Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slice #16 - 2012 An Encounter with a Childhood Bully

It’s funny the things you remember from your childhood or even what triggers those memories. Not long ago I happened to add a few small details to SchoolFeed. I didn’t want to add too much as I am always skeptical of what might be done with the information. I have been receiving notifications that some of the people I went to high school were following me. I had over 500 classmates in my graduating class, many I don’t remember and having moved far from my hometown I only have kept in touch with a few over the years.

It took me by surprise when I noticed Tim was following me on SchoolFeed. You see I still remember him from elementary school. He was mean and often out of control. Once our male third grade teacher pushed him into a closet in our room and placed rulers through the handles to keep him from escaping while we notified the office of the problem. We all sat at our desks as the doors shook and we heard his voice emanate from the other side. Back then all I knew was he was a bully and often became angered. I was one of the smallest girls in my grade and he took extra pleasure in tormenting me any chance he had.

After elementary school we moved on to junior high and then high school. He was still in the same schools, but luckily not in my classes. I didn’t have to worry about what he might do. I never liked him, our years together in elementary school would be permanently etched in my memory. At our 10-year reunion he stopped by to say hello. I was nice, but not overly friendly and glad to see him walk away.

Many more years have passed and the memories of him and his actions have faded with them. That is until I saw his name appear in Schoolfeed and the knowledge that he was following me. As a teacher, I now know that there were probably some issues that caused him to behave the way he did. Hopefully he has found happiness. To me, my eight-year-old impression of Tim will always bring me back to those days and his actions. Tim will always be the bully. This makes me wonder how people remember me from those long ago days. I know I was a rule follower, worked hard in class, was sometimes outspoken, but also had a shy side. Well, at least that is what I remember.


  1. I agree, a troubled child. With experience brings understanding.

  2. This sounds like the beginning of a script for a movie.

  3. That's the pain and lingering effect of events like that in our childhood, right? But now, you have the power to block. I remember reading an interesting piece about an adult who was a bully as a child who used social networking to apologize to those victims of his. Some accepted his apologies; some, not. It was interesting, though. How much forgiveness do we give to our childhood tormentors?

  4. Bullies almost always are being bullied themselves. They need to exert control somewhere and often choose a shy student who looks easy to intimidate. It is said you were a victim and even sadder that he was too. Perhaps he is following you because he knows how wrong he was and just wants to know how you are doing.

  5. Bullies are sometimes not forever bullies, actually they probably mostly aren't. I'll bet being put in a closet in front of classmates didn't help him much either. How much worth does he have left after that? How much does he have to fight back to prove that he's somebody?
    You might just strike up a conversation with him and ask him how he's doing after those rough years.

  6. This conjures up memories of bullies from my childhood and bullies I've had in my classes. As a teacher, I want everyone to get along and for kids to forgive one another and be friends again...peace in the classroom. But then I sympathize with the the students in the class that have to deal with this bully's behavior day in and day out, and I can't blame them for not wanting to be his/her friend after the way he/she treats them. It's a tough line to walk. I haven't figured it out just yet.

    Jennifer K.