Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An old classmate

Last night I watched a show on bullies in schools, you know, as preparation for when my own child is older I can know if there is a problem -- if he's the one doing the bullying or if he's being bullied by somebody. Knowledge is power, those poor kids.

Well, it made me think about when I was in 6th grade. That's the difficult pre-adolescent stage and you feel like you MUST fit in and not be singled out for any reason by your peers. There was a boy in class named John Y. and he was always picked on. He was a farm boy and he would come to school in rubber boots with cow shit on the bottoms and he'd wear flannel shirts that were much too big for him.

One day in class the teacher had left and suddenly some kids in class teased the both of us saying John liked me and wanted to go out with me. The whole class was watching and I had to do SOMETHING to keep my dignity! I protested loudly and stood over John at his desk. I yelled at him and pulled his hair so hard I yanked a chunk out. I'm sure it hurt him terribly. :( :(

I clearly remember the incident to this day. I'm not violent, not normally confrontational and would never want to hurt anybody and I always felt really bad about what I did to John. I never apologized to him. The show last night made me feel horrible, again, for what I did.

So I looked up one of those reunion or classmate websites and I also Googled his full name and I THINK I found him. I even think I found his photo -- age him about 25 years, add a goatee to his chin, subtract some hair on his head and it kinda looks like him. If it is him, he's now living in Canada and working as a wrestling coach.

I emailed him last night just to see if it was him. If he replies, I intend to apologize for what I did to him 25 years ago...


amygeekgrl said...

i think it's very nice of you to have looked him up to apologize. it's amazing how peer pressure can cause us to do things we normally would never do. hope it's him and you can clear your conscience and i'm sure he will appreciate the apology as well.

Anonymous said...

I totally remember him. He was a nice kid. There was no reason for the way he was treated. It's not like the rest of us were any better, know what I mean? Just a bunch of kids in a small farm town..... I suppose many of us had nothing better to do. I don't remember teasing him, but I don't exactly remember going out of my way to be nice, either.
If you hear from him, let me know! I hope he is having an extraordinarily happy life!


alise said...

The Columbine school massacre was a direct result of bullying. As a classroom teacher, I had absolutely zero tolerance for it and the kids who tested this resolve had severe consequenses. It is every adults responsibility to stop kids from bullying because by ignoring it, we tell them that it is ok. It is not ok. The only reason kids are allowed to act like assholes is because their parents allow it. They don't get away with it in my school.