Take a stand against bullying

Kirk Lyttle / MCT

Hey, you — Pomegranate! What’s up Palm tree! Fatty!”

Kids are hiding in the corners, crying. Is there no one there to help them? What are we going to do? What are kids going to have to go through every day before we do something?

I have decided to take a stand against bullying. I am an eighth grader at Frank. C. Martin K-8 Center. Because I must complete a Global Service Learning Project, I chose to challenge bullying. Here’s why:

First, I was bullied as a child. I’m not even sure why. Even though I was slightly overweight and shy, should that ever give someone the excuse to bully?

Second, I didn’t want any other child to go through this experience. I always thought I was alone in this world, but after a recent anti-bullying rally that I organized, I found out that I’m not. Many people know what it feels like to be alone and to think that no one cares for them. But on that night we found out that we have each other’s back. I’m not talking about just friends, I’m talking about family, too. No matter where you go, family will always be there for you.

As I observed the kids in my school, I found out that many kids are bullied because of their weight, how they look or where they come from.

I call bullying a test of confidence, because you have to realize how much confidence you have in yourself — and how little confidence a bully has. Usually a bully has problems at home or is insecure.

But you should never let the bully have the upper hand. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has taken on many subjects: civil rights, discrimination, religious freedom — and bullying. The ADL was one of the main supporters for my anti-bullying rally. Members helped set up signs and a vendor table, sold T-shirts, and gave away buttons and made a presentation.

This has been an awesome experience that I’ll never forget. I’m happy that I have made an impact in my community against bullying. I feel that I can sleep soundly knowing that the bullying rate will go down in my community because I decided to take a stand against something that personally affected me.

To some, the GSL Project is just another project to earn a grade. To me, however, it’s an opportunity to show my community who I am and what I have to offer in the world. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s this: No matter what happens in your life there is no reason for you to ever bully someone. You can never truly know how someone feels or what they might do to themselves.

If you see someone being bullied, don’t be a bystander: Tell a teacher or adult — and take a stand.

Parmie Dean is student government president at Frank C. Martin International K-8 Center in Miami-Dade County.

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