Bullied Into Bending The Truth

, , , , , , , , | Learning | December 10, 2019

(My brother is three years younger than me and started at my secondary school this year, aged eleven. He almost immediately starts getting bullied by a kid in his class, who happens to be the brother of a girl in my year. The bully is easily the smallest child in my brother’s class and is constantly angry, fighting constantly, and seems to be bullying several kids, not just my brother. I witnessed him come up behind his sister and demand money from her; then, he kicked her in the knees so she fell to the ground before kicking her again. He also made lots of nasty comments that made his sister cry. The school does nothing because the bully always starts fights when teachers aren’t looking and then claims self-defense, getting away with it because he’s smaller than them. I offer to help my brother constantly by letting him hang out with my friends or by going to stand near his class in breaks — I’m a school prefect/monitor so could intervene — but my brother has autism and is already struggling socially so he doesn’t want to be with my friends or for me to be near his. Until one day…)

Brother: *crying and running over* “Help! Help! Please help!”

Me: “Is it [Bully]?”

Brother: “Yeah, he got me and now another boy, too.”

Me: “Okay, stay here.” *to my friends* “Look after him, please!”

(I run down to the area where the younger kids have break and see [Bully] immediately. He’s sat on another kid’s neck with his knees on either side of his throat and is just landing punches on his face. As I run closer, I can see the boy underneath is going purple and is pulling at [Bully]’s knees, obviously unable to breathe.)

Me: *still running over* “Hey! Get off him!”

([Bully] doesn’t respond and as I get close, the boy underneath goes limp, still being punched. I grab the scruff of [Bully]’s collar, intending to pull him off the other child and to his feet. I’m only 5’3” and female but I still tower over this tiny child and my panicked grab of his collar results in more than the intended force. Instead of pulling him to his feet, I throw him back where he crashes into a pillar and crumples. I freeze, horrified that now I may have hurt someone; I’m a nerdy girl who’s never been in trouble before. A teacher who knows me and the other prefects well comes running over.)

Teacher: *running over* “[My Name], just go! Run! I’ve got it.”

(I ran for it, leaving the teacher to deal with both boys. The boy who was attacked had to go to the hospital for treatment for a broken nose, broken tooth, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. The teacher knew about the bully and the school’s rule of needing a member of staff to witness and bent the truth a bit. She told them that she’d witnessed the attack on both my brother and the other boy but denied that I’d been there, saying that no one had hurt [Bully] and he’d been making it up to claim self-defense. He ended up getting a long period of isolated education, working one on one in a classroom and taking breaks by himself. It’s not totally moral for the teacher to have lied, but given [Bully]’s year of attacking people every day, it felt justified!)

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Cheek-Slappingly Funny

, , , , , | Romantic | December 4, 2019

(My husband, my brother, and I are about two-thirds of our way into a ten-mile hike. Things have not been going according to plan; for one, my husband is hobbling along on a sprained ankle he got from a nasty slip a couple of miles back. As we were too far in to turn back — the journey back would have been all uphill — and he would probably have to stay in the wilderness overnight if one of us left to get help, which he resolutely decided against, the only thing to do was to keep going. We haven’t seen many people, though we are certainly not alone; a lovely swarm of mosquitos is graciously accompanying us every step of the way. Of course, I forgot the bug repellent in the car. I’m keenly aware of the time I told my parents to expect our arrival at the car park, the fact that we will probably get there at least two hours after that time, after dark, and how worried they’ll be because of it. On top of all that, at this present moment, we appear to have lost the trail — for the second time on this whole journey — even though I was sure we’d stayed on the path.)

Husband: “Look, everything’s going to be fine. We’ll just head back the way we came, and I’m sure we’ll find a fork we missed somewhere, and we’ll pick up the trail again.”

(We turn around, my brother leading the way. He quite sensibly wants to get out of here as fast as possible and walks quickly on ahead. In contrast, my rational brain decides it has reached its limit of what it can handle today and decides now is a good time to take a time-out.)

