by Nusrat Zeba
In honor of National Bullying Prevention Awareness month, I want to share my personal experiences with bullying. Ever since I started kindergarten and all the way up until middle school, I was bullied incessantly: physically, verbally, and mentally (especially in school). I always dreaded going to school entirely, but I had to since my parents valued education so highly. I really had no other choice, and, as a result, I alienated myself from everyone. Worst of all, security guards and teachers watched me being bullied before their eyes and never cared enough to stop the bullying.
Authorities being indifferent to bullying was one of the things that made me stay quiet. It is one of the worst things that can happen in a school setting because not
taking any action against bullying never solves the problem that scars so many students
every year. Instead, it makes the problem a lot worst. In addition, I thought it was
completely normal for me to get bullied, until I was educated on the topic many years later.
Verbal bullying impacted me more than any other type of bullying, considering the fact that many years later, the same comments I received back in elementary school are still etched into my brain: “You’re ugly!” “You’re so fat!” etc. For many years, the comments left me with very low self-esteem, kept me alienated from my peers, and led to depression.
Looking back on my experiences, I am glad I had people to talk to who supported me every step of the way. The kind of support I received is exactly what a lot of children lack, especially when they are not aware that bullying isn’t normal. Thus, we need to educate our students on bullying starting from a very young so they know what it is right, know what is wrong, and to refrain from bullying their peers.