The stories I tell of my bullying were before the era of Cyberbullying, the new type. This type of bullying might be even more damaging, because of how quickly a cyberbully can get information into the hands of the masses.
I was touched to read the story of Ryan Patrick Halligan. His parents have created a site dedicated to his story and have shared his story on the site and their feelings as well. I’m sure it was tough to write and create this site, and I applaud the parents for sharing their personal story in the hopes of helping others.
On their site, they write:
In December 2002, the bullying problem surfaced again to a significant level. There was an evening that month when he just had a melt down … a very tearful session at the kitchen table. We thought 7th grade was going fine but discovered he was bottling up a lot of bad experiences during the first few months. Again, it was the same kid and his friends that bullied him on and off since the 5th grade. They were tormenting him again and he said he hated going to school, that he never wanted to go back there. He asked that night if we could move or home school him.
I was torn between wanting to be his bodyguard all day and feeling he needed to (again) learn how to manage the situation as a part of growing up. We sat at the kitchen table discussing our options that evening. We explained that moving in the middle of the winter was not a good time and home schooling was not an option because Mom worked part-time. I said, “That’s it Ryan. I had enough. Let’s take it to the principal and have him put a stop to it once and for all.” To that, Ryan exclaimed, “No dad, please don’t do that. They will only make it worse. I see it happen all the time.” Instead Ryan asked that we help him learn how to fight so he can “beat the heck” out of this kid if he or his 8th grade friends tried to jump Ryan.
This story is so familiar to me. In many ways it parallels my days being bullied and the feelings I had. Also, I have a son that struggles through school and worry about his being labelled and how that will affect him. I watch carefully for signs that he is being bullied, but have not seen any issues as of yet. He is 13.
Please read the rest of Ryan’s story at the link I included here. It certainly touched me.