The Fat, The Ugly, and The Stupid (A Personal Story)

Anna tells her story like it is, no apologies. She remembers all the details of her life. Sometimes it is the honesty of the voice they write with that has the impact. I think this is the case with Anna’s story. She is honest about herself and all she has gone through. I think you will see it all in her words. ~Alan Eisenberg

I grew up with short hair.

I get jealous of all the girls I seen with long, beautiful hair.

I was in first grade. My dad took me to the barber shop before he took me to school. When I walked in the classroom, one of the boys said I look like a boy and all the boys laughed. I started to cry. My teacher, took me into the office. She told don’t listen to them and that I’m a beautiful girl and our hair will grow. All my teachers were females.

The girls in my class made me feel better and the boys had to apologize. Having them make me feel better didn’t work. I get teased because I look like a boy. I had to attend summer school because I didn’t pass third grade. These older boys teased me by calling me a monkey in Spanish. I didn’t cry or tell my bus driver. I told my sister and my parents and they said I need to tell the driver. They kept doing it but I never did.

I was happy to pass and move on to the fourth grade. One day when we had a substitute teacher, one my classmate shouted that I looked like a monkey and they all laughed and I started to cry. The sub, had me go to the bathroom. As I close the door, I can hear her yell at the class. One of the fourth grade teacher, saw me and asked if I was okay and I told her yes. When I got back in the class, they were all quiet. When our teacher, came back, she was not pleased. She wanted everyone write her a letter about what happen. One my classmate, who I became friends with name Tessa, wrote an apology letter. The whole class apologized. I wish I never accept. They really hurt my feelings.

I should have mentioned about the kids that called me that on the bus when I attended summer school.

January 2003, my mom cut my hair. My hair was finally growing til my mom ruined it. She didn’t care what others will say and made me go to school. I cried in the hallway. The Chorus teacher saw me and had a talk with me. He told me I’m a beautiful and that I don’t look like a boy and I shouldn’t listen to anyone. He sounded like my first grade teachers. We saw a fifth grader name Angela walk by and Mr. Walker told her to come over her and said she has short hair. It wasn’t short like mine. It was a short bob cut. She told me I looked beautiful too.

I smiled when she said that. The teacher walked me back to class. My teacher in the class was worried and told me the same too. Half of the boys in my class were rude to me. While my friends and I were reading on the floor, they came up to me and pulled my hair. I started to cry and my teacher  had to yell at them. I don’t know what I did wrong. I was hoping fifth grade would be better but it wasn’t  We had to put on a Chorus show. While practicing dancing, two boys (one of them from first grade who said I looked like a boy and his friend T.J. were teasing me. The teachers tell them to stop but they continued.

In May, my mom took me to see a doctor. I told her how the students are mean and that I don’t want to attend Lowe’s grove because it’s a bad school. For some reason, they got the idea I wanted to kill myself. I didn’t know it was called suicide. The doctor called my teacher, and she was very worried. My whole class knew. They told me how scared they were.

I didn’t think they would care. The fifth grade teachers also knew and they all hugged me. I never said that. I didn’t know what to say. I had to attend Lowe’s grove.

I meant to send an application for DSA (Durham school of art) but I couldn’t find it. But I finally did find it in my dresser but it was too late. My first day of sixth grade went okay. I was really mad that I didn’t have a bus to ride. I had to wait a week so my mom had to pick me up on her way from work. Then, I rode bus 249. I had to wait for my principal. While waiting, a girl popped her head out the window and said where did you get your ugly skirt and they all laughed. I started cry.

The Principal saw me and told me everything will be okay. I could not believe I was riding the bus where a group of kids were picking on me. We had a boy/girl side. Girls sit left and the boys on the right. They made me sit on the right because none of them wanted me to sit with them. Our bus driver, Mrs. Alston, saw that I was sitting on the right and asked me why was I sitting there? I looked at the girls and didn’t say anything. Mrs. Alston wasn’t mad. She told me to go sit on the girl’s side. I sat by myself. I didn’t say anything else.

