At school, for the most part I kept to myself. I was nervous and felt exposed. Kids tended to ignore me and apart from feeling like everyone were secretly laughing at me for being shy and watching me because I was all alone; I managed to get through my days ok.
My mum picked me up every afternoon. We didn't live very far from the school. About 7-8 minutes drive. Mum picked me up from the front of the school. One of the school buses carried the kids that lived quite a distance from the school, but the bus went right past our house, as we lived on the main road.
So my dear Mum decided that the bus could make a special stop just for little old me. Unbeknownst to me she spoke with the bus driver and he agreed to make the extra stop.
The next day I got on the bus, with this group of kids, that all knew each other , and all lived near each other and had been travelling on the bus together all year. I felt like everyone’s eyes were just boring straight into me, and when the bus stopped and I got out, they all started to jeer.
The next day, although I pleaded with Mum to pick me up, she didn't, so I got on the bus again. This time the kids knew what was going to happen. So they started straight away – “Why don’t you walk? “What a lazy b****!” Why are you so special? I sat there and willed the seat to eat me up. My stomach knotted into a ball of nerves and tears pricked at the corners of my eyes.
As I got up and walked to the front, someone stuck their leg out and I went down. I shot up so quick, bright red and got off the bus with my head low, while they all laughed uproariously at me. This time the tears flowed as I walked through the gate and into the sanctuary of home.
Mum told me that I was being too soft and as the next day was Friday, I should see the week out and then if I really didn't like it, she would pick me up again.
Friday afternoon arrived and I was a bit late getting to the bus. There were no seats left, so I stood. I was the only one standing. The taunts started up. “We don’t want you on our bus”, “You are just a lazy cow”. Then they all started to laugh. Really laugh. The tears started and I could stop them. Then they turned into sobs. There I was all alone, ashamed, embarrassed, feeling physically sick, shaking with nerves and absolutely terrified. The laughter continued until I got to my stop and I forced my petrified legs to move and walk down the steps to get off the bus as quickly as possible.
I ran home, closed the front door, put my bag down and sank into an exhausted heap on the carpet. Then I saw the reason for their laughter. Someone had stuck a piece of paper to the back of my bag. It had an obscene message scrawled on it.
Never underestimate the power that bullying has on children.
If you are concerned that your child may be a victim of bullying. Act on it straight away.
Bullying is never OK. There is no excuse.
Parents, try to look for warning signs - Not wanting to go to school, clothing is torn, items are missing, poor health, drop in academic performance.
Please don’t ignore it.
Today is National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence
Please take a look at Bullying No Way and find out all about it.