Knowing you are not alone is an important element in understanding bullying. I think bullying is a very personal issue and causes us to feel alone and that no one understands. This can certainly lead to terrible consequences. When I first asked for stories from others, I was surprised at the volume of stories I received and of the harshness that many of them contained. Now I find that others have started websites with similar themes and stories. Here is one from Sherri and Roger from Prosper Street Productions that they wished I would share. ~Alan Eisenberg
THROW RICKY IN THE GARBAGE! THROW RICKY IN THE GARBAGE! THROW RICKY IN THE
GARBAGE!? The chant sometimes finds me in the night and chases me out of my
dreams where I run straight into nightmares of my time in the 1st school I
ever went to.
The school was called Queen Elizabeth. It was 75% French and 25% English.
The teachers were really strict, especially to those of us who were hyper
active or troubled like Ricky. He scared the living shit out of me so I
tried my best to be his buddy. Since neither of us had any real friends it
worked out even though he was a few years older than me.
Ricky was poor. He was the poorest kid in our school. His dad was an
alcoholic and he treated Ricky really bad. Ricky had but one toy and much to
my surprise and amazement, he wasn?t even allowed to play with it because
his drunk dad thought he would only break it! Ricky had to wear rubber boots
through the entire winter no matter how cold it was outside. I remember my
mom almost crying one morning when she spotted him waiting on the corner for
the school bus to arrive. He was shivering in his jean jacket and rubber
boots. We stopped to pick him up even though we never usually do. I used to
wonder why that was. My mom always warned me to watch out for Ricky since he
stole things and generally made a point to piss everybody off. I thought he
was bad ass. I really looked up to him for a few years because no one beat
him up or pushed him around like they did to me.
I got picked on for quite awhile until I fought back. That?s when I was
called a bully. I didn?t think that it was fair so I made the worst of it. I
was sick of my clothes getting ripped and torn from being in the center of
the storm. My 3rd grade teacher called me “Mon Guerrier” (My Warrior).
Eventually they assigned a teacher?s aide to me to help keep me focused and
out of trouble.
I remember that cold morning like it was yesterday. The smell of that
horrible school still burns in my memory. There is no other smell like it.
We were all playing in the school yard like usual. Ricky had been forced to
wear glasses and they were old and taped up from constant scuffles. On this
day, they would fly off his face and get kicked off to the side. I knew
something was going to happen but I didn?t know what it was. There was a
feeling of electricity in the air. I don’t know how it began or who started
it. A mob was formed around my friend and a chant began. They grabbed his
arms and his legs so he couldn?t get away. Some of them spit on him and hit
him and kicked him. They were ruthless little bastards as kids can often be.
I tried with all my might to get through the crowd so that I could help my
friend but they grabbed me too. I fought so hard, harder than I ever fought
before, but I failed. The chant kept rising in urgency as they picked up my
friend ?THROW RICKY IN THE GARBAGE! THROW RICKY IN THE GARBAGE! THROW RICKY
IN THE GARBAGE!? and then threw him into the garbage can. I’ll never forget
the look on his face. It was a combination of fear, sadness and confusion. I
don’t think that Ricky ever knew why people hated him. He just knew that
they did so he kept getting worse as time went on.
When I looked up to see just who was holding me back from saving Ricky from
the trashcan, my heart broke inside my chest as I realized that it was a
teacher. A few of them just stood there and watched while they degraded my
friend and beat me up in the process. It wouldn’t be the last time they did
Over the years I developed a fear and resentment of authority from my years
at that school. From being bullied, I lashed out at others because I carried
that rancid pain with me wherever I went. It took me many years to over come
that behavior and I am still struggling with it today. Every time I hear
another sad story of some poor kid being bullied, or when they’ve finally
had enough and decide to kill themselves, I hear that horrible chant from
that cold cold morning of my youth??
THROW RICKY IN THE GARBAGE! THROW RICKY
IN THE GARBAGE! THROW RICKY IN THE GARBAGE!?