This post is an opinion piece sponsored by Giveforward. The stories told below are true to me and all opinions expressed are sincerely heartfelt.
It’s the first day of school and a scared eleven year old girl walks into the classroom. No introductions are made, a seat is shown to her and the whispers start.
I was that girl, on that first day of school. We had just moved to a new city after my parent’s divorce. I knew absolutely no one and no one knew me. But the whispers were there.
After the whispers came the pushing and shoving and eventually my first fight. Why? Simple answer: I was fat and hairy! (Thank you PCOS).
Without knowing me or even bothering to ask me people were quick to judge. Kids pretended to be my friend only to go back to the “enemy” and tell them everything I said.
Then some kids would say: “I’m so sorry about what they did and said. I felt really bad. I wish there was something I could do.”
Didn’t they know they could?! They could have gotten a teacher, a counselor, the nurse, the principle. They could have stepped up for me. But no one did.
For three whole school years they just stood there and let the bullying happen.
They were all bystanders.
What’s a bystander?
I’m tired of all this bystanding. I’m tired of just hearing things happen or seeing them happen and not do anything about it. I’m tired of pretending that everything is copacetic.