Editor’s Note: This contributor wished to remain anonymous.
On my first day of 6th grade, I started a new private, Christian school. I knew others that went to the school so I was not entirely alone since I knew some of the other students from church and extracurricular activities. But, at lunch on my first day, a little boy sitting across from me at the table looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I’ll give you $50 if you’ll kill yourself. Nobody wants you here.” I was heartbroken. I felt like nobody cared if I died, and that my parents didn’t care because they were sending me there so they must feel the same way. I know now that that is not the case, but bullying can make you think crazy things! For the next three years, I endured bullying because of my weight, hair color (I’m a redhead), and I wore glasses. I wasn’t “ugly”, but not a part of the “popular crowd”, either. Anyways, I am now 30 years old with a family of my own, and I can still remember exactly how I felt that very minute. It has caused me a lot of insecurity through the years, but I know that I am stronger than any bully that tries to bring me down! And it has made it even more important for me to teach my children how important the words they say are! Someone once explained it to me like this – words are like toothpaste, once they come out – you can’t put them back in!
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