Bullying is sad, pathetic, angering, debilitating and just down right nasty! It's unbelievable what has been reported in the news about teen bullying and just bullying in general.
With this news also came memories of other gradeschool events and other classmates opened up and shared with me their own memories of being bullied...
I'll never forget in about second grade. There was a girl named LeeAnn. LeeAnn was a very quiet and shy child, but she was also "slow". As kids we all just knew that she was different, but never really understood why. With a lot in life, kids are not privvy to the details of such things. LeeAnn lived in my housing tract about four streets over and none of the kids would cross in front of her house because her mom was "a witch". Yes, in modern society those folklores of strange people that may not fit the norm are labeled very creatively. Poor LeeAnn was teased in school... immensely and relentlessly. Gaggles of kids are good individually, but when you get them together, they become a mob -- a sometimes very sinister mob. How they transform like that is still beyond me to this day.
One day in class LeeAnn had a seizure. It was bad. Well, witnessing that for most would be horrific and terrifying. For some of us it really was, but sadly for others it was just another door that opened up to give license to tease poor LeeAnn even more.
All I can really remember during that short period in class was someone running to get the teacher from somewhere else in teacherland outside our room, a group of kids standing there staring in sheer horror and other kids laughing. I'll never forget, and I don't even know how this came into my little seven year old brain, that I put my foot under LeeAnn's head to keep it from bouncing repeatedly on the floor as foam was coming out of her mouth and her eyes rolling up into her head. Thinking now, I should have wanted to run out the door, arms flailing!
I don't remember how much time after that day had passed. She was out of school for awhile. At one point my friend and I were determined to get to know LeeAnn. Along with a really good group of my close friends, we never partook in the events of breaking LeeAnn down and bullying her. We tried to become more than just classmates to her. We went to her home and played, baked cookies and stuck up for her when the other kids grew their horns around her.
And then she vanished. She and her family moved away to I have no idea where. LeeAnn never really warmed up to us 100%. I think it was out of trust, or MIStrust as the case may be, but also maybe a little because my friend and I started to get bullied. I'll never really know.
I didn't care.... Thinking back I think I just wanted to let her know that we weren't all bad.