Dear Diary: During fourth grade there was a boy in my class that was a bully. He was really mean to everyone and I sat next to him. He often threatened to punch me. I was scared at the time because I witnessed him throw a desk, and that made me think he was tough. I think he just chose me because I was short, I probably looked like an easy victim considering my height. Then he told me that I had to pay him money, so I did. I was scared that if I told anyone he would hurt me, so I didn’t tell anyone about me giving him money. The teacher saw him yelling at me to give him more money so she told my parents. He told the teacher that I offered to pay for his drawings. My parents were upset that I didn’t tell them about what was happening at school, but they supported me one hundred percent.
After that my parents explained my situation to the teacher and she made sure that the boy realized that what he was doing was wrong and not acceptable. The next year the boy went to a special school for extra support. I realized that sometimes the bully is actually someone who is probably hurting too. When I was in grade 6 he came back to my school and he didn’t have a lot of friends. I noticed this so one day I said “Hi” and that made him smile. I don’t talk to him much anymore though but I wonder if he has friends or if he is happier now.
Next time I am going stand up for myself right away or tell an adult I trust. If I see someone who needs help, I will try to have their back. It’s important to never be a bystander, then you are almost as guilty as the bully.