Mr. David Range
Heading into my eighth grade year my mom changed jobs and I had to change schools. My introduction to a group of students with clearly defined niches was not pleasant. My family did not have a lot of money and I was targeted for not having the name brand clothes/shoes popular at that time. When playing sports at recess there were clearly defined teams, with the most talented and popular kids on one team and everyone else on the other. I was relegated to the non-popular team, but was quite an athlete and immediately managed to stealing a few wins away from the popular kids. Having disrupted the status quo and exposed weakness in the “elite,” the bullying intensified. During games they would trip, shove, elbow, etc. to take me out of the game. Before gym class when I would change with the rest of the group it was the norm to shove me down or attempt to steal my clothes. I was also made fun of for being smart and a preppie since I was planning to go to SLUH, a private high school. In the classroom there would always be the daily barbs and although I only had to endure the treatment for a school year, the anger and palpable hatred I have towards those people still resides in me today. I was lucky that I at least had some daily respite from the bullying once school was out, but students today are exposed to bullying non-stop because of the reach of social media and technology. Perhaps my story may bring them some hope and comfort knowing they are not alone.