In life class, a boy was teasing and I had my head down, crying. After class was over, the teacher ask me what they said and I told her and she asked should I ignore it and I said no and she said yes, I have too. Then a boy said life would be better without me. I just wish all this teasing would stop. I just wanted to transfer to another school but my parents said no. I wish I had different parents. Ones who care about me.

Then two boys whom I call Beavis and Butthead always make jokes on the bus. My bus mate thinks they liked me but that’s not truth. I get teased because of how ugly I am. No guy will flirt with me or even say I’m beautiful. I hated gym class. I sucked at sports and get picked last all the time. After it was the last day of school, I got another transcript for DSA.

I got a letter back and I didn’t get in. I didn’t think things would be any worse til Doris, my older sister, forced me to get a haircut. I cried while the man was cutting it. After he was done, he told I am very beautiful. Doris told me there a lot of pretty celebrities like Kirsten Dunst and Kelly Rowland with short hair. They look beautiful with short hair, not me. Boy, was I not ready for school.

Seventh grade was okay. I was still called ugly and someone called me fat. I wore makeup and I still didn’t look pretty. In Spanish class, our teacher, Ms. Logan, decided to throw us a pizza party. I missed a day of school because I was sick. That was the day she collected the money. We had to give her five dollars. During the party, she went to get the pizza. My friend asked me if I brought my money and I told her no. The teacher didn’t say anything. She looked like she had enough. She asked why and some girl said because I’m slow and a boy said because I’m spoiled. I felt like crying. One of my nail on my index finger broke and I was bleeding. I showed my classmate Jessica. When the teacher came back, she told her my finger was bleeding. She blamed the class because of what they said. I went to see the nurse but she wasn’t there. They gave me a bandage.

During the second semester, I had art class with a girl. She was really mean. I mean, she threatened to punch me in the face. People think we might get into a fight. While playing soccer in gym, I got kicked in the leg and none of the girls would apologized. I still got picked last for the team. Things got when everyone had the idea I had a crush on this girl. They pick on people who are gay.

I don’t know who started it. I really hated Lowe’s grove. All they do is bully others and misbehave. Not only do they tease me because I was fat and ugly, they also tease me because I’m different from them. I love Harry Potter and the Black eyed peas and they hated them. They think I’m a loser because of that.

After seventh grade was finally over, I got another transcript for DSA. We never got the letter back. We went to the school board and we didn’t get in. I was really mad. Doris said it’s my last year but I didn’t care.

Eighth grade was the worst semester of my life. I was tease everyday. I got another haircut. I try avoiding but pretending I’m sick. I also get teased on the bus. A girl was saying hurtful things to me just because I told the assailant principal, , that she is being rude about the bus seats. She thinks she owns the bus. The assistant principal finally assigned seats. I’m so glad she stopped bothering me. She became nice now. Dianne (who started sixth grade) and I sat with a nice seventh grader name Cassie. I don’t know what took her so long to assign seats. I had the biggest crush name one boy. He’s the cousin of the girl who picked on me. He thinks I’m ugly and calls me retard. Even his basketball teammates are mean to me.

I hated middle school Worst year of my life. I couldn’t wait to start high school because I’ll be going to Jordan, a really great school. I was supposed to go to Hillside since that’s my district school but it’s like Lowe’s grove. I was happy to get in. I had to attend summer school because I didn’t pass my math ECO. But I passed and I couldn’t wait to start my first day of school.

I woke up around five. My mom drop me to my cousin’s house. He was starting his tenth grade year. Jordan was the perfect. I had amazing friends and no one has bothered me. I come home happy and not complaining how much I hate school. Jordan is a much better high school than Hillside. It’s a clean school and the students are well behaved. It’s also nothing like Lowe’s grove either. After my exams in tenth grade, I couldn’t wait to start eleventh grade. But I had to repeat tenth grade and what’s worse is that I had to attend Hillside. I cried when I got the letter. Hillside was just like Lowe’s grove.

