COLUMN: The second evil
There is a strange and unusual thing that happens when a slinky is dropped from high in the air.
The bottom will just hover in midair, standing still until the momentum from the top forces it to move.
I’m writing today about a subject that has affected my life immensely: Bullying.
I still remember the first time I was bullied. I was in fifth grade. Ten years old. Some of the kids in my class invented this cool game during recess, and they would never let me play because I “wasn’t fast enough.” And besides, I didn’t know any of the “cool kids” who invented the game.
It only got worse from there. By the time I was in sixth grade, I was crying to my mom to have her drive me to school as opposed to taking the bus because I would literally get picked on from the moment I stepped on the bus until I got dropped off after school. The bus driver, of course, felt that “quiet down back there” was a sufficient anti-bullying initiative, so nothing was ever done about it — until my mom stood up for me because I was afraid to do so for myself.
In eighth grade, a terrible rumor was started about me, and I don’t remember a day I didn’t cry alone in my room that year. I’m confident in being open about the subject now, and admit that I had seriously thought about suicide, planning how I would do it and what I would say in the note. The song, “Hold On,” by one of my favorite bands at that time, Good Charlotte, was initially the only reason I didn’t go through with my plan.
That rumor haunted me all the way until my senior year; five years of misery. I was fortunate enough to have friends who stood up for me, who thought I was one of the funniest guys to be around, so I clung to them and made it through the living hell that is high school.
However, there are too many others who were not as fortunate as I.
Yesterday I heard about the story of Amanda Todd, a 15 year old from Canada who committed suicide after being sexually harassed and physically assaulted. After being coaxed into sending an explicit picture of herself over the Internet, she was blackmailed and a man threatened to spread her picture to everyone she knew if she did not perform a “private show” for him. He wasn’t bluffing.
There’s more to this story, but a quick Google search will tell you all you need to know. The beautiful 15 year old, who looks as if she should be on homecoming court as opposed to cutting and drinking bleach, was unable to find a reason to live after being beaten up at school, losing all of her friends because of her one mistake and not having one person to come to her side to see if she was even alive.
There are two types of evil in this world. Those who do evil, and those who see evil things being done and do nothing about it. All that was needed to save a life was: stop it, leave her alone, or even, ‘Amanda, I’ll be your friend.’ Any of those would have sufficed, and quite possibly have saved this girl’s life. Instead, no one said anything, and now, she is another statistic.
I’m writing to let you know that I will not stand for bullying of any kind. If I see any form of it at any time, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will be hearing from me immediately.
I made the decision to be the top of the slinky. Now it’s your turn. What end are you going to be? You can choose to lead or to follow, but eventually everyone will have to move. The question remains, when?
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