - Samantha Zambri
Dear Victims of BullyingMy name is Jamaal Segree and I want to take the time to talk to about experiences that you have encounter with a bully. Bullying comes in all types of shapes and forms, weather it is Physical, Cyber, or just gossiping, it can have a huge impact on you in your life. Say if you are the new kid in school or moving into a new neighborhood, you might feel a little bit nervous or scared at first but you are feeling confident in yourself. To add on the pressure you may speak a little bit different from the other children so that makes it way worst. Bullies are always going to find something to bully you but it is not your fault. Some of thereasons why kids bully each other because they can feel empowered which they don’t feel any place else or they have been bullied and don’t know how to deal with it. Whatever the case might have been, it is wrong for someone to experience that type of behavior. For you guyswho are being bullied, you should talk to someone, it helps a lot. Just remember, you are not alone. Talking to someone about your anger or sadness will help to relax and bring you comfort. To the bullies out there There are many reasons that you want to bully someone that I don’t agree with. One of thereason’s might be you feel empowered that you can control someone else in a single moment. Or it could be you have a group of kids doing the work for you and respecting you as a leader. Whatever it is, it’s wrong to bully someone. Not only you are hurting the person in a physical way, but it takes a emotional toll on them. The victim’s esteem goes down quickly,being afraid all the time and dealing with trust issues. I don’t know if you guys bully for fun or someone pressured you to join their group but think about what you are doing. - Jamaal Segree
When I was back in elementary school, I was bullied because of my father’s religion. I went to a Catholic school and while my mother was Catholic, my father was Muslim. My brother and I both went through our elementary school experiences being called terrorists and murderers. It definitely did change my life because at one point I stopped trusting people and was scared to go to schoolbecause of what I had to face on a daily basis. To the bullies out there, think aboutyour actions and words before you do or say anything. You may not even realize how something you may consider a joke may truly hurt someone. To those beingbullied, it will get better. One of my best friends once said “It’s not about fitting in, it’s about carrying on” and now it is one of my favourite quotes. Live for yourself and don’t let words get you down. There are people out there who will love and support you in anything you do. Focus on what you love about yourself, because it truly is amazing. - Khadegia Sherif
During middle school I was a bully. I thought It was so cool to make fun of others. I wanted to gain acceptance from this girl. We soon became best friends and would always make fun of our fellow classmates. I recall telling this one guy that he looked like a skinny tree with glasses. All the other classmates were laughing whilehe just stood there. I’m not going to lie, at the time it was very funny. Looking back at it, I’ve noticed how wrong it was to do this to this guy. He didn’t do anything wrong. We just picked on him because he looked different. There is nothing wrong with being different I have come to relies in my years of growing up. To all theother peers I had made fun of during this time I have in fact apologized when giventhe chance. This one girl appreciated it so much and now every time she sees me she always waves a friendly hello. Although I may have been a bully, I feel as if I have overcome this and in fact helped booster their self-esteem (to the ones I have apologized to). They are now able to put up with difficult situations when things get tough. If I could change ever being a bully, I wouldn’t. It allowed me to get first-hand experience of how cruel children can be and how much the victim hurts. Having this experience has made me never want to be a bully again. - Cristina Rasile
I cant say I have ever been bullied before, though I did know people who were bullied and who were bullies. Ive always been shy, quiet & just to myself however I dont feel like I was ever a target for bullies to pick on. However, during middle school I remember a girl who was always teased because of the way she looked. There was a boy who would always pick on her and call her animal names. We never knew it bothered her because she would laugh it off all the time. We were around 11 years old at the time, but I wasnt really her friend we were only classmates. I remember this boy getting other kids involved in the bullying with him. They even started a club called, “Haters R Us” dedicated just to this girl. On top of all the teasing and badgering, this boy even created a hate website. It had her picture on it with an animal, I remember it clearly. He didnt hide it at all, in fact he showed the rest of the class at school! This went on for about 2 years. I remember this girl always laughing it off. She would just smile and laugh along with them. I would say she was a very strong girl. However, because she was laughing along I believe it just provoked the bullies to bully her more. I later in high school found out that she wasactually hurt from it all when she told me. Though I had no idea that she was bothered by it. It just goes to show you that even when people have a giant smile on their face you never truly can know how they actually feel inside. Its simple. Bullying is not a joke. It definitely needs to be taken more seriously because bullying does hurt. Words hurt. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” This is a falsestatement. Words can stick with you forever. The strongest part of your body is actually your tongue. It can make someones day very happy, or it can make someone’s day verymiserable. We have all encountered bullying experiences and we know how it feels to be a bully, be the victim and be the bystander. Its time to do something about it. - Laura Castillo Flores