Shaming Story

In grade three, there were several students who would taunt me regularly. They would say things like, “You’re dead” or “We’re going to kill you”.

At one parent/teacher night, my sister and I went and wanted to discuss the bullying. I remember the teacher explained that parent/teacher night was about academics, and not pointing a finger at others. In the moment, I accepted it, but in retrospect, I’m thinking, What the Fuck?

Specifically, I recall my sister’s concern for me making friends. The teacher said that although I was making friends, that I was resorting to their level, instead of having the friends raise their level of behavior to mine. Nothing would be spoken about this in the future.

One day, I was getting fed up with all the harassment and decided to take matters into my own hands. I made fun of the last name of one of the bullies. When exiting for lunch, the bullies followed me home, and beat me up.

My sister and I went back to the school that afternoon to confront the teacher. Class was in session, so she dealt with us in front of the entire class as they waited. As the teacher took account of what happened, I was brutally honest. The teacher concluded that because I had made fun of the bully’s last name first, that I was the instigator of the situation and that it was my fault.

I felt horrible. I felt embarrassed in front of my sister, and in front of the entire class. The teacher made me feel like I was wasting everybody’s time. I felt shamed for trying to stick up for myself, and for taking an issue to an authority.