Sticks and stones: bullying still hurts, but can be stopped with just one word
The Rational Component
Issue date: 4/16/10 Section: Opinion
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Personally, I lacked my own aegis of awesome growing up. I was a tomboy with a mouth full of metal and hideously unfashionable glasses. I preferred baseball to boy bands and would not be caught dead in a dress. For that and many other reasons, I was bullied mercilessly (with "dyke" and "freak" being the usual insults of choice) until high school. There, I discovered that wonderful sanctuary known as the library, where I and the other maligned Quiz Bowl nerds found refuge for the better part of four years.
Having dealt with bullying, I have no desire to see anyone I care for experience the same thing. This includes the kid I have babysat since I was 14, Scooby.
Scooby and I have a good relationship. When I'm with him, I make him scrambled eggs for breakfast and draw magic marker tattoos on his arm upon demand. He tries to listen to me and not sprint into traffic with knives or shove various metal contraptions into outlets. Despite exhibiting typical seven-year-old behaviors, he is smart for his age. He can put together an entire Lego set - without directions - just by looking at the box. He gets ridiculously excited over books. He likes pink and loves to draw. He is a fantastic little kid. Because he is one of the five people on this planet I care for more than myself, I have a vested interest in making sure he survives his childhood relatively unscathed.
Scooby, unfortunately, has become a statistic. He has become one of the many children that experience bullying. A few third-grade boys singled him out for their particular brand of verbal torture. I was troubled while I watched his parents struggle to make teachers and officials recognize that what was happening to Scooby during recess was damaging.