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Unfiltered Story #215223

, | Unfiltered | November 16, 2020

At primary school, I was the quiet, nerdy kid who was always reading. I was bullied constantly by other kids for being weird, having glasses by the age of seven and having few friends. I reported the bullying incidences to my parents who attempted to pass it onto the teachers at the school, but the teachers at my small, public primary school didn’t really care enough to speak to the bullies’ parents and actually make an effort to stop it. This led to my feeling that talking to adults was pointless and that I should deal with the problems on my own.

When I moved to a private high school at year 7, no one from my old school moved with me. I knew literally no one, but managed to make a few acquaintances with the people in my home group. The school had this rule where the middle school kids had to line up at the end of the day and wait for the home group teacher to stamp our diaries, confirming that we had filled in all our homework, assignments, etc. The teacher was always a few minutes late, so we were chatting in the line while waiting. I was talking to a boy and two girls. I liked the boy and considered him a sort-of friend, but I didn’t much care for the two girls as they were snooty and thought they were something special. However, they seemed to be being friendly, so we were just chatting. Naturally, at year 7 at the age of twelve and thirteen, the two girls began to tease the boy and me, asking if we were girlfriend and boyfriend. We were both just brushing it off, laughing, when one comment from one girl incensed him, and he got defensive. He said to to the girls and to me, ‘I would never go out with (My name). No offence, (My name), but you have a face like a dog.’

I was preparing to brush it off, to ignore it as my mum had taught me, but before I could get a single syllable out, the entire rest of the class, twenty five other students, all made an ‘OOOOOOOOOHHHH!’ sound at the same time. It wasn’t so much the comment that had upset me, but the fact that the entire class was now laughing at me, with not one person coming to my defense, made me tear up. I ran out of the classroom and headed straight to the carpark where my mum was waiting. On the way, I managed to compose myself a little, so by the time I got to the car, I was breathing normally and not crying anymore. My mum asked what was wrong, but I just said I was tired.

We had barely gotten home when my mum’s phone rang, and she answered it, ‘Oh hello, (my teacher’s name)’. My first thought was that I was in trouble for failing to get my diary signed, so I went to hide in my room. My mum came in a few minutes later to talk to me.

My home group teacher had realised I was missing when she signed the diaries and eventually, the truth was admitted by some reluctant kids. She had immediately gotten concerned. She called my mum straightaway, saying that she was very sorry and would be sure to talk to all the students involved and their parents.

The boy ended up writing a very nice apology letter to me of his own accord, without being told to by anyone, and we ended up becoming good friends. The two girls were disciplined and told not to be so immature. They apologised to both of us, but continued to needle me at every spare opportunity – however, as I got older I learned to ignore it completely. The teacher wasn’t sure how to deal with the entire classroom, so told the room at large the next morning that bullying in any form was never acceptable, that bystanding is just as bad, a speech we heard many times more in middle school. Ultimately, I learned from the experience that this school took this sort of matter much more seriously than my sub-par primary teachers – the whole issue was resolved in less than 24 hours. I loved that teacher to death.

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