Although there are some great YA books about bullying, it’s arresting to read these essays by actual teens struggling everyday with this problem. Even if you’re familiar with how awful bullying is and how it’s such a problem in schools, it’s heartbreaking to read something like this:
“For 8 years, I have skipped lunch to get to the safety of the library, bury myself in books, and count the days till graduation. As of today, it is 64.”
How is that someone’s adolescent experience? She has lost her sense of safety in school, which is absolutely abhorrent. I know it can be hard for teachers to see all bullying, and so much of it can be subtle (especially among girls), but no one should have to feel like this.
Another part that struck me:
“No two acts of bullying are the same because bullying is always personal, always meant to strike home with that individual person, to make that individual feel as if she is completely worthless to the world.”
I think that hits at the very heart of bullying. It’s not just one kid slamming another into a locker or spreading a cruel rumor about someone. It’s not just something kids do. It’s a personal attack, and because it’s so personalized you can carry that for the rest of your life.
Make sure to read all the essays; they’re pretty short but pack a punch. Hoping for the very best for these teens and everyone who’s going through a similar experience.