Me: *hyperventilating* “This can’t be happening. How far back do we have to go before we find the trail? It’s already almost dark, my parents are probably s***ting themselves, and there’s no reception. What if–“

Husband: *grabbing me by the shoulders and turning me around* “Sweetie, calm down. We’re gonna find the trail, and we’re gonna find our way out.”

Me: “But–“

Husband: *firmly* “We’re not gonna die, okay? We–“

Me: *slaps him*

Husband: *blinks*

Me: *realises* “There… No, there was a mosquito. I’m sorry! You had a mosquito on your cheek!”

(I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation.)

Husband: *dryly* “Well, gee. If I’d known that was all you needed to feel better. Here, wanna slap the other cheek, too?” 

Me: “No, no, it was a mosquito, I swear! There really was a mosquito!” *laughing uncontrollably*

Husband: *smirks* “Uh-huh, sure. Whatever you say, dear.”

(We arrived at the car park several hours later, well after dark, to the immense relief of my parents. My husband’s ankle took some recovering; it was pretty swollen for a day or two. On the bright side, he now gets to brag about the time he hiked six miles on a sprained ankle. He also gets to regale the admittedly hilarious account of how HE had to calm ME down only to get brutally slapped for his valiant efforts. The honest truth, though, there really was a mosquito.)

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Biker Guy Starts A Vicious Cycle  

, , , , , , , | Right | December 3, 2019

The coworker in this story is basically the exact opposite of intimidating. He stands right at six feet tall and is maybe 170 pounds. He’s also incredibly baby-faced and has a somewhat timid personality around new people. With all this being said, it hasn’t been uncommon for ruder customers to notice this and try to take advantage of it but nothing has ever gone too over-the-top… that is, until this incident.

I’m minding my section of the store when I hear a loud crash followed by a string of profanity. I pop out from my aisle to find out what’s going on and, from a distance, I can see a display case has been turned over and this meek coworker is being accosted by a rather burly, biker-looking type of man who stands a head taller and looks to be about 100 pounds heavier. While I can’t hear what’s being said from as far back as I am, the biker guy is right in my coworker’s face and is being rather animated with his “discussion.”

Suddenly, the biker guy violently grabs my coworker by the collar. Before I can even begin to rush over or radio for help, my coworker, in the swiftest motion I’ve ever seen, grabs the biker guy by the arm, steps into him, and executes an absolutely perfect shoulder throw takedown, sending the guy to the floor, hard.

By this time, security has intervened anyway and, as you might expect, the biker guy begins screaming in pain and yelling about “assault” and how he’s going to sue, etc. Security tries to get him up and take him to the office to hold him until the police arrive, but every time they try to move him he just screams louder. Finally, the police come to arrest the guy, but even they can’t get the guy off the ground and it’s determined an ambulance needs to be called.

After what seems like forever since all this began, medics come and cart the biker guy off with him still cursing everyone and promising to sue, get everyone fired, and close the store down. The officers split up, with some following the biker guy to the hospital to get his statement and the others going with my coworker and the managers to the office to review camera footage. The officers at the store quickly determine that my coworker likely won’t face any charges, as he obviously acted in self-defense, but management still has to place him on suspension until everything is totally resolved, as is protocol in situations where police are called.

Fast forward a bit: my coworker comes back to work. We find out through his stories that the whole incident started when my coworker told the biker guy that we’d sold out of an extremely popular sale item and wouldn’t be getting more in. The biker guy apparently threatened to “beat the s***” out of my coworker when he wouldn’t check the stock room for more when, obviously, there wouldn’t be any more in stock. The biker guy also did try to sue, but got laughed at by his lawyers who threw out the case when the security footage was played.

We also find out that my coworker declined to press any sort of countersuit. Reason being, it so happens that the biker guy wasn’t faking his pain! When he crash-landed from being thrown, it shattered his hip and cracked two ribs. My coworker says the punishment to the guy’s ego — spending six weeks or more in a body cast coupled with endless taunting from his biker buddies for losing a fight to a guy half his size — is more of a victory than any financial punishment.

