Every year since about Freshman year of high school I have gone to my older sister's 6th grade class and I have spoken to her students about bullying and my experience with it as I grew up. I tell them about the time in 3rd grade when a girl threatened to punch another hole into my heart, the time in 6th grade when a street performer in San Francisco made fun of me for having to sit in a stroller because I was too weak to walk and I tell them about the time in 8th grade when these girls locked me in a closet at a birthday party and refused to let out or even give me my inhaler. I explain to the kids that words hurt and effect people long past the time that the words have been said. I tell them that they have the power to either positively influence someone's life or negatively. I also told them that if they see bullying they need to stand up against it. If they sit there and let it happen - they are just as bad as the bully. I explained to them that they will never ever regret doing the right thing. At the end of it all, several of the girls came up to hug me and share their story with me. I hope that by doing these talks I can help to minimize how many kids get bullied and I hope that for those who are bullied - they now know that they are not alone and that it does get better.
Hope and Love,