This one boy in my math class also said mean stuff to me. He calls me ugly. Even the class goes along with him. Hillside was the worst school ever. Even the teachers and principals and counselors don’t care about bullying. It’s the same thing over and over. They didn’t do nothing. I finally graduated on January 25, 2012. I was happy to leave Hillside and leave all this abuse behind. All I know is that my bullying days are over and if I ever see them again, I will tell them “I moved on and I don’t care what you have to say to me anymore”!


Thank You Karina (A Personal Story)

What does it take to be the first to speak up when bullying happens. It is hard to do and to stand up and be the first. Kat takes a moment to thank someone who did this and for that I think we should all say thank you to those that stand up to bullies first. ~Alan Eisenberg

Thank You, Karina

Even after all these years, I still remember the afternoon Karina spoke up. We were all already seventeen then; most of us were bored in our classes and everyone was counting down the days till graduation and college. I was counting down to these, as well as my liberation from years of being bullied, taunted, and just made to feel miserable five days a week. My good friends were pretty much in the same boat; we just wanted out of an all-girls school that, despite having an impeccable academic reputation, had some way to go when it came to being vigilant about how the students could be inordinately cruel to each other.

For some reason, the discussion that period somehow turned to the topic of discrimination based on whatever reasons. In the middle of it all, I heard Karina say from her seat in the middle of the room, “Admit it you guys, you discriminate people based on economics, you discriminate against those who have less.”

Finally, someone had broken the code of silence, all on her own.

There were so many reasons for one to be bullied at my school: having weird interests, refusing to conform with the popular lifestyle, not being physically attractive, having too many boyfriends, having no boyfriends, not keeping up with the latest fashions, choosing to hang out with the misfits of the batch, or simply not being rich enough. My friends and I fit more than one of these categories, but one of the things we had in common was that we’d come from humble beginnings; we did not have any ‘old money’ or political clout that would impress the other girls and intimidate some of the teachers. We weren’t exactly the struggling poor; we could afford to pay the tuition fee, but we weren’t rich enough to keep going to parties, to brag of holidays abroad, or flaunt the latest dresses and gadgets. Our pleasures were simpler: drawing, watching anime and movies, afternoons playing trivia games at an arcade, and in my case I had my volunteer work. For some reason a number of the popular girls thought that there was something wrong with that, and they were pretty cruel in letting us know about it.

There were some though who made the difference, and Karina was one of them. No, she was not beyond reproach, but she did her best to be kind when a lot of people would either just gawk or join in the nastiness. I used to chafe at her, wondering how she could still be friends with my tormentors. I always wondered why she couldn’t just tell them to stop what they were doing. Perhaps I was hurting too much to notice that beyond the pain that just a select few people were intent on inflicting on me, there were more girls who wanted to look out for me, who would help me out if I just asked. Perhaps in her own way, she was also trying to deal with that silence, that unspoken ban that prevented us from confiding in the guidance counselor, our teachers, or own parents. That was all before that afternoon, when everyone had to just shut up and listen.

Of course some people didn’t pay attention. A few just gave her looks of quiet relief. The majority sat in stunned silence. But I believe that was the beginning of some of us beginning to think. For me, it was the beginning of gratefulness.

Eventually the years would prove who was really friends with who. We all graduated from that high school and went our own ways. Many of us kept in touch, first with everybody, then more selectively. Some of us still snubbed each other, a few still fled, but I’m sure we all remembered. As for Karina, I didn’t run into her or her friends till nearly four years later. By this time I was applying to medical school. While wandering on a strange campus, looking for the admissions office, I caught sight of three young women resting after a game of soccer. One of them called my name; I realized it was an old neighbor of mine, along with a former classmate, and Karina.

