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The word bullying was new to me until I entered elementary school. This was the time when I learned what the word bullying means and not only this, but also how it makes you feel. Bullying to me means constant verbal abuse; it means having no friends, being miserable and always being laughed at. In preschool and kindergarten, I was too small to understand what bullying was. As I continued my education and went onto higher grades, I started facing problems. At this time, my mom was not aware of the problems I faced in school.

I was an IEP student and for me the biggest problem was to understand and communicate with both adults and peers. This was one of the reasons why I was bullied; kids decided that I was not worthy of their friendship. My mom was told that I would never be able to communicate properly. I took additional speech classes and worked with my IEP teacher in school. Even though I am still an IEP student, I don’t need a lot of accommodations. Despite having mild learning disabilities, I still maintain a 4.0 GPA to a 4.75 GPA and I get A’s and B’s. I have accomplished all this while being an IEP student; however, there is very little I have to say about the bullies accomplishments because as far as I know they have not done so well in school.

As I entered third grade, things started to build up, by the time I reached fifth grade, it got worse. By that time, my peers added another word to their vocabulary which was gay. These bullies were very calculating and manipulative. The name calling never stopped. Bullies never took a break, and they never gave me a chance. But I never gave up. I wasn’t a reactive victim who would fight back. I was a passive victim; I wasn’t able to defend myself from bullies. My mom and I always talked about everything but we did not get the teachers or principal involved until the bullying got out of control. This is when in a very subtle way my mom let the vice principal know that while in school, it was the school’s responsibility to make sure that I was safe. The vice principal assured her that he will make sure that I am safe in school. By this time I was learning how to speak up or defend myself but how could I defend myself against bullies who were just plain stupid. When a few of these bullies were called into the vice principal’s office along with their parents, they were not happy and the shocking part is that a few parents defended their ignorant kids and tried to place the blame on me but the principal and the vice principal knew me very well and they were aware that I had no behavior problems.

After doing all this, instead of getting a gold medal, I was now a snitch. Another name added to the list of names I was called, but this time I had a fitting reply. My mom told me that if kids want to bully other kids than they should be able to bear the consequences. This is the answer I would give to bullies when they asked me why I reported them to the vice principal. By the time I reached sixth grade I made a few friends, but it was too late because it was time to go to middle school.

Middle school was not that different, the only difference was that these bullies were educated seventh and eighth graders. The vocabulary was the same. Once again my mom had to get involved and matters went to the vice principal, but issues resolved very quickly; I made a few good friends. Now that I am in high school, I have learned that we all grow up except bullies; they just refuse to grow up, life for them has stopped. Life is getting to be normal. I feel that I have just started living; my life not only consists of my mom and sister but also some good friends.

I have grown up a lot, I mean not just physically but also emotionally, bullying does this to you. It makes you grow up very quickly. One thing good that came out of all this is that I still keep in touch with most of my teachers. I will forever be grateful to not just my teachers who stood by me but also to the bullies who taught me that I should not enter the world thinking everyone is nice. There is a price to pay for trying to fit in or for just being you. In high school, I make sure that if I see a kid sitting alone; I go up to them and introduce myself to them. I don’t want any kid to feel alone and unhappy. This is my way of trying to make a difference.

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