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The Bane Of The Cane

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 1, 2019

(I was recently diagnosed with MS. I’m not so bad off as others are — yet — but I do need a cane for walking most days. The first cane I own is a dark red wooden one that twists at the bottom. I’m going to lunch on a workday and I park in a handicap space in front of a restaurant in a strip mall and put up my bright blue placard on the rear-view. I’m perfectly capable of getting out of the car and standing up without my cane, so I do so, and I reach in to get my cane after.)

Stranger: “Hey, [homophobic slur!]!”

(I straighten back up, with my cane, and turn to face a man roughly half-again my size with an unkempt gray beard lurching toward me from the sidewalk. The sane reaction would be to get back in my car through the open door, shut it, and lock it behind me, but I freeze in place, my entire body tensed up. This man jabs a finger into my collarbone hard enough to hurt, and I remember what’s on the shirt I’m wearing; a rainbow-colored alteration of a well-known logo.)

Stranger: “Is being a [slur] a disability now?! Who the h*** do you think you are?!”

(I slowly raise my shaking hand and point at my cane.)

Stranger: “I just saw you get out of your car by yourself! You don’t need that!”

(He tries to grab it, but I pull my hand back. He settles for smacking me upside the forehead. It takes me a second to even realize what just happened. I’ve never been outright assaulted by a stranger before, but somehow this is where I finally find my voice, even if it quivers and breaks as I speak.)

Me: “If you touch me again, I will act in self-defense.”

(He gave an “Oh, really?” smirk and smacked me in the ear before I could react. I panicked and wildly slammed my cane against the side of his face with every bit of strength I could muster, and then threw the cane into the car and dove in after it, finally shutting the door and locking it. The man started pounding on my window while holding a hand against the bloody side of his face and shouting nothing I could understand. I got my keys from my pocket, started the car, and got out of there as fast as I could. Thankfully, the man didn’t try to leap on my windshield or anything. As I drove, I looked over at my cane and saw that it was nearly broken through near the handle, and the splinters were smeared with blood. Several blocks away, I stopped to dial 911. To summarize the rest, someone in the restaurant had already called 911 when the guy first accosted me, I now have a restraining order, and he’s awaiting trial, even though according to him, he didn’t do anything to me that he wouldn’t do to his own kid if they were being stupid. And I still haven’t replaced my cane. Even knowing it could have been much worse, I have nightmares, and I’m too afraid to use my handicap placard any more. Thanks, random stranger.)

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Sounds Like Some Bullying Bull To Me

, , , , , , | Learning | November 30, 2019

(I am the small, quiet kid in school. One day, a known bully walks up to me out of the blue and throws a punch. I go down instantly, and the bully then proceeds to kick me and swagger off. I hear the monitor blow their whistle and chaos erupts. I end up in the office with a bloody nose, a lot of pain, and… a three-day suspension from school.)

Me: “But he threw the punch and kicked me while I was down!”

School Official: “[My Name], you were in a fight. It doesn’t matter who threw the first punch–“

Mom: “Excuse me… The bully did this in front of multiple witnesses, all of whom said [Bully] attacked my daughter, kicked her, and walked off. My daughter was completely the victim.”

School Official: “[Mom], we have a zero-tolerance policy for fighting in this school. That means that if you’re in a fight, you get punished.”

Mom: “So, what you’re saying is that [Bully] can beat up whoever he wants, knowing that his victims will be punished just as severely as he is. You realize that you are reinforcing his bullying, by then bullying innocent children on his behalf.”

School Official: “Ma’am, it is not bullying to enforce a policy against fighting.”

Mom: “If the policy punishes the innocent, then it absolutely is bullying.”

School Official: “I’m not going to argue with you any further. Your daughter was in a fight. She’s suspended.”

(My dad taught me how to defend myself, and my mom told me that regardless of what the school said, I was not in trouble with my parents. I ended up staying in a large group of friends, which helped protect me from the bully, but every year I attended that school, bullies would pick fights, and the victims would be punished, too. The zero-tolerance policy did not stop fights; it just taught kids that if they were going to be punished anyway, they might as well earn it. Fights got a LOT messier before I graduated.)

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