After a little small talk, during which I mentioned that I was applying to that campus, Karina held out her phone. “Hey, if you get lost, you can just call me. I can help you.”

I was dumbfounded. Was this really the same girl who’d spoken up after standing in silence all these years? Or maybe she was just standing all along, waiting to help?

I told her ‘thank you’, saved her number, and went on my way. To this day I’m grateful.

~Kat G

The Sports Team Bullies (A Personal Story)

This story seems so unbelievable at times that in 2012 it could happen, but I had a mother tell me a similar story about her son and a high school baseball team coach last year. So believe me that I know this happens. Dan shares the story of his daughter’s trauma dealing with sports team bullying in school. Do you have a similar story? It’s not hazing, it’s definitely bullying. ~Alan Eisenberg

Our daughter used to attend South High School in Torrance, CA and had to switch schools mid semester last year because of bullying. The school only made the problem worse. There are a LOT of details, but I will only put some highlights here. Our daughter was bullied online then attacked by a girl who played with her on the soccer team. The girl went up behind her during lunch in the main lunch area, grabbed her hair, and pulled her head to the ground so hard that she lost consciousness briefly and we later learned had a concussion.

Even though she had a head injury, among other things, the school didn’t even call an ambulance, rather just had her sit in the nurses office. Two days later, the soccer coach actually took a player and team parent vote on who he should kick off the team, basically making it a popularity contest, and kicked our daughter off even after he was told that our daughter would not be kicked off (she was found to have no guilt in the incident). The bully was eventually kicked off and at the end of the year, the coach was told to not let her attend the year-end banquet. When she showed up, he let her attend and also sit right across from our daughter, which made her so upset she had to leave. We raised these issues with the Torrance Unified School District Superintendent and Board of Education, who ruled after the formal process was complete that the school had done nothing wrong. Throughout this ordeal, the principal, Scott, also refused to speak with us or return phone calls several times.

We have since met other people who had bullying experiences at this school that were not addressed. Other schools have mentioned the coach should have definitely been fired just for taking a team vote, yet at this school there are no consequences for anyone.

We have since sold our house this year just for the sake of moving and not having to have our younger son in the Torrance School system. At South High, it was made very clear by Scott that they would never admit to any wrongdoing, or that our daughter was ever in danger, because they then could be held liable for what happened.


My Bullying Life (A Personal Story)

Andrew shared the story below with us and his candor and honesty about what bullying caused his life to become is one that many people I know share and can understand. He talks of ADHD, drugs, and stealing and as many of us know, there are many aspects of lives of victims of bullying that lead them to try to gain acceptance by, in many cases, doing not good things to both themselves and others. Andrew’s story shares these aspects in a very honest and up-front way. ~Alan Eisenberg

Hi my name is Andrew this is my story

Since I was a young boy I have had it hard. from an early age i was doing stuff for myself my mother wasnt around she was always at work or over east. My dad was lazy he wouldn’t do much for me but he was always there. From year 1 when I properly first started school I was Diagnosed with ADHD, This meant it was harder for me at school I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t concentrate I was always doing the wrong thing and always getting in trouble. School was hard for me I was never happy there from year 1 was always seen as a freak by kids always the one that people didn’t want to be associated with. I remember for half my primary schooling i would walk around the school by my self just waiting for someone to ask me to join them, no one ever did I would eat lunch and recess by myself I was an outcast. I was always a small child was always the smallest in the class. when I was younger the immature insults that I used to get everyday was because I was small, had curly hair or had a big nose it really hurt. I put up with that sort of bullying till about year 5 I was alone no one was there to help me or stand up for me. Continue reading

US News and World Report Discusses Spotting and Stoping Bullying

US News and World ReportWriter Rachel Pomerance with the “US News and World Report” wrote a very interesting article called “How to Spot and Stop Bullying: 5 steps to help prevent, detect, and address bullying”.

