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Grade 7 students participate in class at East Alternative School of Toronto (E.A.S.T.) in Toronto, Ont. Nov. 30, 2011. (Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
Grade 7 students participate in class at East Alternative School of Toronto (E.A.S.T.) in Toronto, Ont. Nov. 30, 2011. (Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

Insight

This is what bullying feels like Add to ...

Keegan Sheridan

When you hear about bullying and teen suicide you ask yourself “where the hell were the teachers?” In my experience, my teachers haven’t done anything. They say they are doing something but they are just making themselves feel better. I had been bullied from grade 4 to 6 and it sucked. Sometimes when it happens you come home thinking “I can’t do this, I just want to be gone, dead. Anything is better then what is happening.” I have also been a witness to this. My friends have been bullied, and I have tried to stop it only to be hit or tormented. I know for a fact that everyone was a bully some time or another, me too, I have bullied until I realized what was I doing. And then I felt, oh my god, what am I doing. If the people reading this are my former bullies, this is directed to you. You’re killing people. You are scarring them for life. You are also scarring yourself. how does it make you feel better by throwing a basketball at someone’s head? I left my school because of bullies. Now I’m at E.A.S.T.. E.A.S.T. is a very safe environment, it may have some bullying but our teachers stop it right away. For all those parents who have lost their child to bullying, my condolences. To all those being bullied, I know what you are going through, stay strong and fight back.

Sara Upshur

Bullying did take over my life at one point at my old school. My life got so unstable that I was almost one of the 300 people who take their lives each year.

I was the victim. My name is Sara Upshur and I have grown up in the beach my whole life and I was happy. It took only four girls and a couple of weeks to turn my world upside down. I was angry at my parents all the time.

They would taunt me and tell me and tell me nasty things. Those girls got into my head, and I went into a hiding place so I couldn’t be sent to school. I wanted to take my life. I told the teachers and my parents. What was to happen? My parents helped me, but it wasn’t enough. The teachers had a ‘talk’ with the girls on how it was self-destructing and I couldn’t fix myself.

Things need to change. It’s now or never. Everyone sees videos, hears the news about bullying and do nothing about it. I wasn’t strong enough to stand alone, but with more people, we can.

I’m at E.A.S.T. and I feel safe and confident again. We all know each other and we’re all accepted, no matter what. This is how everyone needs to be. We have to change. We must take a stand. Alone we are looked at as if we are nothing. Together we can be heard.

Imagine if this was happening to you and no one came to your aid. How would you feel? No matter who you are, you could be a bully, victim or witness. Sometimes you don’t say anything because you think it will get worse. Bullies want power and if you give it to them, they will take advantage of you. Don’t stand down.

Charlie Johnston

I am a bully, I am a witness and I am a victim so I guess I have a pretty good sense of how people bully and why and yet it still bewilders me.

A majority of the bullying that I have seen is brought on by the tiniest things. In grade four, my friend and I thought it was funny to speak in a high pitched voice. A bully got wind of this and thought he’d mess with us. Soon he left the school and I thought my problems were over.

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