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Have you ever been bullied or been a bully?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 15, 2007

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Photo of Jordan Martin

“Probably both back in grade school and junior high. I think it’s just a part of growing up. At some point you realize it’s wrong - the earlier the better.”

Photo of Sarah Revell

“Yes to both. I get bullied at work because I’m afraid to stand up to people, and I bully my siblings just because I can.”

Photo of Andrew Holliman

“I think everybody’s been bullied at one point or another in their life, but personally I’ve never been one.”

Photo of Krista Delaney

“I was bullied a little bit when I was a child around the fourth or fifth grade. I just talked to my principal and superintendent about it, so it stopped there.”


sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

Not much, no. There was one time an older neighbor kid briefly gave me some trouble, but my older brother didn't much care for that -- he knocked the kid over, and that was that.

(My brother is now in law school.)

Leandra 10 years, 11 months ago

Bully, not really....more of a tribal contest of rank....once that was established all was well.

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

Me and my football player sized friend got bullied by the popular gang in elementary school, until we both realized they were about half our size (after my 9" growth spurt in 5th, at least) and royally beat the crap out of them in 6th. That stopped it pretty effectively.

It's hard to remain the cool one when your mom picks you up weeping in her minivan. hahaha

compmd 10 years, 11 months ago

Nah, never really was bullied. Of course, there were always those arrogant, insecure kids that liked to pretend they were better than me and would be verbally demeaning back in elementary/junior high so they could feel better about themselves. In my friendly, non-threatening manner, I smiled and helped teach them about electricity and magnetism. Specifically, I gave them a "hands on" demonstration of capacitance by having them pick up a fully charged photoflash capacitor. Did that a couple times, never had any problems after that.

paladin 10 years, 11 months ago

I was bullied quite a bit, especially when I got my glasses before anybody else got glasses. When I'd had enough and learned to fight back, They pretty much left me alone. No weapons involved, since they were not in vogue back then. Well, maybe just the one brick. Just a note to those who are bullied. Go for the groin.

tyger_lily 10 years, 11 months ago

While I was in school, I was on the heavy side, had red frizzy hair, and wore glasses so of course I have been bullied. I missed over 9 weeks of school when I was in 6th grade because I became anorexic because the teasing was so bad. Did school officials ever do anything about it, of course not. I still to this day do not have friends because I am so self conscious and always think people are talking about me and making fun of me.

beatrice 10 years, 11 months ago

"Go for the groin." Paladin, isn't that also the response you gave for yesterday's proposal question?

Yes on both accounts. Nothing too extreme, closer to just picking on someone or being picked on than all out bullying. It's just that I've never been the type to shy away from a confrontation, which I am sure people might consider bullying -- or being bullied. I lived through it.

trinity 10 years, 11 months ago

that which didn't kill me has only made me stronger. i s'pose i've fallen on both sides of that bully equation. i'm fine. really. honestly. love me!?!? lmao.

ohjayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I was the victim of some bullying in junior high and my freshman year of high school. Luckily, like trinity, it made me a stronger person and didn't really demoralize me to the point of no return.

George_Braziller 10 years, 11 months ago

We had a school bully in the class ahead of me who tormented everyone. I was one of his prime targets. It continued for ten years until he graduated from high school. But Karma catches up with bullies -- he was killed in a farming accident two years ago.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

Absolutely was bullied. And jr high/high school girls are subtle bullies - nothing you could ever prove, but enough to make this little girl cry several times. I agree with tyger - it does stay with you. I find myself working so hard to have people like me because I don't want to be talked about behind my back ever again. I bet it still happens though - the voices, the voices.

Whoever got IP kicked off again is a bully and should be eradicate.

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years, 11 months ago

I was bullied until I decided to fight the biggest of the pack... I got my butt kicked after a 15 minute fist fight but the bullying stopped after that... Bullies like victims... When you stop being a victim, they'll move on to easier pickings...

RonBurgandy 10 years, 11 months ago

"I think everybody's been bullied at one point or another in their life, but personally I've never been one."

  • Andrew Holliman, art framer, Lawrence

Does anyone else see a problem with this statement? Somewhat contradictory?

I never had much of a problem with a specific counterpart, a couple of random incidences, but nothing that I would consider a bulliee/bullier problem.

RonBurgandy 10 years, 11 months ago

Well, I reread the statement that I made fun of and it seems he is saying that he was the bulliee, but has never been the bullier. I retract my criticism of Mr. Holliman's quote.

Sorry for the inconvience.

Bone777 10 years, 11 months ago

I once made some ill advised comments on this post and Bea bullied me, relentlessly. Damn, Bea.

trinity 10 years, 11 months ago

what the deuce, i_p banned again??? gawd!

i'm feelin' some bullyin' behavior coming on...

