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DailyTidings.com
  • ACTS MATTER

    Stories: bullies and the bullied

    Through anonymous notes and public tales, people share the pain caused by bullying
  • An Acts Matter Essay
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    • Bullying at Ashland High School over the decades:
      • Name withheld by request, graduated AHS in the 1960s: "I was born and raised in Ashland to a pretty poor family. I was a little on the heavy side, but had many friends. I was elected to be ...
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      Bullying at Ashland High School over the decades:
      • Name withheld by request, graduated AHS in the 1960s: "I was born and raised in Ashland to a pretty poor family. I was a little on the heavy side, but had many friends. I was elected to be one of five cheerleaders and had the experience of my life feeling so special. I tried out for cheerleader again the next year but didn't make the cut. I recall crying in a heap on the girls bathroom floor when another girl who tried out and failed walked in the bathroom. She told me to shut up and stop crying; that I only made cheerleader the prior year because of a family tragedy and everyone felt sorry for me. I have rarely felt such a 'sting,' and although I hated myself throughout the rest of high school for the 'pitiful fat girl who made cheerleader just because everyone felt sorry for her,' I, of course, have long ago realized that the girl who made the comment to me was feeling the pain of not making cheerleader herself. And in the nearly 50 years since the unkind comment, I've never told anyone who made that comment to me."

      • Mike Case, class of 1969: "There weren't many bullies at AHS, but of the ones that were there, they were all the same. They smoked cigarettes, drank, did pot and fought at every opportunity. It made them feel superior if they could hurt someone else. I stood up to the wanna-bes and was able to make them back down, but two real bullies were dangerous and had to be dealt with through the police. They did a lot of damage to vehicles parked on the street, such as throwing pieces of scrap metal through windshields and piercing tires with weapons made in the forging and welding shop."

      • Name withheld by request, graduated AHS in the 1960s: "I had a male cousin who acted somewhat feminine and was teased and bullied. I always came to his defense, since the taunting was nearly constant throughout his high school years. Later, as Ashland became more open-minded, he did come out of the closet and still wasn't accepted. He ended up moving to San Francisco. How sad back then, but so happy doors have opened since."

      • Gordon Brown, class of 1974: "When I was a sophomore, the most popular initiation involved kids having to roll pencils with their noses, resulting in a scab. I recall others having to wear adult diapers on the outside of their pants. I personally didn't have to do either."

      • Jamila Elliot: "I was a student at Ashland High School from 1998-2001 and was both a victim and witness to hazing, which was shockingly widespread. Shockingly obscene, slanderous words about me were spray-painted on three different sites on campus. I would hate to see any student go through the daily hell I was subjected to and watched so many others be subjected to."
  • An Acts Matter Essay
    Last December, on a plane from Denver to Medford, I happened to sit next to one of my best childhood friends. We had grown up in Yreka, Calif., but hadn't seen each other in over a decade. During the flight home, we laughed until tears came to our eyes as we reminisced about our school days. At one point, Emerson said, "Do you remember Charlie in sixth grade?" I looked at Emerson and we both went quiet.
    Held back a year in school, Charlie was the biggest kid in our class. His brother was 10 years older, in and out of detention centers, notorious throughout town as a vicious drug dealer. Charlie never knew his father and his mother never wore anything in public but a robe and nightgown. I remember my father shaking his head when he saw Charlie walking downtown one morning. "That boy doesn't have a chance," he said.
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