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September 26, 2005 

Learn to stand up to a bully

By Michel Lee

I'd just counted the ballots for the science club officer elections, and I wasnt supposed to tell anyone the results. 

I walked into my orchestra classroom and was promptly attacked, er, greeted by one of my classmates who is also a member  of the science club. 

Hey, so howd the ballot counting go? What were the results?

Oh...heeeyyy. Well, actually, Im not supposed to say. Sorry.

Oh, great. I can tell whats coming next. 

Aw, come on. Ill know the results anyways. I just didnt help to count the ballots.

No, sorry. I really cant say. Im sticking to my guns. 

Its okay. Tell me!

Nope. Im sorry, but Im not going to tell you. I wish youd stop asking me.

Oh my gosh. Youre so dumb. Humph. Fine.

She mutters under her breath as she stalks off. Great. Just what I need on a Friday.

Im feeling pretty bad after orchestra. Its not that I dont have a spine, but I really dont like people to be mad at me. Plus, she glares at me for half the class period. Just my luck that she sits right across the room from me. The other half, shes ranting about me to her friend.

Um, can I talk to you for a second?

Sure! Yeah!

I...I really handled that situation badly. Im sorry. The reason was.... Ugh. I cant believe I just told her the election results. Im such a pushover.

In retrospect, I really shouldnt have said anything. For one, I wasnt supposed to. And secondly, I let her trap me again with that age-old ploy bullying.

Id always thought that once Id gotten to high school, I wouldnt be subject to mean remarks and teasing anymore. In a way, Im not. Well, at least not in the elementary playground sense. In the high school sense? Definitely.

Bullying is altogether too common in our schools. It happens on a daily basis. Sometimes were the bullies without realizing it. Sometimes, the others are. Whatever the case, someone always gets hurt.

In my situation, my friend bullied a secret out of me by making me feel bad enough to want to ameliorate the situation.

So I told, blew my responsibilities, and probably lost my teachers trust.

So, as prey of the Bullying Machine, all I can say is, stay within reasonable limits when dealing with others comfort. Dont push it. If youre getting bullied, stand up for what you believe in. Sure, its as cliche as throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but its definitely true.

You just never know what the consequences might be, and I guarantee you that youll feel better about yourself. Next time that meanie comes around, youll handle the situation beautifully. Hopefully, the same holds true for me. 

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