Stop Saying That Bullying is Normal in School

School boards have done a great job of keeping kids safer at school, and we should be celebrating that.

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

It was my first day of junior high, and my best friend Janelle told me that I shouldn’t be wearing my hair like that to school.

I had fashioned it into 30 small, tightly woven buns all over my scalp. So particular was I in my parting abilities, anyone could see the brilliantly white lines of my scalp from several yards away.

I think of my children now and marvel at what they can get away with.

My son Lars is dramatic like me and sings and dances down locker clad hallways without ever even receiving the stinkeye from his school mates. He cries openly when frustrated in class and nobody bats an eye. Quite the opposite, actually, his outgoing nature and openness have actually made him more popular and likeable.

Although we did run into Deena in the years to come, we never saw her in school after that.

She would yell at my friends and me while driving in cars with her older boyfriends, calling us skanks as we walked down the street, ice cream cones in hand. We might catch wind in our older years that she had come to the same party we were at, and we’d find a small closet to hold up in until the coast was clear to get the heck out of there. But never again did she accost me about my hair, which was of some comfort, I guess.

Although my kids are still only in middle school, I have faith that they will not have to deal with this type of bullying.

At least I hope they won’t. Maybe it’s because we as a society have a better grasp on mental health issues for children. We have in school counselling and better communication skills between teachers and parents these days. Maybe there just aren’t as many bullies now, because we have more programs for troubled children. Or perhaps, kids are just nicer now than they were back then.

Mother, writer, user of too many hashtags.

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