Angry-(anger) a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism
black-of or relating to any of various population groups of especially African ancestry often considered as having dark pigmentation of the skin but in fact having a wide range of skin colors
girl- a female child from birth to adulthood
I’ve spoken about being bullied when I was in middle school and high school. As a military dependent, I was used to being the new girl at school, but to be new and instantly made to be an enemy was foreign to me. I had a girl threaten me almost every single day. She and three other girls would corner me in the bathroom, and say that they were waiting to catch me when a teacher wasn’t around. She was supposed to be in high school, but was held back at least once. She would fight other girls before coming to school. So her threats were very real. I contemplated bringing a weapon to school to defend myself. People always suggest telling an adult, that is not always an option. Many times telling can make things worse it really is a catch 22. My mom saw me distraught one day and I told her of my plan to harm my bully and she talked me down. Her(the bully’s) threats did not stop until she attempted suicide and her tough exterior melted. No one was afraid of her any more. In fact, the cruelty of middle school had the entire 8th grade make fun of her. It was during this timeframe, that I begin to actually talk to her. Yes, the same girl who just weeks earlier threatened to put my head through some lockers was in fact human. I was shocked, I had only seen her as a monster with zero redeemable qualities. Now don’t get me wrong I was not braiding her hair in 5th period, but I didn’t hate her any more. She pretty much left me alone after our few conversations, I don’t know if it was out of embarrassment or she felt more comfortable, but that chat gave me some perspective.We went to separate high schools for ninth grade, but when I returned to our zoned school the rumor was she had dropped out. I never saw her again, but the rumors of what happened to her didn’t seem like her life got any easier after her suicide attempt.
I’ve also spoken about being sexually assaulted in the girl’s locker room and how the school mishandled the situation. I was brought to a room with two male staff (no women), questioned, threatened and intimidated only to be told that if my assailant raped someone in the next few years it would be my fault. This same year a boy (technically he was an adult as he was 18/19) that I didnt want to talk to any more after literally two phone conversations, followed me through the hallways yelling at me and had the audacity to try and enter my Algebra II class. My teacher had to threaten to call security for him to leave. That same year a boy showed me a gun and told me I had a really slick mouth and I may want to watch how I talk to him, although he was saying some really crazy things to me first. My 10th grade year I was punched in the face after a boy called me a bitch and a hoe for joking on his little brother. When I said his momma was a hoe he punched me in the face. He claimed I hit him first, which was not true. I’m smart enough to know if I hit a boy I’ve got to do so with either real force or a weapon. I had neither. A male friend came to my rescue only to be jumped in the back of the bus by his brother and cousin….wild times.
I remember a very pregnant girl walking up to my friend and I as we waited in the gym for first period. She had two other girls with her and some boy that stood oddly in the corner. She walked up and asked us if we knew her baby daddy. I looked over….and saw a boy that 1) I had never seen a day in my life and 2) I wouldn’t have wanted to wave at. For those who don’t know I have a pretty sarcastic sense of humor, but God kept me that day and we both just said nope. She said we waved at him the day before while he was on a bus. A bus…that was often just slightly overcrowded enough to be uncomfortable and a little dangerous, but would definitely make it difficult to even pinpoint if we had waved at him. It was obvious she was angry at the thought of us even potentially disrespecting her and was willing to fight (and risk potentially losing the baby) to do so. I was baffled. One, that the boy stood in the corner never uttering a word and he knew we didn’t even know him. He was willing to let this entire thing go sideways because….I’m guessing it would be cool to have us “fight” over him. I’ll never know. But as she waddled off she said “you better watch who you waving at next time”. And two, her friends were down to fight two people they didn’t know.
In my 6th period class, after weeks of being pushed in the hallway and being talked all kind of crazy too, I the honor roll student moved a desk out of the way and attempted to fight. At this point, it was 4 years (8the grade-11) of someone “trying” me and I was tired. My shocked teacher and high school best friend urged me to leave the classroom, in the middle of class. I did. My best friend walked with me to calm me down.
Bullying isn’t new…the depths of what some experience in school is deeper than just the occasional noogie or wedgie, it can be really dangerous. As an adult, I can see why each one of those individuals felt the need to do what they did, not justifying the violence or threats. I realize now that many of them had other stuff going on that I would never be aware of. It doesn’t excuse the behaviors but it does lead to a real conversation. In any of those situations from the outside looking in it can be hard to decipher who is the victim and who is defending themselves. Everyone is angry and pushed to their boiling points, it’s a high pressured situation. I’m not saying I went to a dangerous minds high school, but I think it is pretty typical of an urban school. Home life spills into the neighborhood, the neighborhood issues spill into the school and the cycle continues. Anger turns into a coping mechanism. How can we stop that from being the end result? I don’t have the answers, but I can tell you that majority of my classmates are doing well, employed, and not being a menace to society. We are all in our 30s, we were all thankfully allowed to grow up, find out how to regulate ourselves and hopefully changing how our children see the world.