Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear John: Special Anti-Bullying Edition

Hard Core Advice From
Hard Core's Hardest Core...
John Leslie!

Dear John,
     I'm writing regarding "Bullied," who skipped her high school reunion because she was bullied in school, and is now receiving Facebook messages from former classmates who want to apologize.
     That letter could have been about me, because I was bullied all through school, too. Things were so bad, I honestly don't know how I kept it together. I never even told my parents how bad it was until years after I graduated.
     When my class had their reunion, I went. Although I almost didn't because I was scared. When I got there, I was given hugs by classmates. Some of them apologized, and it was wonderful. I enjoyed myself so much that I helped organized our next reunion and the one after that.
     "Bullied," you can either keep reliving those painful memories and continue to suffer, or rise above it and prove to your classmates and yourself that they can't hurt you anymore.
     Counseling helped me to learn to deal with the bad things in my life. Don't get me wrong, I still have some issues and life isn't always easy, sometimes even hearing a harsh word can send me back to the suicidal thoughts I had in high school, but I have learned to let go and forgive these people.

Dear Cathy,
     Oh, my God! Is it really you? It's ME! Johnny! I was in your Drama class! I looked you up in Facebook, and, oh my. Oink! Oink! You're still a little piggy, aren't you?

Dear John,
     As high school teachers, we do our best to curtail abuse, but it happens behind the scenes. The targets can remain bullied for years, as the writer expressed. It is sad that this person is affected even after all this time.
     I agree the target had no obligation to forgive the bullies, but this would be the perfect time to send a strong message to them via her Facebook page. An article on the effects of bullying could be posted with a message that if the bullies truly want forgiveness, they should pass this life lesson on to their children who may be engaged in similar behavior.
     --Mary Ann

Hey, Mary Ann!
     Oh, my God! Is it really you? It's ME, Johnny! I was in your English class. So, you're a TEACHER now, eh? Good for you! Remember how we used to call you "Stinky"? Yeah, just like your students do now behind your back.
     Some things never change.

Dear John,
     Three years ago, I went to my high school reunion, and it will be the only reunion I'll ever attend, because halfway through the event, the "bully brigade" came up to me to apologize for their behavior. I hadn't thought about it in years, and was having a great time, but, suddenly, I was emotionally thrown back to those years of hating school because of how I was treated.
     On my way out, I confronted the worst bully. I told her that her apology was NOT accepted, and they could all take their apologies and stick them up their...
     The minute I said it, it was like a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

Dear Helen,
     Oh, my God! Is it really you? It's ME, Johnny! You were in orchestra, and I was in band. You played the cello, and I played the rusty trombone. Remember how we used to call you Fatty-Fatty-Two-By-Four?
     Yeah, those were good times.
Confidential to Still Crying
Oh, my God! Is it really you? It's ME, Johnny!
You haven't changed a bit.
American Chimpanzee

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