Is Violence the Answer After All?

September 17, 2009
By , Sulphur, LA
Let me start off by saying that I am a very nonviolent person. A year ago I would have done anything to avoid confrontation, even if it meant backing down or not defending myself if a situation presented itself. I hated to think that I was giving people a reason to gossip about me or make fun of me. I hoped that, by not making a scene, it would die down that much sooner. This is the beginning of my junior year and I am not sure if my opinion on the matter has changed or not.

It was at the end of my seventh period when my morals and limits were tested. I had been taking a quiz when suddenly realized something was scratching on my back. I turned around only to realize the boy sitting behind me was writing on my shirt with his pen. I turned quickly to a classmate and found out he’d written the words Kick Me in big letters on it.

While this may seem only as a minor annoyance to some, and an infantile problem at best, I was infuriated, literally seething at the mouth with anger. This boy was the ‘delinquent’ of the class, always being sent to the office for being disrespectful plus an array of other bad characteristics of his. I’d been cordial to him because he never did anything to me to provoke me- he was not a problem. I’d even let him borrow my book that day. The reason for my anger was that when I questioned him about it, he held no remorse in his voice, only replying, “Chill out. It’ll wash out.” How can someone show no bad feelings for treating me like a random building-side wall? My temper increased dramatically after that, and I started to stand and swear a little. Students around me were staring. My hand was heated up from how much I wanted to hit him.

I’d seen this boy have an attitude almost all year so far, but never thought anything bad of it because I didn’t know why he behaved the way he did. Maybe he had his reasons. Until then. When the bell rang for class to end, I was literally inches from his face. Kids were silent as I told him not to do it again or I would hit him. He is several inches shorter than me, and only about half of my weight. I’m large for a girl, standing at 5’10, and I knew I would easily be able to take him out. But I resisted, whether it was because I still had a shred of common sense or because my teacher told me to calm down, I don’t know. Some might say I overreacted, or let my emotions get the best of me. But the problem is, I’ve never let any emotion do anything to me before. I felt that if I let him get away with it, I was letting myself be walked on all over again. If people wanted to talk about me then I would surely give them something to talk about.

I held off, and stayed after class for a few minutes while the school cleared of other students. I didn’t physically hurt anybody, then. But I was so close, and even now, I can’t tell you if I should have hit him or not. I don’t know which I wanted more. No, he wasn’t worth it, but were the consequences going to be is another matter; one I won’t be able to answer. Maybe a guy like that should be put in his place. Sure, you’ll leave me comments about how violence is never the answer, about how you should let teachers or your parents deal with it. You’ll tell me that I shouldn’t have sworn or reacted like that. But let me tell you this… That’s exactly what I said until it happened. Let someone demean you like that, let them disrespect you so blatantly, and then you give me advice. This just happened today, by the way, so the perspective of this article is fresh in my mind and heated. Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow, or in a few days. Maybe not.





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