It was the 1972-1973 school year. I was in eighth grade and terrified Monday through Friday as the bus I rode made its way to Glenview Junior High. These were the days before seventh and eighth-graders would be referred to as middle school students. I was the victim of a bully. In those days, I was rather skinny in stature. I was very shy and inhibited as well. Put these two attributes together, and you had the ideal makings for becoming the target of a bully.
There wasn’t a day that went by where this kid in my class didn’t try to instigate a fight. He would call me names. He knocked my books to the floor. He made vile comments about my parents. He would intermittently clench his fist and place rather hard blows to my chest. Oftentimes, it would literally knock the wind out of me. Sometimes, our peers would observe this and snicker. At other times, I faced this guy all alone, never knowing what would transpire. If I was lucky, he would simply attack me with words. If I wasn’t, another blow to the chest was forthcoming. I had to deal with this person for the entire 180 days of that school year. Nearly four decades later, I still think about it.
There are thousands of stories just like mine, and it doesn’t matter what background a person hails from. Likewise, location is of no relevance. Inner-city slum or affluent suburb, it happens everywhere. In schools across the country (or world, for that matter), bullying is a very real problem. These kinds of people find pleasure in making the lives of others miserable.
For whatever reason, something just isn’t wired correctly within their thought processes. Perhaps they themselve have pent-up feelings of insecurity and thus counteract by harrrassing others who are physically weaker. They very likely lack adequate parental supervision. However one wishes to slice it, these people have a problem and need help. Without it, it is very probable that these types will end up in and out of jail. Self-serving as it may seem, many victims of such oppression such as myself would be overjoyed to see these jerks end up where they belong.
On the other hand, if a professional with special skills such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker can sucessfully dissect the mind of such an individual, there is hope that the antisocial behavior can be eradicated. In order for positive results to occur, teachers and administrators in the school system must constantly be made aware of such instances. There must furthermore be a zero-tolerance policy implemented for such acts, for these people are literally terrorists in their own right.
The moment a bully is caught in the act, he or she should be suspended from school immediately and not be allowed to return until a mental evaluation has taken place. If further altercations occur following such a suspension, they should be expelled and sent to either a reform school or military academy. It’s really as simple as that. If these measures don’t turn the person around, then they deserve to be imprisoned. A civilized society simply has no place for such hostile, violent individuals. Sometimes, I see cars with bumper stickers that say it all in just three words:
Mean people suck.