How to overcome a bully
A firsthand look at how one teen stood up for his dignity — A Town Crier Community Column
In my life, I have seen too many injustices. Among those issues, the most debated is bullying. In Canada, one out of every five students are bullied every day. The majority keep their pain inside and some eventually decide to commit suicide.
I’ve had plenty of unwanted experiences with people bullying me, but I’m fortunate to have parents who supported me during that period of time. During those six years, I was hassled because the bullies didn’t like the same music, my weight and my personality. Every time I tried to play with other kids on the playground, they would say things like, “Go away fatso. We don’t want to play with you!’’
Those same things happened in my neighbourhood or when I went to camp. I felt so bad that I figured maybe, I shouldn’t go outside.
I decided to tell my parents what was going on because I was so fed up. They told me to put my foot down and challenge them back. Whenever I wanted to play I would tell them, “I want to play with you whether you like it or not!”. After telling them that over and over, they finally started to let me play with them.
Since that happened, I’ve become friends with people who understand who I am and why it doesn’t matter what a person looks like, but by how well they get along with each other. Hopefully, we can all find solutions to end these kinds of problems. I would like to suggest to others who are struggling to fight against bullying, a few ways to prevent or stop it from occurring: One, when this is happening, usually there are others who see it. Most people stay silent and ignore it. Well, they shouldn’t. If you do witness bullying try and stop it or report it to a teacher or another adult. Two, if this is happening to you, don’t be afraid to tell your parents, because they will try to help and guide you through these situations. Don’t forget you can also talk to teachers, relatives and The Kid’s Help Phone.
Now that six years have gone by since I first stood up for myself, I have plenty of confidence wherever I go at school, on a bus, performing or competing. I’ve learned to communicate with whomever I desire. If someone tries to intimidate me, I’ll try and stand up for myself.
Étienne Matte is a grade 9 student at École Secondaire Étienne-Brulé.
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