October is National Bullying Month. Minnesota was expected to have one of the country’s strongest anti-bullying laws by now, but politics interfered last spring. And the testimony here, given in support of the Safe Schools bill, suggests the problem isn’t going away on its own.
“Some kids duct taped Jeremiah like a mummy so he couldn’t move his arms and legs. They took off his shoes and pushed him down a snow-covered hill outside of the school.”
“I was told, and he was told, by teachers that he needed to stand up for himself. Peer mediation was a disaster. Two of his tormentors were laughing and making a joke of the whole thing. He was humiliated. It was after this incident that Jeremiah quit school. He was in the 11th grade.”
“The answer given by the school director was, ‘I can’t help you. Not everyone shares the same values as you.’”
“I was outside the school waiting to be picked up when an upperclassman whom I had never seen before threw Gatorade at me and called me a sinner.”
“At recess, I was cornered and attacked, pushed to the ground up to 20 times. When the recess whistle finally rang, the student who attacked me yelled repeatedly, ‘I’m going to kill you if you tell anyone!’”
“On February 2, 2010, I was eating lunch when one of the bullying students stood up and said, ‘Who’s going to help me beat up Jake today?’”
“I was blocked from the student section at the homecoming football game because ‘faggots aren’t allowed at sports games.’ Running for ninth-grade student council resulted in ‘faggot’ being written over every campaign poster I had hung throughout the school. I seriously considered taking my life numerous times and failed at one attempt.”