Stuart is a ten-year old boy who cries himself to sleep each night. He cannot take the teasing and the ridicule from his classmates each day at school. He pretends it doesn’t bother him when they make fun of his stutter. The other boys think they are cool when they call him “st-st-st-st-st-u-u-u-pid”. He wishes he could just walk through the day invisible to others and not have to speak a word. He cannot help the fact that he stutters and when he feels anxious or nervous (like when someone is making fun of him) it only gets worse. The only time he feels happy is when he sings. He is an amazing singer and every time a song leaves his lips, so does the embarrassing stutter. There is a school talent contest coming up but he will not even think about entering the show for fear of being ridiculed.
Jacob is Stuart’s classmate. The other boys think he is cool when he mimics Stuart’s stuttering. They laugh and join in. It makes Jacob feel like he is in charge. He is in control. Jacob continues to tease Stuart because every time his friends laugh along, he feels good. He doesn’t really think about Stuart. He is trying to act cool, yet on the inside, he doesn’t feel very good. Jacob’s father often makes fun of him. “Get a haircut! You look like a girl!” Making fun of people is what Jacob knows best, so he practices some of the things he hears at home on Stuart. “ It’s what guys do”.
Pat is an eleven year old girl who is making herself sick in the washroom right now because she hates her body and feels fat. The meanest girl at school calls her “Fatty Patty” and boys make pig noises as she walks by them in the hallway. She eats as a way to comfort herself and then feels bad and tries to bring it all back up after she binges. She hates going to school. What she really likes is volunteering at the local nursing home. No-one there makes fun of her weight. They don’t even seem to notice or to care about how she looks. The residents find Pat to be a very good and loving friend. She feels safe and accepted at the nursing home.
Julie is one of the girls who call her “Fatty Patty”. Everyone else does so what does it matter? It’s not like she is one of her friends. She would never say that to one of her friends. But no-one cares about Fatty Patty. Julie often thinks, “at least they are making fun of her and not me”. Before anyone can even mention Julie’s acne, she will pipe up, “Look at what Fatty Patty is wearing today!” Julie tries to cover up all of her pimples with a mask of make-up but she still doesn’t like the way she looks. At least she is not fat like Pat.
There is a girl who no-one talks to at school. They call her “The Creep”. They just whisper behind her back and gossip about what they think is “wrong with her”. He dresses really strange and doesn’t say much. She doesn’t have any friends at all. Her name is Mya. She gets anxiety when she is in public and sometimes it is hard to breathe when she is around other people. What she really likes to do is paint. After school she goes home to her art studio to paint the most incredible pictures. She likes to wear clothing that expresses how she feels. She dresses like she is a painted canvas; a true original masterpiece. The other day she wanted to tell the girl beside her that she liked her shirt, but the words wouldn’t come out. She got all sweaty and nervous and decided it was best not to say anything.
Suzanne saw The Creep staring at her today in class. She kept staring at her shirt and it looked like she was going to say something but she didn’t. It was so weird. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends after class. Suzanne actually really liked what The Creep was wearing that day but she would never tell her. No-one talks to The Creep.
There is a boy who spends his time in the office almost every day. His name is Nick. Nick gets blamed when something goes wrong on the playground. He is usually not at fault, but he takes the blame anyway. If he protested, James would push him around after school. He is quite scared of James so it is best just not to say anything. At least he is safe from James sitting in the principal’s office.
There is a boy who spends his time in the office almost every day. His name is James. James was pushing another student around at recess. This happens quite frequently. James is really struggling at school and he just feels like pushing everyone around. He doesn’t know what else to do. He has been so mad inside ever since he found out his Mom and Dad are getting divorced. He feels like crying all the time but he can’t do that or people will think he is a baby. When someone annoys him, he gives them a solid push and he feels a bit better. James can’t stop thinking about his parents and how his whole life is going to change.
Please feel free to use this article to share with students or your own child for discussion on bullying.
Students: Everyone has a story. What’s yours? Can you relate to any of these stories? How can you write a different ending to these stories? How can we turn these stories into happy endings?
Parents and Educators: Everyone has a story. Can you relate to any of these stories or have you seen any of these things happening? How can you do your part to change the ending of these stories?