The article, which talks about the issue of bullying today and also looks at five techniques for detecting and trying to stop bullying. These five steps include:

  1. Talk to your kids. It’s not always easy to get your kids to open up to you. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Ask every day about their day—who they ate lunch with or played with at recess, suggests Susan Swearer, associate professor of educational psychology who researches bullying at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
  2. Be an example. Your kids are watching—and learning from—your behavior. “If we call someone a name,” or “get upset with someone and hang up on [them],” they might follow suit, says Young.
  3. Look for changes in your child’s behavior or belongings.“Trust your instincts,” Young says. “You know your child.” If an outgoing kid becomes withdrawn or a strong student’s grades drop, take notice.
  4. Treat the problem. Your response to bullying behavior will, of course, depend on the incident. But there is plenty of help to guide you. For starters, the child must know to alert a parent or trusted adult on feeling threatened, intimidated, or excluded.
  5. Change the culture. Many of the resources now available aim to promote systemic social change to prevent bullying. For example, the National Crime Prevention Council provides an assessment of a school’s climate, training to students, parents, and school staff, and even Powerpoint presentations for communities’ own use.

These  five steps are just the beginning of the article, which goes into much more details on all these steps and other interesting information for you. To read the full article, click here to go the the US News and Word Report website.

It’s Too Late for Me (A Personal Story)

I received this story from the son of the writer. In his note to me he said of his mother that “she is a truly remarkable and wonderful woman and an amazing but due to years of being bullied as a child she has self-esteem issues and a lack of confidence.”  This is such a common statement that I think many of us feel and coming from someone’s child, it just means that much more. What would be the potential of so many of us, if bullying wasn’t a factor of our childhood. Unfortunately, without a time machine, we just don’t know. ~Alan Eisenberg

A few weeks ago I went to a training class for a new position I recently accepted. This training class involved a lot of group speaking as well as speaking in front of the class. The feelings I was experiencing started to get me thinking about my childhood. When I was standing and speaking in front of these strangers, I felt like a child again. All I was thinking is that they were all thinking how fat I was. It was a miracle that I passed the training. Now I will share with all of you why to this day I still feel that way.

I will share a lot of the experiences that shaped me. I will share a lot of the childhood memories that I have.

I will go back as far as the first grade. I have been overweight my entire life. I was always the fattest kid in class. The other kids constantly made fun of me. They made my first year of school miserable. I never wanted to go. The main thing I remember about first grade was lunch time. I remember standing in the lunch line to get my lunch. The kids would make animal noises at me when I would pass by their table. This went on for several weeks. I stopped eating my lunch and throwing it out. They still made fun of me. My father was called into the school because I was not eating. The teachers knew what was going on but they blamed it on family problems. My father said I had to eat. Eventually I just skipped the lunch line and started going outside to sit down. During this whole ordeal the teachers never asked the children to leave me alone. This went on for the entire first grade. Continue reading

A Bullying Story from Indonesia (A Personal Story)

I received this story from Richard in Indonesia. I think it very important to remember that bullying doesn’t just take place in one place in the world, but in all places in the world in many different ways. Richard’s story share exactly that thought. ~Alan Eisenberg

My Life Story

Hey, I’m from Indonesia. I’m 16 years old. I just found this great website and I realized just how big bullying is. It pushes me to tell you my own story of getting bullied. I’ll just start from my earliest recollection of bullying. (And sorry for bad grammar)

Well first thing to know, I like to classify my former self. I know it feels wrong to classify people into some certain groups (or classes as I liked to call it) but it holds true in every school around this entire world.

I believed that there are several good ways for you to get bullied at school. One of them is being a nerd and a loner like me. It’s not like being these kinds of guys particularly bad. People just don’t accept and never try to tolerate people who are a bit different from they are. It’s just who I am and I don’t need to explain how not wrong it is to have a social identity different than most typical kids, right? Continue reading