Kontum1972 10 years, 11 months ago

Teddy Roosevelt (former US Pres.) always said: "Bully For You" where's da Beef? The Pres. made it a rule...for Bullies... Is "DICK" Cheney considered a Bully..since he shot that old man in the face?

Kontum1972 10 years, 11 months ago

the best way to deal with a to find another bully who is bigger and meaner....then u pay him to bully on the bully..and your problem is solved....unless a bigger bully than your bully blows into the scene..then u need start over and contact Bullies "R" Us..and get the deluxe edition of the Bully.

thanksforcoming 10 years, 11 months ago

I got bullied, but who wouldn't have bullied me. I had wrap around glasses that tinted to shades when I went outside. I got made fun of when we got back inside from lunch or recess when 45 minutes afterward my glasses were still shades. Also I had crooked teeth and was about 30 pounds lighter than the lightest girl in class. I think I learned my great sense of humor because of all that. By the time High school rolled around and I found a weightroom and sports, it all stopped. As an educator myself, kids are going to have to take a little ribbing but there needs to be a line drawn. The trick is deciding what that fine line is. Today's kids snap at the smallest most meaningless things, therefore, I don't think there is ever going to be a line drawn. There aren't enough teachers in a school to stop everything and be able to teach effectively.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

Welcome back inmate!

Bullying: Never was a bully so much as that I stood up for the underdog. I hated bullies and, therefore, sometimes, I may have started to pick on them to "show 'em how it feels." They understood why I was picking on them and what it took to get me to back off. (I'm talking grade school here.) I never had to actually physically fight anyone because I was a pretty fit little girl and I don't think the bullies wanted to fight me. hear me roar

My youngest was at a gym meet a couple of weeks ago and one of her team-mates had a "mental block" on the floor. Another girl (from the host team) laughed at her. My daughter gave that girl a stern talking to. She told her that she wasn't being a nice person, it wasn't funny, and how would she feel if it were her out there and people were laughing at her. The girl quit laughing and walked away. I don't know that laughing at someone is the same as bullying, but it's the tolerance of our society to put up with bad behavior that is a problem. I don't think that girl will be as quick to laugh at someone else's misfortune the next least I hope not.

BrianR 10 years, 11 months ago

"Is it really worse than in the past?"

Absolutely. The schoolyard bully used to be just that, in the schoolyard. Now they're in your email, text messages, on "special" hate sites.

mom_of_three 10 years, 11 months ago

Bullying doesn't necessarily happen in childhood. I was picked on at work and made miserable for months before I left for greener pastures. They were loud, obnoxious, partiers with an inappropriate sense of humor for the work place. I was quiet and did my job.
My bosses did nothing, only berated me for going to HR.

Topside 10 years, 11 months ago

LOL, TOB I got busy yesterday (1st time ever) and just now checked your response to my WHite Castle post yesterday.....and Yes, yes I did.

mom_of_three 10 years, 11 months ago

There are some good kids out there, such as Sue's. My youngest one has a learning disability, and would get picked on by other kids in school. But she had some great friends, boys and girls, who would stand up to the teaser and put them in their place. In return, she is very helpful with problems more severe than hers.
My middle kid stands up for others, and it doesn't always make her popular. Teasing, taunting, picked on in class - she stands up for those who need up. She would jump in a fight to defend someone who needed it, but it hasn't come to that.
She was picked on for a time in grade school and it made her miserable. But the other kid was jealous and picked on any fault they could find to make her feel bad. She talked to my husband and I, teacher, principal and counselor. It was eventually worked out, but I found the teacher was less than sympathetic.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 11 months ago

Lots of funny and progressivly scarier bullying stories I have (Yoda-speak?)

In kindergarten, a boy in my class was calling me names, including the "B" word. I punched him in the stomach and it never happened again.

In second grade, this one boy used to hit me and chase me and call me names (including the "B" word as well as the "C" word). I slapped him in his face really hard one day and that stopped it. I didn't even get in trouble because my teacher knew he was a bully.

In the fifth grade, I was groped and sexually harrassed along with three other girls by a boy in our class. We went to the school administration and he was expelled.

In middle school, I was the victim of lots of emotional and social bullying. I was 5'7" at 12 years old, was quite voluptuous and was modelling locally at the time. Because of that (I think) I was treated terribly, constantly told I was ugly and fat, excluded purposely, set up with a boy a la "Carrie" and then dumped publicly, etc.

