“These word are real, the students are real and the situation is real”
A guest article by Glyn Lyndon a child behaviour specialist from Progressive Steps.
Thoughts of a bully
“Look at him, sat there thinking he’s clever!” These were my thoughts about the boy who sat in front of me. “Watch this” I whispered. I picked up my ruler, that for some reason said “shatterproof” on it, which just meant you would bend it and bend it until it shattered, “There you go, not shatterproof is it! Ha haa.” This particular day I aimed my ruler at the back of his head and bent it right back as far as it would go, it was white in the middle where it was ready for breaking. SMACK!! Waheyyy!! Bullseye!! Everybody laughed, well not everybody. The boy in front of me just put his head forward and started rubbing it.
“Watch this” I whispered again to my friend sat next to me, I leaned forward and SMACK!! YES got him again, more laughter was heard in the classroom (this was amazing, what a day) I had made everybody laugh again! “Result” I thought, what an idiot! Did he really think I couldn’t reach him? His head went forward again. This time he stayed down a bit longer rubbing it even more. My mate said “I bet that hurt him. Is he okay?” “What you asking me for? What am I, a Doctor?” I replied. As he came back up from rubbing his head, I got him one last time SMACK!! But this time was no good, the teacher saw me and shouted “You boy, get out” I slowly got out of my chair to, yes you guessed it, cheers! Everybody was laughing and cheering.
What a moment, I thought. This was amazing: everybody cheering and laughing at something I had done. It felt so good, I stood there and took a long, slow, deep breath and cherished the moment; my crappy life at home didn’t matter, the beatings I took at my so called father’s hands had disappeared for a few seconds: the arguing; the shouting; the loud voices had all gone. I felt like I was on the top of the world with nothing but the blue sky and the fresh cool air blowing past my ears, “OUT I said!” shouted the teacher. I slowly walked out of the classroom and slammed the door behind me, It was then when it happened.
I looked back through the window in the door of the classroom and felt sick at what I saw: the boy who I had so cruelly and without care just smacked around the head with a 30cm ruler was crying. His head was in his hands, the tears were rolling down his face, yet he sat there and didn’t complain. He didn’t say anything to the child sat next to him; he didn’t put his hand up and tell the teacher; he just sat there rubbing his head, with tears rolling down his face. I couldn’t stop staring at him, I felt ashamed, I literally felt sick inside at what I had just done.
Was it worth the laughter? How had I become this person who was so uncaring, so cruel to other people, so violent? I hated violence, it was all I saw at home with my own family, so I turned around and ran and didn’t stop. I left the school without asking and just ran and ran until I finally fell to my knees in the grass on the embankment of the canal near to my school and cried. I cried for ages, I just couldn’t stop, I was so confused, my head felt like it would burst, I felt so lonely, I didn’t know who I was anymore or what I had turned into? Wait, yes I did….. I was a bully!
I worked with this boy when he was 13 years old and it took him a long time to ask for help, plus there wasn’t much help out there he said. Eventually he spoke to his sister and to a friend at school who really just listened as I don’t suppose he knew what to say, but that helped in itself.
The one person he wished he had talked to was the boy he so brutally hit with the ruler and made cry, but he never did. He tried to so many times, but he never quite got there. He didn’t have the guts to do it, he was nowhere near as brave as the boy was, he was a bully turned coward, but he didn’t mind that! He much preferred being that person than causing anybody else pain. That event had changed him as a person: seeing that boy crying because of what he had done to him, and it changed him for the rest of his life.
This is a story for all kinds of people: for the people who are violent towards children; for the people who bully other adults; for children that think it is okay to bully others. It is a story for the people who sit and watch; who laugh and stand there idly when a bully is doing what they do best “hurt people”. It is mostly for the people who help others overcome bullying, to say “thank you,” and for the people who are being bullied he says “talk to somebody, do not suffer because of a bully”.
But most of all this story is for you, the boy who sat there and cried. Your name was David.
“David, he would like to say sorry”
You can contact Glyn through clicking the image below or via twitter @Glynlyndon1