Hearsay Transformations This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I had adiscussion about the Columbine shooting with two teachers; they respectmy opinions and I respect theirs. I ex-pressed my concern for my safetyat school, saying, "It's not the bullies I'm worried about, it isthe people being bullied who might possibly go over the edge. Luckily, Ihave the common sense not to do that." I, like many kids, getcalled four-letter words and derogatory phrases almost everyday.

The next day, I was pulled out of class by the schoolcounselor and brought to the superintendent's office. There, I had tomeet with the principal, the counselor and thesuperintendent.

The first thing I heard was, "We're worriedabout your comments concerning this school andColumbine."

Click. The buzzer went off in my head telling methis was going to be a long, long day.

In the two hours thatfollowed, I had to defend my remarks to three people who had no cluewhat I really said. The general suggestion was that I should see acounselor to help me with my troubled feelings.

If a 15-year-oldmale, who is described by the same superintendent as "acting justlike a 28-year-old" and whose opinions are trusted by parents,students and teachers makes a general remark about the state of publicschools today, is it automatically considered a threat to publicsafety?

I know who I am. To hear, "You say you love yourselffor who you are, but I think it's not true," and that I need to"lighten up" when called vicious names, isludicrous.

Has the stigma of "what could happen" takenover the sensibilities of every school in America? Could "it"happen "here"? Yes. Could "it" happen anywhere? Yes.It is a fact we all have to concede. But when an A/B student, whoparticipates in extracurricular activities and has his head on sostraight it can be seen by the entire school district, gets teasedbecause of it and an adult conversation is considered a threat, thingshave gone too far.

I told the counselor months before that Ididn't want to come to school because of the teasing. This came backlike a boomerang. The trio of would-be interveners asked if people couldbe teasing me because of "effeminate tendencies" (having girlsfor friends) or possibly my "snooty attitude" (ignoring theteasing). This is when the "Do you love yourself?" speech cameout.

Is my school system so screwed up that the kids who do thebullying are slapped on the wrist while the people who complain aretaken into a shoddy representation of a psychological therapy session?It sure seems that way.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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