In high school, I had someone slip a note into my locker with a drawing depicting me being gang raped at gunpoint and it said "This is what will happen to you". Unfortunately, even though I reported it, the school did nothing about it because it was a huge school and they did not know who did it.

I don't think I ever bullied, as far as I know. I was raised by parents who were sort of "underdogs" and I gained an appreciation for the under dog.

avoice 10 years, 11 months ago

I wonder: Why everyone has stories about the "popular" kids or the "mean girls" but no one wants to step up and admit they were (or still are) among that group? The popular kids grow up to be the parents of the new generation of popular kids. And they continue their practices within their adult communities as well.

The best way to deal with a cyber bully: Don't read his/her messages. What you don't know can't hurt you. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. But most of all: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 11 months ago

Posted by George_Braziller (anonymous) on February 15, 2007 at 8:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We had a school bully in the class ahead of me who tormented everyone. I was one of his prime targets. It continued for ten years until he graduated from high school. But Karma catches up with bullies -- he was killed in a farming accident two years ago.

I agree that sometimes Karma has a way of coming back. When I was 16, I was sexually assaulted and nearly killed by a "friend" and he ended up being deported to the last country he lived in (he was French and had last lived in Morroco). When he arrived, he tried the same thing with another girl and she slit his throat. No joke.

I had a "guardian" in high school because my mom died and my dad was in jail and she was very verbally and financially abusive to me. She kicked me out of her house and put me out on the streets basically when I was barely 16. Shortly after this happened, her business burnt to the ground on her birthday....

Lesson here: don't mess with me, apparently Karma may have my back :)

beatrice 10 years, 11 months ago

Bone, you know you deserve every cyber-wedgie I've dished out. I'm not a bully, and it isn't my fault if you are a woosie! ; )

dajudge 10 years, 11 months ago

Nobody messed with me, I was teacher's pet!
Besides, who would they copy off if they bullied me? Ya just gotta play your cards right and all that stuff goes away. And, keep Karma on your side. ;)

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

"I wonder: Why everyone has stories about the "popular" kids or the "mean girls" but no one wants to step up and admit they were (or still are) among that group? The popular kids grow up to be the parents of the new generation of popular kids. And they continue their practices within their adult communities as well." -avoice

avoice, that is a near-sighted opinion. I will gladly admit: "I was a popular kid." It did not make me a bully, nor mean (not that you said it did, but it seemed to be implied) and it did not make me spawn the next generation of "popular kids." I have one child who is, indeed, very popular. I have another child who was born with a large target on her forehead. I think maybe what you should have said is that we need to be conscientious of how we raise our children. Also, I'm willing to give the benefit of a doubt that people change. A bully in grade school may just turn out to be a really kind person someday. Your last line sums it up best; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's what I try to teach my kids.

Bone777 10 years, 11 months ago

Bea - "cyber-wedgie" funny

You are the reason that I go, twice a week, to cyber self-defense classes. Armed with a dictionary and thesaurus, we do finger-tip push-ups and hurl insults in each other.

Woosie no more!!!

Bone777 10 years, 11 months ago

at each other, on each other, around each other.....

swamp_rat 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I was bullied by a couple of people when I was young, do I think they are still bullies today?... Probably not. Have I ever bullied anyone.... outside of a sibling, (It's a right of passage.) no.

CeeCee 10 years, 11 months ago

I went to school in a small town where everyone knew everyone. There was not excessive bullying that I noticed. I was not bullied that I recall. Nor do I recall ever bullying someone else. Some light hearted teasing maybe, but not bullying.

Off Topic: Just a friendly FYI... Dillon's on Mass and 23rd have the recalled Peter Pan peanut butter on their shelves. I'm not trying to stir up trouble, just trying to be neighborly and let you all know. :)

George_Braziller 10 years, 11 months ago

I forgot to mention the ironic part of the story earlier. The school bully eventually ended up being a school principal and then a superintendent. He was 43 when he died. I always wondered how or if he was ever very responsive to complaints about school bullies.

"We had a school bully in the class ahead of me who tormented everyone. I was one of his prime targets. It continued for ten years until he graduated from high school. But Karma catches up with bullies -- he was killed in a farming accident two years ago."

Topside 10 years, 11 months ago

TOB that's too bad. Got a trip to St. Louis in Late March and I can feel the crave starting to build already.

dajudge 10 years, 11 months ago

You gonna let a little salmonella bully you? My Karma won't allow it, and I have the power of a Guardian Angel protecting me as a member of the one true church. Bullying doesn't work on me, remember? Du-uh!

dajudge 10 years, 11 months ago

Sam and Hilla will never think to look there!

