Ever since the suicide death of Tyler Cleminti there has been broad attention given to the subject of “Bullying and Bullies”. What his roommate Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei did by broadcastig a video of Tyler with another young man, was inplurable and should of never happened. What is more shocking is that the perpetrators are both of a minority group, which in turn would make me believe that sometime in their young lives, they would of experienced prejudice and possibly suffered from verbal abuse.
This brings me to my own saga. I was never a bully, but one of the bullied. I know that times have changed with cyberspace and weapons in schools, but in my day (the 60’s and 70’s) it was the verbal and the physical bullying that could scar a person for life, and scar it did. I still carry some of this baggage around with me to this day, it never totally vanishes. I was teased verbally and beaten down physically in school because I was taller than the other kids and extremely shy. Numerous individuals in the past voiced, “that shy people should learn to defend themselves”; I disagree. The bullies need to learn tolerance and compassion, and that being different or eccentric doesn’t give you the right to ridicule and assault someone.
Later in life when I somewhat came into my own self, some-how I was able to gain a bit of self esteem and confidence (I did it through music and guitar), and turn a negative into a positive. What I do now if I see a bully mistreating someone, is to step in and make sure that the situation is halted. I also make sure to tell the bully that they should look at themselves before they judge others. It seems that you are either too fat, short, tall, skinny, stupid, smart or the wrong color or sexual orientation. If you just standby and watch you are just as the guilty as the bullies. I am sure that as long as there are teenagers there will be bullies, I don’t think it will ever end. It is the job of educators, parents (this is where it begins) and us as a society to reach out, nurture and educate those menacing teenagers before they become bullies and destroy someone’s life.