I’ve just read of Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old student who hanged herself as a result of bullying by boys and girls. This really affects me. I was bullied in middle and high school. This began at the private Christian school I attended, where other boys called me a fag, for no reason but my shyness around other students. In the 7th grade, I went to a public school–but it was even worse there. Other white boys relentlessly called me a fag, and black boys kicked me in the groin. Again, this was for no reason, other than my shyness. My family expected me to fight the white boys (they said not to fight the black ones because they’d gang-up on me, which might have been the case). But I must admit it was the verbal bullying of the white boys that tortured me the most. I even had to see therapists, just to assure me I wasn’t homosexual.
And during this time I went into a serious depression. The Queen song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, was playing on the radio, and though it’s funny to me now, in a dark way–it was serious then. I’d listen to it, and seriously consider committing suicide. I was only 13. At the Christian school, no adult ever intervened at all. And the same was true of the public school. I did admit my suicidal feelings to my mom, and she said the family would be really hurt if I killed myself. And for all I know (I was extremely devoted to my family at the time), that might have saved me.
Still, my parents should have intervened, the bus driver should have intervened, and the faculty should have intervened. There are alot of adults who take bullying lightly. They just consider it an innocent part of growing up. But there’s nothing innocent about it. There is no excuse for bullying–verbally, physically, or sexually. And there is no excuse for allowing it, either. Phoebe Prince is yet another casualty of teenage bullying– and especially of adult toleration of it!