Reading stories about what bullied children go through is one of the best ways to gain perspective about the challenges they face. So here are some brief stories about some of the things experienced by bullied youth:
Notice: If you reached this page because you’re looking for stories about bullying to read to kids, please see our bullying resources section.
Bullied children tell stories of ill-advised interventions by adults
One man reports that in a short-sighted attempt to help, he was labeled as a target in front of the whole school: “The headmaster called me up to the front of the assembly, and he announced that I was the shortest boy ever to attend that school (a private school of good reputation) and that he did not want anyone to harm me. The boys made it their business to ensure that my time in that school was pure torture. Perhaps the Headmaster was trying to help as I had told a former tutor that I was being bullied, but all he did was exacerbate an already difficult situation.” (Kidscape, 1999, p. 6)
Another woman writes that, “When I told the teacher, she called the class together and told them not to pick on me. You can imagine what happened next. I was the butt of every joke, every hurtful comment and was ostracized for the next two years. I never told anyone else. What was the point?” (ibid)
Surviving parents tell stories of widespread indifference from school officials
Tyler, a 17-year-old from Murray County, Georgia, ended up hanging himself after years of abuse and prolonged indifference towards his situation by school officials. After his death, his parents held a community meeting demanding accountability. No school officials attended. (USA Today, 3-30-2012)
They tell stories of skipping school to hide from bullies
One man writes that “I left school when I was 14 because I could not face the torture I knew was waiting for me behind the school gates. I used to be physically ill at the thought of going to school, but my Dad would force me out the door. I would get my books and pretend to go to school, but the minute I turned the corner I was off to a secret place I could hide. I spent most days there until they (the bully gang) caught up with me and then I got a good hiding. My Dad said to stand up to them – easier said than done when they were older, stronger and more cunning than me.” (Kidscape, 1999, p. 2)
They tell stories of widespread intolerance
A 16-year-old girl referred to as Kelby was ostracized and taunted after she came out as a lesbian in her small hometown of Tuttle, Oklahoma. A former star athlete for her school, she had to give up sports after others refused to be on a team with her. She would survive 3 suicide attempts before eventually finding a small group of friends where she could belong. (USA Today, 3-30-2012)
Those who participated in bullying tell stories of shame and regret
One man writes that “The harrowing ‘School of Hate’ (an article in Rolling Stone) made me think back and wonder, how many times had I mocked kids in school who may have been gay? How many times later on, in my years as a teacher, was I indifferent toward this same bigotry I witnessed at school? It was the safe move. Even though I have long since opened my eyes, I still feel regret, embarrassment and shame – as should every intolerant member of that Minnesota community. We deserve it. We were cowards.” (Letter to Rolling Stone, March 15, 2012, p. 10)
Continued in the next section: Bullying experiences
If you’d like to share your own story with others, send us an email depicting your story exactly as you’d like it to appear (please do not include identifying details) and we’ll consider using it in our materials or posting your story on the site. Please limit it to around 2 pages or less.