Thursday, April 7, 2011

Asking Forgiveness for Bullying a Classmate

Kid's Can be so Cruel

Bullies have been around forever, at least since children have been gathering together. When most of us think about bullies, we imagine that big strong boy that intimidates and picks on everyone. This is not the only face of bullies. Bullies can actually be typical people that are usually very kind and loving. Here is my story of how I became involved in bullying someone in middle school. A memory which I am very ashamed about.

I was a middle schooler and riding the bus to school. I was sitting next to one of my best buddies and chatting away. About Half way to school I heard some commotion going on behind me. It was three kids teasing Linda. Linda was moderately developmentally disabled. She went to school with the rest of us but everyone knew she was slow. She usually kept to herself except for a good friend of hers. His name was Mike and he was also developmentally disabled. He was also integrated into the school system but went to special classes. That is where he met his good friend Linda.

I saw that three kids were trying to make Linda eat a sandwich that had fallen out of someone's lunchbox and onto the dirty floor of the bus. Eventually, it wasn't just the three people bullying Linda but now many people were getting involved. Several kids, now began yelling for Linda to eat the sandwich. The chanting became louder and louder. My buddy and I were feeling uncomfortable about this scene and sad for Linda but we just sat there and watched. Soon, the whole bus was cheering for Linda to eat the sandwich. Peer pressure in middle school is real and Lisa and I soon found ourselves uttering the words, "Eat the sandwich, eat the sandwich." That poor girl did eat the dirty grimey sandwich. I would be haunted by this despicible event for many years. That is until...

I was a highschool senior and enjoying everything about being seventeen. One spring day, my friends and I went to a local, fast food joint. Hardee's had become a place that many highschoolers hung out after school and on weekends. This particular day as I waited in line, someone caught my attention. I had to look close, but soon realized it was Linda, the girl from middleschool that was so shamelessly bullied. My heart sank as I recalled that day on the school bus. Here she was now, cashier at Hardee's and doing quite well. My mind was reeling about whether to say anything to Linda. Did she even remember me? I almost burst when I got to the front of the line. I ordered a hamburger and fries and she politely thanked me when I gave her the money. I couldn't hold it in anymore. I said, "Linda, I don't know if you remember me but...Just then, Linda interrupted me. She said, "I remember you Linda, we went to middleschool together," and smiled at me. I told her I was very ashamed that I teased her on the bus that day back in 7th grade. By the look on her face, I could see she remembered the event I spoke of. I said, "Linda, will you forgive me, I was just a foolish kid?" She didn't even hesitate and said, "yes, I forgive you." I was very choked up at this sacred moment, to be forgiven. Before we said our goodbye's, she said she wanted to introduce me to her husband. She ran back to the kitchen and up walked this good looking young man with a name tag on his shirt that said, "Manager." Linda, this is my husband Mike.

I walked out of that Hardee's, humbled and more grown up. Linda and Mike taught me so much that day.

"We achieve inner health only through forgiveness-the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves." Joshua Loth Liebman


  1. Wow! It's amazing things we do when we are kids and how we change through out the years. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. I do not think you were truly teasing this girl, but I am proud of you for standing up and apologizing anyway. You may have said eat the sandwich, but you were not the one who instigated this. There were several people who teased me severely, but over the years I moved on. At the time it hurt, but I will admit as an adult I am not as outgoing and social as some people are because from an early age I never felt comfortable in a group that way, and I suppose I never will.

  3. Hi Madison and thanks so much for commenting on my story. It feels really good to share this experience and hopefully others can learn from it.

  4. OHH, JewelandtheSun-My heart breaks to hear you were one of so many that were teased or bullied. On behalf of so many of us that were ignorant, I am sorry~!! Know you are wonderful and deserve to be social. Kids can be so cruel:(