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 11 months ago

From my post on the actual article:

When I lived in Illinois it was a bleek existence. When we lived in the suburbs, I was from the "poor" family. When we moved to the inner city, I was the "white" kid. And in both places the children were very mean and down right cruel at times. When I moved here I made friends easily and didn't have the stigma of being the "poor kid," or the "white kid" and was no longer an outsider. I didn't expereince any bullying here, but when I saw it happening to others I was going to be damned if I allowed anyone to be bullied in my presence. Several times I told the oppressor that they would have to go through me first. Yeah, I had gotten tall and I think being from Chicago gave me defacto toughness, but it made the jack-offs back off so it was all good.

southerngirl 10 years, 11 months ago

Aw, mom of three, I have a son with learning disabilities too. Man it is so hard to have them come home so upset about being called "stupid" and "retard". He had a teacher tell him that if you don't go very far in school, you wont get a good job and you wont have a house to live in. My son, who struggles everyday to learn, was terrified and upset. I reminded him that athletes and movie stars often don't have advanced degrees and hard work and being smart with your money goes a long way.

I was bullied a few times in school. I never stood up to them, just waited for them to get tired of me and move on. I middle school I was sexually harassed. I developed earlier than the other girls in my class (now days it would be considered late, girls are developing in 4th and 5th grade) and so I had boys grabbing my chest and bottom, undoing my bra, calling me jugs was horrifying at the time and teachers did nothing when they SAW it happening and I was too embarassed to tell anyone. It wore off in 8th grade, but 7th grade was a rough year. Thanks to all of you who stand up for we weak ones, the psychological damage is rough. d

dajudge 10 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I know what you mean, they wouldn't let me jump double-dutch either.

CeeCee 10 years, 11 months ago

Pywacket said:

"CeeCee~ Neighborly? Wouldn't it have been more neighborly to point it out to the management of the store--then follow up by emailing the corporate office in case the storm manager was clueless--than to "report" them here? I'm sure the company would pull the stuff immediately if someone knew. They don't want to hurt anyone (other than by price gouging) and I'm sure they don't want to get sued."

How do you know I didn't point it out to the management?? In fact, I did. But I didn't have time to hang around and make sure they followed up and pulled the stock off the shelves. And I wasn't 'reporting' them here. Like I said, I was just trying to be nice and inform you all in case you hadn't heard about the recall and purchased some there recently. Is this how all people are treated here for trying to do a good deed??

dajudge 10 years, 11 months ago

Was that the "dirty Dillons" on Mass.? or the little tiny Dillon's on 6th? Oh, the Kroger Dillon's on 23rd. Ok. I found Wheat Nuts on the bottom shelf there. And anyway, a re-call is out of our jurisdiction. We are only approved for sarcastic dissemination of the News.

bevy 10 years, 11 months ago

I was bullied in elementary school. Because I was the "new kid" because I was a "teacher's kid" and because I was chubby. When I ran or jumped rope, the boys in my class would make noises (think those that Godzilla makes when walking). I used to laugh with them but it hurt inside.

What saved me? Two loving, committed parents who let me know how special I was, and who taught me self-reliance and self-respect. Also the knowledge that I was smarter than most of those snot-nosed mouth breathers. (By the way, who did they come to when they needed help with their math? And I was too nice to tell them to stuff it). Wish I could see how they turned out.

dajudge 10 years, 11 months ago

bevy--I already trumped you on that story, so there.

Well, bullies are Bad! so let's let it stop there, huh?

And don't be a bully or you will be evil and there will be no spanking on this site.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 11 months ago

Bullies made my life hell all through school. It's the main reason I quit school as soon as I was old enough. (16 back then.) I didn't mind the schoolwork at all. But I hated being around the people there.

In grade school, my older brother was picked on because he was smaller than some of the other boys. The same boys who picked on him also picked on me. They cornered me outside the grade school one day (by then they were in junior high), and were harassing me. I told them to leave me alone. I stood up for myself, though I usually didn't. I just happened to have a big, thick, heavy library book with me, and hit one of them in the face as hard as I could with it.

Did that stop it? No. Next year, when I got to junior high, they broke into my locker and threw all my books and things into the trash cans.

I was small and painfully shy and poor as dirt, and didn't have the same things that all the "cool" kids did. That was pretty much enough to guarantee I'd be picked on.

Now that I'm an adult, some of the same people who bullied me still live here in the same town. Now, some of them will actually talk to me like a human being. And it's awfully hard to get rid of that grudge, even after all these years. I ask them why they would possibly want anything to do with me now, when they did nothing but make my life miserable in school?

I certainly don't want anything to do with them.

All I could ever think about while I was at school was getting done for the day and being able to go home.

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